Thursday, June 9, 2011

Teaching kids tolerance.

In this day and age, stories like this amaze me.

When I went to high school, I remember learning in sex education that 'one in ten' people are gay. At the time, not knowing anyone who was gay, that statistic scared the bejesus out of me. Being gay was presented as an affliction, there was no discussion about tolerance, or resources for gay teenagers, none of that! I distinctly remember looking around me wondering which one of us was gay -- as stupid as it sounds, I worried it might be me (seriously -- I thought I could wake up gay one day, surely that's how it must work!?!). Fast foward seventeen years (ouch!), and I'm a little wiser about how the world works. As it turns out, I actually knew a few people who were gay in high school, I just didn't know it back then.

Our kids have been brought up knowing that you can't help who you fall in love with. Sometimes, men fall in love with other men. Sometimes women fall in love with other women. A close family member is gay, and I am thankful for the opportunity it has provided to teach our kids tolerance. They have witnessed different kinds of non-traditional relationships between people who love each other, and it is as normal to them as any relationship between a man and a woman. Our kids know that no matter what, we will support them in their happiness, no questions asked (as a parent, I consider this one of my top priorities!).

I think it's wonderful that a group of students wanted to volunteer their time and effort to educate people about homophobia, it's an absolute shame their school didn't recognize their efforts for what it was, a selfless attempt to promote tolerance (I think God would be proud, don't you?). I think it's incredibly courageous to stand up for what you believe in, and at such a young age! I can only hope our kids turn out so well. Hopefully the Roman Catholic school board has a change of heart about their ban on 'rainbows'. Schools should concern themselves with more than the basic 'reading, writing, and arithmatic' -- if kids can't get the support they need at home, they should be able to get it from school.

1 comment:

  1. IMO, schools need to teach more than mere tolerance. They need to teach *acceptance* of each and every person for who they are -- I equate 'tolerance' with 'learning to put up with' someone/something, and that's not good enough.

    Of course, I also vehemently disagree with the RC getting a separate school board funded with taxpayer dollars. School instruction and religious instruction need to be separate. Let the churches teach/preach religion. Kids are in school to learn other things.