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  1. #1
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    Default Local issue, parent wants to ban rainbow flags in schools

    What do you think of this? In my town, a parent went to the School Committee because he was disturbed to find rainbow flags in the school building. FYI, I've been in that school and the "flags" are stickers with the rainbow flag on them, stuck on classroom or administrative office doors, to let kids know where they can go to talk about sexual orientation issues without judgment. They aren't actual "flags".

    http://westford.patch.com/articles/s...middle-schools


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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    What do you think of this? In my town, a parent went to the School Committee because he was disturbed to find rainbow flags in the school building. FYI, I've been in that school and the "flags" are stickers with the rainbow flag on them, stuck on classroom or administrative office doors, to let kids know where they can go to talk about sexual orientation issues without judgment. They aren't actual "flags".

    http://westford.patch.com/articles/s...middle-schools
    In Massachusetts? I'm shocked! I could see if there really were flags hanging out there in peoples faces but stickers with the express purpose of denoting 'safe' locations is quite another story.


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  3. #3
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    I think the school must be really awesome if that is the parent's biggest concern.

    I think dealing with parents like that is very frustrating.

    I hope it blows over and the stickers stay.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


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  4. #4
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    Default

    I think that these people don't have enough real problems to worry about. Really? Stickers on a door indicating a safe place to talk are a problem?
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.


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  5. #5
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    I really think the school should stick to their guns and provide a "safe" place for the LGBT teens to go and talk. It's not like anyone is obviously rubbing their sexual orientation in someone's face. MYOB and move along.
    **Friend of bar.ka**

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  6. #6
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    Yeah, Poltroon and Louise, you are right. There aren't any REAL threats or concerns here, so people have to manufacture them. Thanks for reminding me to keep things in perspective, so I don't get too irritated with the small problem folks .


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    I think the school must be really awesome if that is the parent's biggest concern.

    I think dealing with parents like that is very frustrating.

    I hope it blows over and the stickers stay.
    This. In spades!
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  8. #8
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    So, what "flag" is posted as safe places for kids to talk about bullying? What flag indicates a safe place to discuss molestation? Or heterosexual relation problems? Or racism, self-mutilation, or substance abuse?

    That's the bigger issue. A safe place to talk should be a safe place to talk about anything. Singling out a single issue isn't fair.
    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


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  9. #9
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    Poltroon said it perfectly. People that are as judgmental and prejudiced as the objecting parent should be ashamed.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabreeze View Post
    So, what "flag" is posted as safe places for kids to talk about bullying? What flag indicates a safe place to discuss molestation? Or heterosexual relation problems? Or racism, self-mutilation, or substance abuse?

    That's the bigger issue. A safe place to talk should be a safe place to talk about anything. Singling out a single issue isn't fair.
    So because there is no symbol and sticker for the above, there should be no sticker and safe place for GLBT kids? I don't understand the reasoning.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabreeze View Post
    So, what "flag" is posted as safe places for kids to talk about bullying? What flag indicates a safe place to discuss molestation? Or heterosexual relation problems? Or racism, self-mutilation, or substance abuse?

    That's the bigger issue. A safe place to talk should be a safe place to talk about anything. Singling out a single issue isn't fair.
    At the root of many of these problems is having to hide who you are because you're LGBT.
    A helmet saved my life.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabreeze View Post
    So, what "flag" is posted as safe places for kids to talk about bullying? What flag indicates a safe place to discuss molestation? Or heterosexual relation problems? Or racism, self-mutilation, or substance abuse?

    That's the bigger issue. A safe place to talk should be a safe place to talk about anything. Singling out a single issue isn't fair.
    If someone wants to make logos for those, I'm sure that most schools would be happy to add them.

    Absolutely, school administrator offices should be safe places to talk about all those subjects, about anything. However, they aren't always.

    I'd certainly be more likely to go talk to a school counselor about bullying if I knew she considered that issue to be important and especially if I thought she had some tools or ideas that would help me. If we can sum that up with a sticker, go for it.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    If someone wants to make logos for those, I'm sure that most schools would be happy to add them.

    Absolutely, school administrator offices should be safe places to talk about all those subjects, about anything. However, they aren't always.

    I'd certainly be more likely to go talk to a school counselor about bullying if I knew she considered that issue to be important and especially if I thought she had some tools or ideas that would help me. If we can sum that up with a sticker, go for it.
    Also going to point out that issues like abuse, bullying, molestation, etc., are all things most teachers are generally a) able to talk about without inserting personal religious/moral convictions/judgments into and b) specifically trained to talk to students about. Attitudes toward LGBT issues, however, are often influenced by personal beliefs and teachers can be either uncomfortable talking about them or potentially judgmental. So the idea of having a sticker to denote a teacher or staff member who is trained and willing to serve as an unbiased sounding board for troubled LGBT students seems like a great idea, as far as I'm concerned.

    I had a consultant teacher in my classroom once who told all our seniors that they "were only supporting Obama because he's black, and he isn't even black, my father-in-law says he's only 1/54ths black," which I am pretty sure is not even mathematically possible. I can only imagine what she might say to a kid who came to her with issues about his or her sexuality.

    ETA: To clarify about the training part, child abuse prevention workshops are included (at least in NY) with requirements for teaching certification; workshops on bullying are being added now. Also, any teacher who has ever spent forty minutes at a time with a room full of hormonal teenagers is a certified expert on listening to drama about heterosexual relationships.
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabreeze View Post
    So, what "flag" is posted as safe places for kids to talk about bullying? What flag indicates a safe place to discuss molestation? Or heterosexual relation problems? Or racism, self-mutilation, or substance abuse?

    That's the bigger issue. A safe place to talk should be a safe place to talk about anything. Singling out a single issue isn't fair.
    I understand the point you're making, but agree with SarahAndSam on the differences between staff trained to help with bullying, etc. and staff trained to help with LGBTQ issues. Big umbrella over the one category, little umbrella over the other.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahandSam View Post
    Also going to point out that issues like abuse, bullying, molestation, etc., are all things most teachers are generally a) able to talk about without inserting personal religious/moral convictions/judgments into and b) specifically trained to talk to students about. Attitudes toward LGBT issues, however, are often influenced by personal beliefs and teachers can be either uncomfortable talking about them or potentially judgmental. So the idea of having a sticker to denote a teacher or staff member who is trained and willing to serve as an unbiased sounding board for troubled LGBT students seems like a great idea, as far as I'm concerned.


    ETA: To clarify about the training part, child abuse prevention workshops are included (at least in NY) with requirements for teaching certification; workshops on bullying are being added now. Also, any teacher who has ever spent forty minutes at a time with a room full of hormonal teenagers is a certified expert on listening to drama about heterosexual relationships.
    I'm not sure what your background is professionally, but this entire statement is really ill-informed and erroneous. The poster who asked why LGBT youth need a sticker to indicate a "safe place" to talk, asked a reasonable question - all issues should be safe to discuss with trained adults. Preferably, those who are credentialed to do-so. Some lay people may mean well, but many can cause more harm than good. Believing something should be safe to talk about and knowing how to talk about something are two separate and VERY different things.
    Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eye in the Sky View Post
    I'm not sure what your background is professionally, but this entire statement is really ill-informed and erroneous. The poster who asked why LGBT youth need a sticker to indicate a "safe place" to talk, asked a reasonable question - all issues should be safe to discuss with trained adults. Preferably, those who are credentialed to do-so. Some lay people may mean well, but many can cause more harm than good. Believing something should be safe to talk about and knowing how to talk about something are two separate and VERY different things.
    I'm not sure if you read my post, but the "some lay people may cause more harm than good" was kinda my point. All teachers, in theory, should be open-minded and willing to listen to students' problems without giving advice or taking action that isn't grounded in actual training and experience, or might be colored by personal beliefs. However, there are some teachers out there for whom LGBT issues are hot-button enough that they may not be prepared or willing to discuss these issues with students, for various reasons. If you think that every adult in education is a blank slate, completely unbiased and unprejudiced, that's a bit naive (and I'm someone who cries every time I see Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.). It would be ideal if every teacher could provide the same trained response to a student questioning his/her sexuality as to a student having issues with abuse at home, and I hope we get to that point, but currently I don't believe that's the case.
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabreeze View Post
    So, what "flag" is posted as safe places for kids to talk about bullying? What flag indicates a safe place to discuss molestation? Or heterosexual relation problems? Or racism, self-mutilation, or substance abuse?

    That's the bigger issue. A safe place to talk should be a safe place to talk about anything. Singling out a single issue isn't fair.
    They already have a sign that denotes a safe place to deal with those issues. The sign says "Counselor". That "one issue" that is being singled out with the rainbow flag stickers is often singled out by school counselors when they refuse to deal with the issue for whatever reason.

    And that isn't very fair either.
    Sheilah


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  18. #18
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    Frankly I don't hold counselors in very high regard. Neither counselor at my HS provided me assistance with choosing a college. My family didn't was considered one the special families in that incredibly cliquish town.

    Counselors are human and will provide or not provide "guidance" on a variety of subjects based on their own frailities. The rainbow stickers only promise the person will be helpful, no guarantee.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim


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  19. #19
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    Interesting Canaqua as this is the town my brother and his family live. My niece currently attends the middle school. I'll have to ask them about it.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    Yeah, Poltroon and Louise, you are right. There aren't any REAL threats or concerns here, so people have to manufacture them.
    I think you just made a really profound statement about human nature.
    RoanPonyMare



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