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Love and Respect - We Can Do Both
With the recent decisions from the Saskatchewan and New Brunswick governments regarding parental consent, I wanted to go back to a post I made when Florida was pushing back with its own sets of education policy changes.
As you can read I did see this coming.
Florida Parents Bill of Rights Law - aka Don't Say Gay Law has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. One would hope there would be some professional discretion allowed on behalf of educators to follow age appropriate curriculum in discussing matters with students. Unfortunately, too many parents have lost faith in educators south of the border to be professional and impartial.
Heavy union involvement has politicized the profession and moved teachers beyond educational awareness to blatant indoctrination of social causes. Just read the political posturing of teachers on social media for examples of bias and professional misconduct. Whether that bias leaks into the classroom or not (I know my parental experience and comments from others it sadly does) the perception of impartiality is lost. Why any teacher union promotes, let alone allows teachers to take grievances to social media is beyond me. The poor conduct of members in the public square is terrible public relations.
My own raison d'être for commenting here and social media are to offer some balance to what I believe has become a one-sided a discussion. As a teacher I often, feel the need to raise my voice and say I don't stand with my union or offside colleagues.
Politicization of the classroom has been going on for years, but the pandemic school closures, lobbied by teacher unions and their followers has woke parents up. They are now more aware than ever to the fact that teachers are quite political and their values do not always line up with their own.
The push back is on in the States, and politicians eager to ride this wave of discontent are more than happy to enact laws to silence teachers. No, I don't like the Florida law, but I appreciate the frustration among some parents that lead to its creation.
Politically minded educators must be careful and offer balanced perspectives in the classroom. First and foremost, these are minds, not followers we are shaping. Losing the trust of the public with its most precious resource is fraught with unintended consequences. Just look south to see where we are headed.
Can also listen to me struggle to come to terms with my own view on age appropriate discussions. Equivocating warning.
As for this issue, my hope is that balanced solution will emerge that can respect parents rights and protects vulnerable kids. As always I try to see both sides of an issue as I have questions for both concerned parties. To those who support parental consent of name or pronoun change - I ask why?
If you are even a semi involved parent - wouldn’t you be aware if your child was having identity issues. If not, perhaps it is because the child is not comfortable discussing them with you in fear of reprisal. If your kids know they grow up in a house of unconditional love - you shouldn’t need a note from school telling you what name your child goes by.
For those opposed, can a child not express their concern of their parents expected or stated reaction similar to reporting child abuse. For non abusive, but intolerant parents could counsellors not be brought in to help parents work toward understanding and acceptance, rather than eventually finding out under a cloud of deception.
Seems to me there is a compromise that can be found, if love and respect are involved.
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