10/31/2009

Teacher Suspended Over Scientific Article

We all know that “unnatural sex” is a cornerstone of the bigots argument against allowing LGBT citizens to have their full civil rights. In fact, it’s usually the argument religious leaders put forward when whipping their parishioners into a frenzy and calling for violence and murder. (I’m thinking here of a certain pastor in Phoenix, AZ.)

So, imagine their chagrin when high school students are allowed to read a scientific article that reports natural homosexual behavior and tendencies in over 450 species. You got it, they went ape-shit and started calling for blood. Of course, a terrified school district that puts “getting along” with the ignorant ahead of education immediately sprung into action:

A Southwestern High School English teacher has been suspended after reports he had students in his classes to read an article about homsexuality (sic) in the animal kingdom.

Dan Delong of Carlinville acknowledged his suspension but declined to comment further until he spoke with his union representative.

Delong is said to have allowed students to read the article “The Gay Animal Kingdom” from the June 7, 2006, edition of Seed magazine. Seed magazine is a science and culture publication.

The article by Jonah Lehrer talks about the research of Joan Roughgarden, a biology professor at Stanford University who said she has documented homosexual societies among the more than 450 animal species.

School district secretary Pat Milner said a special School Board meeting has been set for 6 p.m. Monday at the district office in Piasa to discuss personnel/employee discipline.

Superintendent Larry Elsea was unavailable for comment Wednesday and Thursday, as was Macus Albrecht, the union representative for the Illinois Education Association that represents the district’s Southwestern Education Association members. (source)

Mr.. Delong teaches an English class, so you may be wondering why he allowed students to read that article in a scientific journal. The reason is that he was teaching a unit on critical reading and students were reading non-fiction work to assess their point of view and the validity of the writer’s thesis. In short, Mr. Delong was actually asking students: “Do you believe this research?”

Of course, the religious right and their puppets in the school administration don’t see it this way. Never mind the article was about animals and not people – any thought of homosexuality causes their heads to explode.

On Facebook, there is a Facebook group started by his students that already has over 1,000 members.

If you’re disgusted by yet another school board putting religious dogma, fiction and ignorance ahead of educating our children about the real world, please send a COURTEOUS note to Larry Elesa, Superintendent at lelsea@piasabirds.net.

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