The Manitoba Teachers' Society wants the Department of Education to "ensure that same-sex families and LBGTTQ (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, two-spirited, queer) people and themes are reflected in all curricula."
Here's what our readers had to say about that:
I'll make you a deal, MTS. You teach my kids how to read and write, I'll take care of the responsibility to teach them to be good citizens. Who decided that school teachers were somehow better equipped than parents to facilitate moral development?
-- No Quarter
While I support the spirit and intent of what MTS is trying to do here, I actually worry that by advocating the adoption of such sweeping reforms, they may do more harm than good by fueling a backlash against the very progress they're trying to bring forward.
"The union leadership representing Manitoba's 15,000 public school teachers wants ALL provincial education curricula to reflect sexual orientation and gender-identity issues."
What does it mean exactly when they say all curricula? How do you even do this? When did math, history, physics, chemistry, geography, English, second language skills, music, etc. have sexual components introduced into the curricula?
Seriously! How does this go... if Johnny had seven condoms and gave two condoms to Jane, how many minutes would Jane's lesbian partner have to drive at 60 k/ph to catch up to the train?
The MTS executive does not represent all teachers in this matter. It is something they are bringing forth at the AGM because Olson is a big backer on gay rights and it is his agenda -- not the list of items that teachers want addressed at this time! Paul wants it done as his legacy before his presidency is done!
To those crying that this is part of some overall agenda to make people gay, I ask: Why should schools ignore anything that occurs in the world? Why not talk about it? Do you really think fear and ignorance is a way to approach anything? Why do you think talking about it will make more people gay who wouldn't have otherwise been? Perhaps this will help people realize that they are not gay, so don't jump to conclusions it makes you look really closed minded.
I work at a school, and I can tell you that over 50% of the notices on the wall are for "gay-positive" initiatives. And there needs to be more support/pressure that way??
And I've seen how core curriculum material gets garbled and made even more difficult for students to understand, by grafting on all sorts of 'social justice' side issues. Math, science, language arts, get more complicated when you mix in social engineering.
This is not a big deal. This means we don't pretend that there weren't gay couples in Rome when covering the Grade 8 Social Studies curriculum. Or that books featuring GBLT families are included into the ELA curricula. This isn't a course on sexuality. It isn't going to be at the expense of any other basic learning.
It is vital that if we are teaching students to be respectful and tolerant that we mean everybody -- not just the people that certain groups approve of.
Calm down. I'll be voting for this at the AGM in May.
I remember when I was in Jr High that my friend Lisa had two moms. They totally made it into part of our learning because we were all at that kind of age where we were like, what the heck, so her two moms came in and were like "Hi, we're lesbians, we adopted Lisa and we love her as much as your moms and dads love you." I didn't turn gay from being exposed to lesbians -- even having a friend that had two moms. OH THE HORRORS.
Guess what? No one in that class turned out to be gay and eventually no one was mean to Lisa anymore because we TALKED about things.