Feb 12, 2013
commented on Anti-Gay Bigots at High School In Indiana Can't Ban Gay Kids From Prom...
My letter to the administration and for all in the Sullivan community:
You do not know me. I am a 28 year old college student in a relatively small town in Idaho. I have watched the (to me) infamous interview one of your teachers took part in; I have read quite a bit about Diana Medley and the remarks and opinions she shares so readily regarding the LGBT community in general, and students at your school and in your town specifically. While I am heartened that your school and the administration at the school are supporting all students regardless as to their sexual orientation, I am quite disappointed that any school administration would allow this kind of outspoken hatred, bigotry, religion-based fear, ignorance, and judgmental rhetoric from one of their faculty. I do not care that Ms. Medley feels her remarks to be free of hatred, or that she insists she cares deeply about her "gay" students despite her insistence that she finds homosexuality to be offensive, and her admitted lack of understanding regarding their sexual orientation. The fact remains that the remarks and opinions she shares so freely are indeed hateful.
As a student, and someone who works at the college they attend, I must tell you that young individuals are greatly influenced by those who teach in their school. We look up to these teachers, we believe in them, we see them as wise mentors who know most, if not all, the answers. The younger we are, the more we place blind faith in their words. When someone such as this speaks such nasty things about students in her school, as a student, we listen, and we learn to do the same. We follow where these teachers lead, and I feel strongly that this particular teacher is leading toward a path of hatred and fear. This path will not turn out well, and I feel that should these remarks lead where I fear they will, your school may be at risk, morally and perhaps legally. I greatly fear that the more outspoken your teacher, Diana Medley, is towards discrimination against homosexuality (or anything other than heterosexual individuals), the more other students in your school will come to hate, bully, and mistreat any non-heterosexual students. This will no doubt increase incidents of violence and emotional/mental bullying, and possibly encourage hate crimes. I feel strongly that her Christian group that so strongly insists they are not a hate group will encourage hate crimes with their persistent attempts to segregate the LGBT community, and that those crimes will then be explained by minors as, oh no, not a hate crime. Merely a strong feeling that the bible says this is wrong, and therefore their actions are merely a firm but loving way to show LGBT individuals that they are sinful and wrong. After all, my teacher says this isn't hate; she says that we're helping these sinners and loving them while we discriminate against them or segregate them because we don't condone their actions. Or worse, perhaps because the teacher they look up to, Diana Medley, feels that these LGBT individuals have no purpose in life, well, perhaps that means it is okay to commit hate crimes or bully them. That kind of makes them less than human, doesn't it? Rather like putting down a rabid dog?
Studies show that LGBT children, teenagers, and young adults that are not accepted, that are treated badly by authority figures, parents, teachers, etc. have a much higher likelihood to commit suicide, turn to a life of drugs, or contract STDs and AIDS. These are facts. I urge you to look up the studies.
Please, I beg you, do not allow this kind of behavior on the part of your faculty members. They should keep their personal opinions personal, not go on television and give interviews with such views, sharing their opinions on such matters for all their students and parents of students to hear--to learn from.
I hear so often about how badly celebrities act, and how this is encouraging the youth of America today to act out in immoral, irresponsible ways because celebrities are looked up to and seen as role models. People speak of how these celebrities knew going into the fame game that they would be role models, and thus they should comport themselves in a more responsible, moral, and respectful way. Well, I say teachers are more of a role model than any celebrity, and they come into contact with impressionable youth every single day. They are much more likely to make a lasting impression and difference in a young individual. Teachers must be expected to act with respect, responsibility, and discretion. This was not discreet, and it most certainly does not show respect toward the LGBT community. Unfortunately, it also reflects badly on your school.
Please don't allow this to continue. Please do not allow the opinions of one woman to hurt your students, the heterosexual students or the non-heterosexual students.