According to this article, a high school art teacher is facing sanctions from his school district for “recommending that some of his advanced students consider taking figure drawing courses that included nude figure drawings.” The article lists some other circumstances that may have played a role in the district’s decision to pursue this course of action against the teacher.
This reminds me of an incident that happened when I was in high school. One of the women’s coaches, Coach Mac, was my health teacher. I thought she was an awesome teacher. About halfway through the year, she was charged with having used inappropriate language in class. Turns out, the charges were based on a lesson she taught my class. I don’t remember the point of the lesson, but it was some lesson in development that involved Little Johnny ‘learning the word Firetruck without the middle,’ meaning the word ‘Fuck’. She never actually said the F word in class.
But Coach Mac was brought before the school board for this alleged infraction. I attended the board meeting as a show of support for her. Soon afterwards, she left the district, and I frankly no longer recall whether she was fired or just gave up and left of her own accord. The result was the same for me: the loss of a teacher from whom I learned a lot.
Only later did I discover that Coach Mac’s supposed language in class was just a front for the real issue: she was a lesbian and a girls’ coach. But this issue was never uttered at the school board meeting. To this day, I have no idea if sexual impropriety was suspected or accused, or whether it just rubbed some parents the wrong way to think that a lesbian had access to the the girls’ dressing room. Either way, the whole process was a sham undertaken by a community that must have known enough that its bigotry was inappropriate to pick a cover issue for their witch hunt.
In reading this story, you have to take the time and place into consideration. This was a mostly rural school in the 1980s. Personally, I did not know any homosexuals (that I knew of), I thought the Village People were just a gimmicky group, and non-heterosexual lifestyles were not an issue that I’d even given much thought to. The only reason I know that the lesbian charges were real was that sometime after she left, Coach Mac dropped back by the school with her girlfriend. That visit must have been her parting ‘fuck you’ to the community, so to speak.
Reading the linked article, however, it looks like things haven’t changed a whole lot.

Categories: Intellectual