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Huntsville City Schools: When Teachers Verbally Abuse Students, "It's Not Bullying"

by: countrycat

Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 14:00:00 PM CDT

An attorney for the Huntsville City Schools had this to say about a bullying incident at Grissom High School earlier this year:  "While you and I may agree that preaching at school that homosexuality is sinful and against the Bible, is not appropriate, this is not bullying."  Really.  How about when it's a teacher berating a student on the topic to the point that she leaves the room in tears?  GLBTAYS

Not bullying, you say?  Perhaps the HCS would be more comfortable with these words:  harassment, abuse of power, bigotry.... take your pick.  It's still wrong for anyone to carry on this way.  But when it's a teacher berating a young woman in front of her classmate, well.... how exactly can anyone defend this story of behavior?

View the entire letter here.

James Robinson, founder and director of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services tried for months to resolve this issue amicably.  When he and the student's family finally sought legal help, the Freedom From Religion Foundation stepped in.  Unfortunately, the school system treats that avenue with the same lack of responsiveness and concern they've displayed since the original complaint was made to the school principal.

Robinson has had far more patience with the bureaucracy that I would have shown under the circumstances:

"We have never asked for specific actions to be taken against this instructor except for those outlined in Army JROTC and school system policies. There are however, many legal implications that come into play because of what was done by this authority figure. It is our responsibility as advocates working for a safe and healthy community for everyone to do all we are able to do to guarantee our kids are not harassed and/or bullied. All children have the right to a safe and appropriate public education."

Next stop: the US Department of Education.

Learn more about the GLBTAYS organization.


countrycat :: Huntsville City Schools: When Teachers Verbally Abuse Students, "It's Not Bullying"
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Sad Behavior (4.00 / 2)
Adults should know better. I heard such from the pulpit. I thought it was angry and hateful.  Thinking about joining a Druid Grove.

WOW, another sign of the times (4.00 / 2)
It has become a climate where people feel it is OK to degrade an individual to the point of emotional breakdown for being "different" to the heteronormative world view.  I am not shocked at all because it seems this is becoming more common in socially conservative areas when it comes to LGBTs.  

"Hypocrites are those whom pick and choose prejudices while giving accolades for their own..."

"It is what it is."  


I was surprised (4.00 / 3)

because our Young Cone attended high school in Madison County (not the city schools) and this type of behavior was totally NOT TOLERATED at her high school.

In one class, a girl passed a note about another girl she had a crush on.  The teacher intercepted it and the next day, the girl was called to the principal's office.

When the Young Cone was telling me this story, at this point, it was all ready to Throw. A. Fit.

But no...

The principal just wanted to make sure the girl knew that spreading that sort of information could cause her trouble.  Not so much with other students because the school "wouldn't tolerate" that sort of behavior, but that someone might tell her parents or church members and things could go badly for her.

BUT, the principal emphasized, "this school is a safe place and we will not tolerate any ugly behavior."  He told her that if anyone said anything or tried to bully her, she should feel free to come straight to him.

I couldn't believe how well the school officials handled the situation.  At no point did they make the young woman feel "bad" or "different" or quote the Bible.  their only concern was making sure that she felt safe in her school and  knew that the administration would support her.

SUCH a big difference between Madison County and Huntsville City schools.


"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
Another thing is this (4.00 / 3)
You would think Huntsville City Schools, an urban school district, would be more open than Madison County, a suburban school district.  I'm sorry, but something is not clean in the water in that city because that is weird.

"Hypocrites are those whom pick and choose prejudices while giving accolades for their own..."

"It is what it is."  


[ Parent ]
There is a strange relationship between the military and the schools (4.00 / 3)
with regard to these JROTC programs. There is a divided responsibility and it frequently gets mucked up.  The "instructors" are often right-wing militaristic types, who do not hesitate to inflict their views on students. In Atmore, the Navy has shut down its NJROTC program, which was totally dysfunctional and useless.

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy



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