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Wed Apr 20, 2022, 06:44 PM

Teachers unions prepare to fight anti-LGBTQ legislation [View all]

The teaching profession faces numerous challenges, teachers union leaders say, including how to address the mental health needs of students after more than two years of a pandemic and teacher shortages that the pandemic has made worse. In addition, the leaders say, they're now being forced to deal with another problem: a wave of state laws regulating what teachers can and can't say in the classroom about the experiences of LGBTQ people and Black, Indigenous, and people of color, abbreviated as BIPOC.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law on March 28 a bill that says public school classroom instruction on gender and sexual orientation is completely off limits from kindergarten through the third grade, prompting LGBTQ educators and advocates to question whether teachers and students are free to even acknowledge the existence of their relationships or their family members'. Students beyond the third-grade level can only receive lessons about these subjects that are "age appropriate or developmentally appropriate," but educators say the language is so vague that it will have a chilling effect on teachers' speech.

Clinton McCracken, an art teacher at the Howard Middle School Academy of Arts in Orlando, Florida, is running for president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association partly because he wants to fight against anti-LGBTQ efforts in his state. McCracken, who is gay, said that although his school has supported him, teachers at less supportive schools may be afraid to talk about LGBTQ figures that are relevant to their classes.

"I could be standing in front of my classroom and talking about Andy Warhol or Keith Haring, and it would be a great detriment to my students' learning and art if they didn't understand that those artists were gay, and that identity for them completely impacted the artwork that they created," McCracken said. "There are lots of subjects where that could be the case, and you might have a teacher who's not in my school or not in my district who edits their thoughts and what they're saying, which then is detrimental to the student's education. I know that's DeSantis' goal."


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Reply Teachers unions prepare to fight anti-LGBTQ legislation [View all]
AZProgressive Apr 2022 OP
Solly Mack Apr 2022 #1
GoldandSilver Apr 2022 #2
dsc Apr 2022 #3
GoldandSilver Apr 2022 #4
IngridsLittleAngel Apr 2022 #6
nuxvomica Apr 2022 #7
Delmette2.0 Apr 2022 #5