Monday, October 17, 2005

Don't Ask Don't Tell

I read an article called "Student Expelled For Being Gay Takes Case To Supreme Court" that came out last week. It's about a case in Florida where a student attending a Christian high school was asked by the chaplain if he was gay. The student, Jeffrey Woodard, was pulled out of Bible class and was directly asked the question (in confidence) if he was gay. Jeffrey answered, "yes". A school official called his mother and told her that Jeffrey could not attend the upcoming school retreat until they met with the school to talk about his "sexual orientation".

[ **Remember the craziness last month about the student being expelled because, not she, but her parents were lesbian? ** ]

I understand that the school had a policy and everything but I couldn't help but think that the school administrators were worried about Jeffrey being around other students at this overnight retreat. Is Jeffrey somehow dangerous around other teenage boys his age because he's gay? I know the article doesn't mention this, and perhaps i'm reading "into" it, but i noted after reading the article that they weren't so much concerned, at first, about his enrollment at the school than they were about him attending this retreat. It seemed like they'd allow him to stay enrolled if he went through "therapy". When Jeffrey's mother defended her son and said that she didn't think he needed therapy, the school expelled Jeffrey.

Here's another thing i noted.... The school chaplain put Jeffrey on the spot and directly asked him the question. It wasn't as if Jeffrey sought the chaplain's ear to volunteer this information. I don't know how comfortable Jeffrey is or was about his sexuality but I do know that when I was in high school i was extremely uncomfortable about people knowing. I can only imagine how I would feel being directly asked the question during a time when I was trying so hard to look "straight". That's the kind of fear that drove me to isolation, depression, and attempted suicide back in 9th grade.

What ever happened to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? Yeah, i know - high school isn't the Navy.

1 comment:

The Rainbow Zebra said...

Good for the mom for sticking up for her son. He's probably MUCH better off not being in that kind of environment.