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"Silence is the space into which God has been born. Drink it." - Rumi, a 13th century Persian mystic. Not a Christian. Not known to be gay, though his best friend was a guy. Just a poet, whose books sell more copies in contemporary Iran than the Koran.

Hipteacher has tapped into the importance of silence, and how we can learn from it. Seems she's also opened a can of worms.

Call me an idealist, but can't we all- the Coach Browns and the Sandy's of the world, especially- get past the hate and stick to those lessons we learned in kindergarden: 1. Be kind 2. Treat everyone with respect 3. Share your cookies?



How true are your thoughts on silence. Perhaps you came across my two previous comments. I want it to be clear that I believe hipteacher's efforts were valiant. Students of all race, religion, and sexual persuasion are looking for acceptance. At the heart of all humanity is precisely that basic need.
I suppose my disagreement with hipteacher rests in the question of whether hipteacher would stand beside Miguel if he felt silenced for religious reasons or any other social injustice. If we as teachers are willing to do that, then by all means we should. I liken it to a much less volatile subject matter. If I attend the Softball game this afternoon that one of my students is participating in, but I fail to attend a track meet all season that has another of my student participating in it, then I have created a perceived bias. I could just be that track meets are on a day I have previous engagements, but the student does not see that.



I understand your points (and some of the others), but I do disagree based on a few things in my own experience as a teacher.

First, at my public school (which happens to be in the same state as hipteacher's, I believe), we do have clubs that support Christianity and that are sponsored by faculty members--clubs like FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), for example, which is actually one of our largest and most popular clubs. There are other smaller clubs that also focus on Christian beliefs and fellowship and all are sponsored by faculty members. I wonder how supportive, though, our community and administration would be of a club that espoused less mainstream, more controversial religious views (for example, I have a hard time believing Young Wiccans would make the club list). While we do have the club GSBA (gay-straight-bi-alliance), its membership is small and the group chose not to be pictured in our annual this year for fear of reprisals from their peers, which indicates to me that those students may need our support through small, but significant gestures such as hipteacher's. On the other hand, I've never known a student in our school to express fear of being affiliated with FCA nor has the group ever declined to be featured prominently in our yearbook. Its members are generally quite proud of their club and speak of it openly and often.

Secondly, we as teachers cannot support every single thing our students might possibly subscribe to or be a part of. We're human. We have preferences. I'm more likely to attend the school play than a soccer game--I'm an English teacher. I don't honestly think most students believe that our support of some ideologies, any more than our support of some activities, is necessarily a condemnation of others. Hipteacher's participation emphasized tolerance, and tolerance for all is what I think we're after here, and what we're trying to teach our students--at least, I hope so.


I might have more to say about this later because I've thought a lot about the above comments.

But for now--Miguel isn't gay. He's just really kind and into social justice. And he's an active, vocal Christian. Funny how that works sometimes.

AJ Hoge

Putting aside the gay issue (I support you on that), what I find most interesting is the fact that the students managed themselves quite well without you speaking to them.

Public schools are filled with control freak teachers and administrators... yet look what happened when you surrendered much of your power to the students-- they responded!

The experiment was worth it for that outcome, if nothing else.

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