Just when I thought America's school administrators were turning a new leaf, along came Edwin Yoder, principal of Woodlan Junior-Senior High School.
After 10th grader Megan Chase wrote a column calling on people not to look down on gays, Yoder came down on her.
According to Kelly Soderlund's account in The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind., Yoder read the piece and immediately issued an order to journalism teacher Amy Sorrell that he sign off on every future edition. Obviously, columns advocating tolerance have no place in HIS school's paper.
The staff of the Tomahawk, showing just the kind of gumption we love to see among high school journalists, sought out legal help to fight this jerk.
So Yoder issued a written warning against the teacher for “insubordination and not carrying out her responsibilities.”
He accused her of exposing his students “to inappropriate material” and warned her to comply or she could be fired, according to the newspaper’s account.
It must have been something heinous for Yoder to take such an extreme stand, right?
Well…. Here is the opinion column that put a teacher's job in jeopardy:We live in a world where we grow up being taught that it is only acceptable for a boy and a girl to be together. So how do you think you would feel if as you grew older and more mature you started noticing people of the same sex as you, rather than the opposite? I can only imagine how hard it would be to come out as homosexual in today's society. I think it is so wrong to look down on those people, or to make fun of them, just because they have a different sexuality than you. There is nothing wrong with them or their brain; they're just different than you. I've heard some people say that they think there is a cure to being homosexual. I can't believe anyone would think that. It's not a disease, or something that you catch from someone else; it's something that they don't have control over. In saying that, I also believe that homosexuality is not a choice. Almost everyone that I talk to says that a person chooses to be gay or straight. That, again, is something that I believe to be very wrong. If people made the choice to be homosexual, there wouldn't be anyone who committed suicide because they were too afraid of what people would think of them, and kids wouldn't be afraid of being disowned if they came out to their parents.There is also the religious aspect to the argument, where people say that if someone is homosexual, they are automatically sent to hell. To me, that seems extremely unfair. So what are homosexual Christians supposed to do? The answer that I constantly get to that question is, ''Just don't acknowledge that they're homosexual and live a 'normal' life.'' Excuse me? So they're just supposed to never find a partner, or marry someone of the opposite sex, have kids, and pretend they're ''normal?'' I don't think that's right, or fair. I wouldn't want to believe in something that would condemn me over something that I didn't even choose.It is fact that as many as 7.2 million Americans under the age of 20 are homosexual, and of those that have already come out, 28% of them felt compelled to drop out of school due to the constant verbal assault that they experienced after people found out. Now, if you think that is terrible, this is even worse: According to pflagupstatesc.org, every day 13 Americans from the ages of 15-24 commit suicide, and homosexual youths make up 30% of the completed suicides. I don't understand why we would put so much pressure on those people, that they would feel that they have to end their lives because of their sexuality. Would it be so hard to just accept them as human beings who have feelings just like everyone else? Being homosexual doesn't make a person inhuman, it makes them just a little bit different than the rest of the world. And for living in a society that tells you to always be yourself, it's a hard price to pay.
Sorell told the Fort Wayne paper she ''didn't think anybody would be upset about it'' at all, because, of course, there was no reason anyone should be upset.
This has all become an amazing example of how out-of-control principals can clamp down on freedom.
Sorell and the paper deserve the support of every freedom-loving American.
And Yoder, well, he just earned a place in our hallowed Halls of Shame. Congratulations!
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Labels: censorship, First Amendment, Fort Wayne, high school journalism, journalism, scholastic journalism, teen journalism, teens