Devin Randall's picture

Teacher In Trouble For Asking Pre-Teen Students About Gay Bars and Transsexuals

A Texas middle school teacher is in trouble for asking his students about LGBTQ issues.

A teacher at North Richland Middle School, identity withheld, gave students a 41-question survey as part of a diversity curriculum for Black History Month.

In that survey, sixth grade students were instructed to rate their level of comfort with various scenarios like:

  • A friend invites you to go to a gay bar
  • You go to the gay bar and a person of the same sex asks you to dance
  • Your sister invites her new boyfriend home to dinner. He is a female-to-male transsexual
  • Your dentist is HIV positive.
  • Your assigned lab partner is a Fundamentalist Christian

As you probably imagined, many parents were not happy when they caught wind of this survey.

Speaking to Star-Telegram, parent Ashley Brent shared her frustration at her son being asked these questions.

"This is not something that is school-appropriate," she told the newspaper. “I wasn’t ready for my son to be exposed to these type of things.”

In addition, a spokesperson for Birdville Independent School District shared with Todd Starnes Radio that the survey wasn’t approved of by the school or the district before it was passed out to students.

"We agree the survey was not appropriate and disciplinary action was taken," the spokesperson said.

Of course, this then became an easy target for viewers of the conservative radio show to then bag on liberals and liberal teachers over all.

“Do sixth graders in Texas go to bars,” asked one responder. “Why in the world would a teacher ask 12-year-old children questions about visiting a bar?”

“As a teacher, I am appalled at the garbage that liberal teachers are trying to force on children,” another commented. “Not one of those questions is age appropriate for 12-year-olds.”

“We have become a nation of identity politics. Everything has to be about race or sexual orientation,” said another.

Giving the teacher the benefit of the doubt, he or she was probably trying to teach students that the Civil Rights Movement and Black history taught us to treat others well in today's modern world. 

That said, the teacher’s choice of situations like a dentist with HIV or kids going to a gay bar were just irresponsible.

We're not gonna fight for this battle.

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Sometimes I think parents view their children as always being children. In today's society kids are far more knowledgeable about everything from sex to race to cultures. I think many parents are clueless. Boys are jacking off in 4th, 5th and 6th grade. I remember that clearly and I'm in my late 40s. So I can only imagine how much more sexualized todays kids are. Today a bj isn't even considered sex and often happens in middle school for children. Are some of the questions a bit crass? Maybe. Do the kids know what a bar is? Absolutely. I dont view this as the left pushing their agenda..I view this as the right ignoring the realities of life and trying to "protect" children from something they already know about. Its this age where you need to start teaching acceptance and information on how to act in a civilized society treating all equally.

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I'd like to know more about what the teacher's educational purpose in using this survey was. Schools should not avoid if they can provide an educational rationale for it. But this survey is presented as if it were a one-shot thing; which makes it seems like it had no real educational prupose, which I cannot believe.     .....     Though it does seem like the content is a bit mature for many sixth graders, I'd think other content (such as being pnahandled by a homelss person) represents things that most city kids have experienced.

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It's been more than a few years, so I may be misremembering, but I don't even know if I knew what a bar was - let alone a "gay bar" - when I was in Grade Six. It's entirely possible that I didn't, as I went to Catholic school until I entered Grade 10.

Regardless, this was just plain stupid on the part of this teacher.

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This is almost identical to another story about a year ago. Are you sure this is not a rehashing of an old story? With Right Wing attacks on survivors of a mass shooting, would a crazy story of a teacher asking students in grade 6 about gay bars come from a similar source.  

Devin Randall's picture
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Hi, the story isn't a rehashing as it's recent and has been reported by multiple sources.

That said, I think I know what you're referring to. I reported on a very similar story last November under the frame of Gay site writers needing to read before they report (because sites were including gay people into the story when the original list didn't mention gay people).

In that situation, a British teacher asked seventh graders to rank different minority groups on how comfortable they would be if someone from that group was their neighbor (pregnant teen and black people for instance). After the students filled out the paper, the teacher then gave a big speech about how we should accept people for who they are. A black student felt singled out and her mother complained to the school. 

While these two situations are very similar, the earlier story happened in England around Nov and this one happened recently in Texas, US.

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