You Can’t be a Role Model if You’re Unhappy… and Mr. Carver Was Both

Photo Credit: @WillieETCarver

In some establishments, it’s still very difficult to be out, proud AND respected.

Perhaps no one knows this better than a former Teacher of the Year Award winning high school teacher named Willie Carver Jr. in Montgomery, Kentucky. Willie was open about his sexuality in all aspects of his life but was forced into the closet at work after threatening comments were made by school administration. Fearful for his job, he stopped talking about being gay until several changes happened in administration and old members of the board were replaced. 

Despite being out at work, school administration failed to make Carver and other students in his district feel safe from homophobia. All books by queer authors were banned at the school, queer students were never defended from homophobic bullies by higher ups in the department and both parties were harassed and called groomers on a weekly basis by uneducated students and parents who equate being a member of the LGBT to pedophilia. 

After 12 years teaching English in Montgomery, Kentucky, Willie Carver Jr. put in his notice. 

He tells NBC News

I have put up with these problems over the years because the benefits outweighed the cons. But I’ve now reached a stage where I’m starting to see that the toll on mental health is going to be such that my students are not going to be seeing a successful LGBTQ person in front of them. They’re seeing someone who is stressed out and unhappy.

The reason Carver dealt with the harassment for so long? In such a rural town with not a lot of queer representation, he wanted to remain a source of support for the sporadic gay students that came through his classroom doors, and he wanted to serve as an example that life can get better as long as you fight for it. 

Currently, Carver has accepted an administrative role at the University of Kentucky where he will work in student support services this coming Fall. 

The superintendent of Montgomery County Schools, Matthew Thompson, has yet to address the controversy and his lack of involvement in solving this problem before it made the news.


Source: NBC News 

1 thought on “You Can’t be a Role Model if You’re Unhappy… and Mr. Carver Was Both”

  1. My nephew has a gay teacher who won “teacher of the year” award in cali and he’s the students favorite teacher. Nice to see gay people making a positive impact on students.

    Reply

Leave a Comment