CommunityPam's House Blend

Fundie teachers will put up 'safe space' poster

I received a lot of emails about this story — before the five bible-beating teachers, who were hiding behind “faith” as an excuse to discriminate, relented and agreed to put up the above poster in their classrooms.

This shouldn’t even be an issue; we’re talking about a public school, for god’s sake. And the sick thing is that these people are charged with educating young people. The only message in the above poster is that the teacher is committed to making his or her classroom a place where students know they will not have to tolerate slurs and violence. What religious principle did that violate? The intellectual dishonesty of these people is breathtaking. (

Several teachers who earlier this week refused to abide by a diversity directive from the San Leandro Unified School District have begun complying with the order. The policy requires teachers to hang posters in their classrooms promoting LGBT diversity and proclaiming the space is “a safe place”.

Earlier this week five teachers at San Leandro High School informed Principal Amy Furtado that they would not display the posters because they violate their religious beliefs. Following a meeting Wednesday with the teachers Furtado said that most of the group had agreed to hang the posters. The others have a week to comply, although Furtado did not say what would happen if they did not.

As with most of the spineless bigots you read about on the Blend, the five teachers were so committed to defending their belief system that they were “unavailable for comment” when they initially declared they wouldn’t hang up the posters.

Last time I looked, ensuring the safety of students and keeping an orderly classroom is an expectation parents have, and certainly it’s not a f*cking political statement. Shakes Sis accurately points out:

Lots of things in public schools violate someone’s religious beliefs. But, much like pharmacists who choose a profession in which they may be required to dispense medications they may personally not like, professional public school educators must respect that many of their students’ personal beliefs and traits will be different from their own. That’s why Pentecostal public school educators can’t require their female students to not cut their hair and wear only ankle-length skirts, and Jewish public school educators can’t demand that their male students all wear yarmulkes, and atheist public school educators can’t forbid crucifixes and yarmulkes and hajibs. It simply isn’t the job of public school educators to dictate their own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) to their students.

And, as an aside, even if homosexuality does violate one’s religious beliefs, respect for and protection of homosexuals does not.

The real point of the fundies making moves like these is that they want to keep pushing the envelope with this crap to see if anyone will push back. They’ll lose some, as in this case, but they are mounting a hell of a lot of wins.

Hat tip, Catherine at PovertyBarn.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding