Illinois Teacher Suspended Over “Gay Animal’ Article
A teacher in Carlinville, Il was suspended for letting his students read an article about homosexuality in biology. I don't know much about the reasons, but according to the comments it was an in English class on persuasive speech, and how an author's personal bias may affect their work. It was one of a few articles available for students to choose from. According to The Advocate, hundreds of students are rallying around Dan Delong. NBC Affiliate WALB reports that one student's parents had a problem with the subject matter and that Dan will be brought up in front of the school board on Monday night.
The article, which can be read here is about sexuality and gender identity in vertebrates. The researcher, a trans woman, discusses different instances of homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals in various vertibrate species including sheep, giraffes, hyenas, our closest evolutionary relatives the bonobos, and various birds, fish, and mammals.
More after the jump.
Aside from straight out homophobia, there are a few things in the article that I can see parents maybe having a problem with, but those things aren't anything different than kids would learn in Health or Biology class.
Male big horn sheep live in what are often called “homosexual societies.” They bond through genital licking and anal intercourse, which often ends in ejaculation. If a male sheep chooses to not have gay sex, it becomes a social outcast. Ironically, scientists call such straight-laced males “effeminate.”
Giraffes have all-male orgies. So do bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, and West Indian manatees. Japanese macaques, on the other hand, are ardent lesbians; the females enthusiastically mount each other. Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, are similar, except that their lesbian sexual encounters occur every two hours. Male bonobos engage in “penis fencing,” which leads, surprisingly enough, to ejaculation. They also give each other genital massages.
This was an Honors AP English class, 10th grade. Being in the AP program, I can tell you most kids in it are more mature about the subject matter that can come up. With the exception of the term “penis fencing” the article is mostly scientific terms, and talking about sexualities and genders as a positive evolutionary trait instead of an abnormal trait in humans only.
What do you think? Was the subject matter too mature for 10th grade readers, or is it just a homo/transphobic parent being a bigot?