By: Kyle Palmer and Matt Hodapp
Another news story impacting education led much of the national news discussion this week: the Trump Administration’s move to rescind Obama-era guidelines that said schools should allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identities.
Though schools remain free to enforce bathroom policies of their choosing, all three of our teachers disagreed with the move, saying it had the potential to make students feel less safe.
“Irrespective of what they might be feeling internally, whatever they express externally: it shouldn’t matter. They’re here [at school] for an education,” says Mariam, who says she recently had a student approach her privately about possibly having gender reassignment surgery. She says that student was not comfortable talking with friends about that issue.
Also, a deadly shooting in Olathe, Kansas, near where No Wrong Answers is taped in Kansas City, Missouri, made national news. Witnesses to the shooting say it was racially motivated: a white man allegedly yelling racial slurs before opening fire on two Indian men, killing one.
LuAnn teaches in a public school near where that occurred and says students and faculty were shocked it could happen there. Greg teaches across state line and says the news still impacted his students, who are mostly Latino. “They could draw a pretty clear line [from the shooting to other news events, like graves being knocked over at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.”
Mariam, who is Muslim and wears the hijab, says her students of color often come to her “because I share their brown skin. They say Ms. Din, you look like us, you know what we’re going through.”
On a lighter note, we ended by talking about the best (and worst) movies about teachers and school. Inspired in part by the new movies “Fistfight” and the Oscars (which aired after we taped.) The group’s consensus: as inspiring a movie as “Dead Poets’ Society” is, Mr. Keating was a pretty bad teacher. No lesson planning? C’mon.
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