- Posted February 20, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
School Teacher Who Butted Into Prom Controversy on Administrative Leave
I reported on February 11th that there was a Cornfield Uproar: Gays at the Prom! The uproar came about following a petition to allow same-gender couples to attend the Sullivan High School prom in the spring. School administrators noted there was no rule or policy to prevent any students, no matter sexuality, to attend the prom. A group of parents then decided to have their own prom that specifically excluded same-gender or gay couples.
This all led to many letters to the editor of the local Sullivan Daily Times and a report on local television station, WTWO, an NBC affiliate. It is the television interview with a special needs teacher from another county high school, but a different school district, that has now made the story national and even international.
The school teacher, Diana Medley, said in the interview that gays and lesbians "have no purpose in life". It is that remark which led to a petition on Change.org calling for her removal. Bloggers, religious leaders and GLBT activists have all now joined in the story and decrying Medley's comment.
As of today, Medley has been placed on administrative leave by the Northeast Sullivan School Corporation as a safety precaution. There have been threatening emails sent to her over the comment. Police officers have been assigned to patrol the school hallways.
From my family, I have learned that some of the students and parents planning to take part in the "traditional" or "Christian" prom have also received threats including death threats. My sister has a son who is a senior at Sullivan High School. For generations our family has attended Sullivan High School, which is part of the Southwest Sullivan School Corporation as well as North Central High School in the Northeast Sullivan School Corporation, which employs Medley.
I do not agree and strongly condemn the threats being made on Medley, the parents and the students. Threats accomplish nothing, but to continue to keep us divided and intolerant of one another. While I disagree with the "traditional" prom mainly because of the hypocrisy of choosing one "Christian value" while ignoring other "Christian values", those parents and students have the right to hold their views and conduct their prom, but not on school property. Nor do those parents and students who want the "Christian" prom have a right to deny same-gender couples the ability to attend the official school-sanctioned prom.
The rhetoric needs to be ratcheted down. The threats need to stop.
If we wish to be accepted and to be tolerated, we must accept and be tolerant of others. We do not score any points nor make any progress when we act in this manner.
From the Cornfield, equality is a fundamental belief in this nation and should be embraced. Hate and hate speech only leads to more hate and more hate speech.