Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pictures of Lily


A substitute teacher in New Jersey has been allowed to return to teaching after sex reassignment surgery. I have no idea if this is a good idea or not, there's not enough in the referenced story to make an informed decision. But it occurs to me that this a good opportunity to discuss two things and how they might intersect. The first is compassion. In this life there are a lot of unanswered questions, but one question most of us never ask ourselves is "Why was I born a man/woman?" Presumably Ms Mcbeth is decent person deserving of respect and consideration. But can you imagine what makes a person change their sex after 70 years? Clearly this is a tortured soul who deserves our compassion, not ridicule. Compassion and kindness are excellent qualities to instill in children, but that leads us to my second thought, what if any "danger" is presented in a classroom by Ms McBeth? Being a substitute teacher is tough gig in the best of conditions, as parents and educators can we be certain that this is the best decision? You want your kids to be around all types of people, to see and learn what the world is about, but you want to do this in manner that's safe and respectful. Is this a good opportunity or a bad decision?
When I was in high school I had an earth science teacher who was gay, after I graduated he was brutally murdered by a gay basher. Mr Beauchain is the last person on the planet who deserved such a fate. Patient to a fault, gentle and enthusiastic, an excellent teacher by any standard. I didn't "know" he was gay, in 1983 in a Catholic high school one didn't discuss such things, but I knew he was different. It didn't matter.
It would be nice to imagine a world where that whole content of their character thing was the major criterion, but some actions are so extreme they call into question basic questions of sanity. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that anyone who feels they need a sex change is at very least unstable, which is not to say dangerous, but is it a good idea to introduce that level of drama into a K-6 school?

4 comments:

Jane said...

No, and not into a high school either. I want to know why a 70 year old "woman" who can afford a sex-change is still working!

Dexter said...

To pay for it?

CultMan said...

You went outta you're way on this one, no need to fret, ... she/he should not be in the classroom.....

dolittle said...

You begin by talking about compassion but then question what "danger" she poses in the classroom and go on to define her as "unstable". I believe you contradict yourself. Couldn't help but notice the cross around her neck - sure all the good Catholics would support her, ha ha!!!

dolittle