Some recent events at Parkersburg South High School have me very concerned about student safety.
A teacher at the school, apparently posted to social media, some remarks which many have interpreted as mocking an on-campus organization, aimed at improving understanding between so-called “gay and straight” students.
That teacher was suspended for a few days.
In the meantime, groups have come to his defense and to the defense of those students who may have felt they needed such a group in the first place.
My concern is that this is all setting up conditions for a clash or some sort of major incident at the school.
I’m not a student at South. I don’t know what’s going on in the classrooms, or the lunchrooms, or the outside campus.
But my HOPE is that the administration, teachers and the parents are doing what they can to use this as a teaching opportunity…and NOT fanning the flames.
The schools already have enough on their plates, trying to teach a lot of things that many students aren’t learning at home…like respect for authority, study skills, working as a team, even human reproduction.
Everything gets dumped on the schools. Too many parents are too busy doing who-knows-what…including wasting time on social media…to teach their children what they need to know to be successful in life.
Which makes the teacher’s remarks all the more unfortunate.
Where does a person’s freedom of speech end and his or her responsibility to act like an adult and leader, begin?
The teacher at the center of this controversy needs to take responsibility for what was posted and encourage students to put the incident behind them and focus on the most important part of going to school: LEARNING.
And rather than lining up on one side of the issue or the other, the adults need to practice and preach restraint and tolerance rather than confrontation.