One of the most stated terms by teenagers in school, and I'm talking about going back to when I was in school, is the words, "That's gay." Regardless of what anyone says, the term is being meant in a derogatory way and shouldn't be allowed in the classroom. Ok homophobes, don't give me the rant on gays being yada, yada, and that it shouldn't matter at school. Also don't give me the "gay means happy" jive either. When the words obviously have a negative connotation, that pretty much gets rid of the idea of "gay" meaning the Leave It To Beaver references. And finally, don't bring your screwed up moral ideals into the classroom and start whining that things like the Pledge are being challenged, thus continuing the moral decline of public education.
I'll have to admit, getting it out of the classroom is one of the bigger challenges facing teachers. It is simply very ingrained in the lexicon of kids, driven by the parents that refuse to change their language. I'm constantly saying "rephrase" when one of my Intro level students spouts off the "gay" language.
However, it looks like someone at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa has raised the ire of the Bible thumping nut jobs in the ritzy neighborhoods. According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Rebekah Rice was given a referral for using the "that's gay" statement in class. The parents are suing the school district for civil rights violations and discrimination of religious beliefs. The wack job parents also accused the assistant principle of having a "homosexual agenda", which I guess must mean that the AP doesn't follow the standards and simply treats the gay students better. Or maybe it means that the parents of Rebekah Rice need to take up quilting or ping-pong or some other diversionary hobby to keep their minds off of taking money and time away from school districts.
By the way, did I mention that the parents are suing now, and that this event occurred in 2002?