A Michigan teen claims that her school refused to allow her to talk about her same-sex parents for a class speech assignment.
According to the teen, because her teacher claims that it could offend someone.
Read on for the whole story.
Michigan Teacher Allegedly Refuses to Allow Teen to Write About Same-Sex Marriage
When Destiney McDermitt’s teacher asked the class to write a speech (and deliver it) about a topic that’s worth taking a stand for, the 17-year-old teen chose a topic near and dear to her heart- gay marriage.
“The reason why I chose gay marriage is because I have two moms [who] I love. It was supposed to be a topic that I feel strongly for and it was personal in my life so I thought it would be perfect to do,” McDermitt told Yahoo Lifestyle.
Unfortunately, her teacher (who remains nameless in the media for now) rejected her topic on the grounds that it could offend others in the class.
So, McDermitt did what any rational person would do- she asked for permission to take a vote to find out if her classmates truly would be uncomfortable with the topic.
Her request was denied. As McDermitt told Yahoo, her teacher replied, “‘No I don’t want to hear about it, read, or see that and I’m the one that has to grade it.”
In other words, it seems that McDermitt’s topic was rejected because it made the teacher uncomfortable, not because it could offend other students.
Needless to say, McDermitt’s moms – Angela McDermitt-Jackson and Chris Jackson – are not pleased.
As the former told Yahoo Lifestyle, “My daughter should have been allowed to write that paper…I was very upset. I was hurt for her, I was hurt for me and for anybody else like myself.”
School claims McDermitt was thinking “too big”
So, how did the school respond to the allegations? According to the NY Post, the district did not immediately respond to their request for a comment.
However, Linden Moore- the Montrose Community Schools Superintendent – claims that Destiny’s topic wasn’t the only one that got rejected.
Apparently, another student wanted to write about animal cruelty but had her topic rejected as well.
Moore told MLive.com, “The teacher was thinking smaller and the kids were thinking bigger.”
However, Yahoo Lifestyle shared a photo of the original assignment that contradicts Moore.
The idea for the essay came from the life of John Proctor and Arthur Miller, two men who “risked their lives when they took a stand against abusive authorities.”
It goes on to explain how their stands paid off. Arthur Miller helped inspire people to stand up to the McCarthy hearings, while Proctor helped end the murder of innocents during the Salem Witch Trials.
The assignment instructs students to “think about what concerns you in your community, your state, your country, or the world. Choose an issue about which you feel strongly and take a stand for our against it.”
At the end, the teacher did note that some topics were banned. These included:
- Anything already written or presented in another class (example given- climate change or drug use)
- Anything that is awkward or inappropriate for a school audience (abortion was the only example).
Even if Moore’s statement was backed up by the assignment, I can’t think of a topic much “smaller” than one that doesn’t just hit close to home, but that IS part of your home.
Perhaps she should just tell them, “Write about a topic that you’d stand up for, but only if it’s something I agree with.”
LGBTQ couples fought long and hard for the right to marry. Now, they have to fight for their kids to even be allowed to talk about their union? It’s disturbing, to say the least.