Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.


October 28, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Philadelphia principal and former high school basketball coach Chris Lehmann reflects on the news that three-time WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes opted to come out of the closet earlier this week. To him, the mere fact that this sort of thing is still news explains why her announcement should be important to educators.

And here's why this belongs on a blog about teaching... I've been the first adult that a student has come out to -- the 'test parent,' if you will. I've seen kids run away from their parents because they were afraid of the ramifications of telling them. And I've seen kids move in with a sympathetic aunt or friend or grandparent because the parents did kick them out. And I've even seen the kids who had the most supportive parents in the world struggle with coming out because they struggled with what it meant to their own sense of self... or the fear of how every friend they had would react.
I've always tried to show the students that have come to me about this the respect and seriousness and care that I felt they needed. I wanted to make sure that the kids knew that I cared about them and loved them and that who they were attracted to... or who they fell in love with... didn't change that. And I wanted them to know that I wanted them to be with someone who cared about them and treated them well... regardless of gender.
And this matters to our kids -- to all of us -- because these athletes are role models. Our kids need see all kinds of people, black, white, Hispanic, Asian... athletes and actors and politicians and writers and teachers and cops... living happy and fulfilling lives, living out of the closet and not ever for a moment being ashamed of who they are or feeling like they have to hide it.

(From Practical Theory.)

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week