Teachers Should Not Be Responsible for Social Issues

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

In the Feb. 22, 2012, issue there was a Commentary titled "Dignity for All." The author, Peter DeWitt discussed an issue that students are experiencing in grades K-12. He says that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, students are being ostracized in schools and he accuses educators of allowing it to happen.

He says: "What if we could do things differently? What if we could have an impact on these students? What if we found ways to engage them through curriculum or after-school activities, or helped them feel welcome in our schools by providing a safe space?"

My question for Mr. DeWitt is this: How are these goals any different from the goals that we as educators should already have for all our students? Why should curriculum look any different because of someone's sexual orientation? Perhaps we are asking too much of educators. I don't believe that it is really the teacher's job to solve the social issues of each individual student.

I recognize the struggles that LGBT students are facing within their peer groups, but if we put the responsibility on the teachers to fix these problems, where does it end? Hasn't the goal for teachers always been to create a safe and comfortable environment for all their students? Therefore, his final comment that "the mission of the public school system is to educate all students, and that must include LGBT students" should be apparent.

Kelsie Skogstad
Salem, Ore.
The writer is pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching degree at Willamette University, in Salem, Ore.

Vol. 31, Issue 27, Page 23

Published in Print: April 4, 2012, as Teachers Should Not Be Responsible for Social Issues
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories