Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Education has an obligation to be more inclusive and truly take the high road

Educators have one of (if not the most important) the most important jobs in the world, and that is to prepare people for the future. Educators come in many forms, places, and educate in many different ways, but what they all have in common is that they can have a far-reaching impact with students’ lives depending on how the student perceives them.


A lot of the social “issues” we are seeing in the media are not new (e.g. marriage equality, transgender, race, etc), I call them issues simply because society still is discombobulated about these things. However, once the proverbial “cat is out of the bag”, it always a matter of time before these things become accepted, so it is often silly to fight them. As educators, it is my thought that we should be leading the way of tolerance and acceptance of social issues because we are people who can have a profound effect on future generations. Forget religion and personal beliefs for a moment, because our jobs cross all boundaries.


When I see stories like the one I am about to share, I get sad a little ticked off because they are educators!


“Not the First Exemption”

“Many advocates for gay and transgender students were surprised and angered when they learned that U.S. Education Department had granted George Fox University an exemption from parts of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The exemption will permit George Fox to deny a transgender student the right to live in male student housing. George Fox said, and the Education Department accepted, that its Quaker religious beliefs would be violated by being forced to let the transgender student live in a way that affirms his gender identity.”

“This is not the first time George Fox has sought and received exemptions from Title IX. And the previous exemption (no longer in place) suggests that policies that the university once said were based on Scripture and could not be changed could in fact be changed.”

“In 1985, the Education Department said that because of its religious views, George Fox could -- in what would otherwise have been a violation of Title IX -- decline to enroll or hire divorced individuals or the parents of out-of-wedlock children. Details are not available on Education Department deliberations in the case, but it apparently took years for the department to make a decision; George Fox requested the exemption in 1976.”

Students are watching us, they are watching how we act, how we behave, and they are learning from us. Hatred, bigotry, and intolerance are not innate, they are learned; educators you have a profound effect.
What are we teaching our students by our actions?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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