Destiny McDermitt Montrose Michigan, Hill-McCloy High School student forbidden to write about same sex marriage by school teacher cause it could offend.
Disconcert has come to the fore after revelations of a Michigan high school teacher forbidding a student writing about her two mothers and same-sex marriage, because it might offend someone, according to a report.
Destiny McDermitt, a junior at Hill-McCloy High School in Montrose, wanted to write about the 2015 marriage of her mothers, Angela McDermitt-Jackson and Chris Jackson, only to be told earlier this month that the topic wasn’t appropriate for the ‘Take a Stand Speech’ assignment, the teen told MLive.com.
‘For every generation in every country, every day, there are issues upon which an individual can take a stand,’ the assignment read. ‘This assignment asks you to think about what concerns you in your community, your state, your country or the world.’
Students were also tasked to write about an issue they felt strongly about and to ‘take a stand for or against it’.
But the teacher, who was not identified by Montrose Community Schools, told Destiny the topic was off limits, prompting the 17-year-old junior to ask the educator if she could check with her classmates on whether same-sex marriage offended them.
That request was also denied, prompting Destiny to write a letter to district administrators. She was later transferred to a different class.
‘[It] offended me because I have two moms [who] are married and I really thought it was inappropriate,’ the teen wrote in her complaint.
The only topics explicitly ‘banned’ in the assignment description were topics written about in another class or ‘anything that is awkward or inappropriate for a school audience.’ Abortion (do you suppose…?), for instance, was listed as an ‘inappropriate’ topic.
Education system thinking smaller, students thinking bigger:
Responding to media overture for comment, Montrose Community Schools Superintendent Linden Moore said Destiny’s idea was not the only rejected topic for the Feb. 7 assignment.
The un-named teacher according to Moore also refused letting another student write about animal cruelty for the assignment. The unidentified educator needs to be clearer with the assignment moving forward, Moore reiterated.
‘The teacher was thinking smaller and the kids were thinking bigger,’ he told MLive.com.
School policy section 2240 titled “Controversial Issues” states the Montrose Board of Education believes that the consideration of controversial issues have a legitimate place in the instruction in schools.
‘Properly introduced and conducted, the consideration of such issues can help students learn to identify important issues, explore fully and fairly all sides of an issue, weigh carefully the values and factors involved and develop techniques for formulating and evaluating positions,’ the policy reads.
Several students wrote letters in support of Destiny. Her stepmother, Jackson, who is a bus driver for the school district, said she was also upset that her proposed topic was denied.
The couple got married in Illinois months before the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
‘We’re grown adults,’ McDermitt-Jackson said. ‘These are our children. We went through issues when we decided to be together, but these are our children. They don’t need to be subjected to it.’
Because what could be more offensive than the suppression of the right to be and freedom of expression contingent on whether such ideas are palatable or not….