When Chicago-based teacher, Nathan Etter, was subjected to discrimination, the local community rallied around him in the best way.
On Valentine’s Day, the music teacher at Prairie View Grade School received flowers from his husband.
Being first graders, flowers from anyone are considered gross. Boys and girls have cooties at that age.
Etter grasped the opportunity to talk to his students about respect, and teaching them how families aren’t always a stereotypical “mum and dad” format.
“I spent about 30 minutes on that teachable moment with the students,” said Etter. “And then we moved on with our lesson.”
The music teacher believed the conversation had ended in the classroom, however a week later, the school principal requested a meeting with Etter, and told him to “bring union representation”.
This was later to revealed as a result of one parent contacting the school with “serious concerns” about Etter’s comments on sexuality.
Jeff Kullenberger, the school board president, said the “issue” had been resolved and that the teacher’s position “was never in jeopardy”.
However, The Chicago Tribune reported that nearly two months later, the vice president of the local teachers union sent a letter to the district faculty saying, “school leaders treated Mr. Etter in a discriminatory manner”.
The letter detailed how Etter should have stuck to the curriculum.
Because apparently, kids don’t need teaching about society and social characteristics.
In response to the letter, the Etters have been inundated with letters of support and flowers.
Over 100 individuals made up of students, faculty and parents, showed up to a rally before a board meeting, carrying signs which preached respect and inclusivity.
Despite the school insisting Etter’s job was never in jeopardy, Etter is apparently disappointed in the lack of apology.
The community coming together in an act of protest in the name of love, is exactly what we needed to brighten up our week.