Reddit has a board that is called “Am I the @sshole?”, on which posters tell a story, and people write in to judge whether the poster is the @sshole or not, and judging whether others in the story may be @ssholes or not as well. This week we are covering a story that would work well in that framework.
A substitute teacher, who is also a member of the community, complained about a book that is in the elementary school library. The book depicts people of all colors and genders being welcome, and as part of the community, same sex couples are shown. All pretty wholesome and inclusive. Apparently, this has blown this woman’s mind, and she is against this being “taught” to her children in the school, as it is against her beliefs.
So, it’s against her beliefs – so let’s pretend it doesn’t exist, right? Or worse, I can only imagine the conversation about same-sex couples that would go on in that household. Since it’s not something she wants her children exposed to, she is against anyone’s children having access to the book in the library. Riiiight. This woman is an @sshole.
The school district has seemingly retaliated against the substitute by quietly taking her off of the roster or substitutes, with no notice. She tried to check in to her sign up on the webpage, and found that it was gone. So, the school has decided that this person is a nuisance due to her beliefs, and have essentially fired her without notice.
I believe in free speech, with the codicil that one must understand that free speech doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences. However, it sure seems pretty sneaky to take the woman off of the sub list without even discussing the matter with her. The school has every right to deny anyone from being in the classroom, but doing it without the courtesy of notice? They are kind of the @sshole in this story, too.
As we have mentioned during discussions of other school censorship stories, the presumption that parents are discussing various matters at home is apparently not always accurate. Schools used to be able to cover sex ed, and since the curtailing of those efforts, teenaged pregnancy has risen. Religious parents don’t want their darlings exposed to science that refutes their religious beliefs, so we have children running around thinking that Jesus rode dinosaurs or the earth is flat. People are so locked into the myth of American exceptionalism that history classes aren’t allowed to tell the truth about how our country dropped the ball or was the bad guy in some episodes. These kinds of parents – also the @ssholes in this story.
I’d be curious to see what the reddit community would say to this woman, but to my mind, everyone’s the @sshole here.