I need help. One of my teachers is constantly making anti-homosexual remarks during class. To make it worse, he assigned me the seat that is right next to him and won't move me. I wanted to change out of his class but you can't switch classes without a good reason. I don't know how much longer I can stand hearing him say things like “There's something wrong with those homosexuals. They have a genetic defect; they were messed when they were born,” and other stuff of that sort. I don't know what to do. Please help!
We checked with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) about your situation. They confirmed for us that, as far as California’s education code is concerned, your teacher is breaking the law by “repeatedly fostering a discriminatory, unsafe environment in his classroom.” You do indeed have a good reason to switch out of his class…and them some!
We are assuming that you are gay yourself, but you don’t indicate if you are out at school, to your family, or to anyone else. If you are out to your family, we would encourage you to speak with a parent about this situation. If you do not feel that is an option, is there a school counselor or another teacher you trust with whom you could speak?
If you are not comfortable with either of these recommendations, we encourage you to contact GLSEN directly. The Los Angeles chapter’s website is www.glsenla.org. GLSEN is an organization whose mission is to “assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.” They often help students like you—young people who don’t feel safe at school. You do not have to put up with this insensitive teacher’s behavior!