I think it is no surprise to anyone that my focus during this spring break has been on the pending cases before the Supreme Court. From a personal standpoint, I look to the repeal of Prop 8 and DOMA as an imperative for equality. For my friends, for my neighbors, for my family, and for people I do not know. I believe that equal rights are granted under the constitution and that includes the right to marry for gays and lesbians as well as local, state, and federal benefits for these couples.
So what does this have to do with our schools? We are setting a precedent for our children. Just as our predecessors did during the first Civil Rights movement. We are in a time where we can tell our children that all people are equal in the eyes of the law but more importantly, in our own. For those that use the Bible as an argument against this imperative, I turn their attention to their high school civics course on the separation of church and state.
While many of us as educators might shy away from this topic because it deals with a “family matter”, I think we have a great opportunity. The biggest teachable moment about character we may see in our lifetime. We have the opportunity to show our children that all people, truly all people, deserve the rights and protections given to us by the Constitution.
Our schools can only benefit when we embrace the diversity of our communities. As our world continues to flatten, our children cannot be isolated from it. We must teach them well. We must teach them to see people and reach out in love. We must expand the reach of our schools and welcome families of all configurations into our halls of learning. We will all be better for it.
Where ever you stand on the moral or judicial points of these landmark cases, I hope that you do not shy away from embracing the opportunity to grow love and acceptance in our schools. Be courageous and open the doors!
**Two Great Articles**