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Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by TheFreak, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. TheFreak

    TheFreak Contributing Member

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    04.05.03
    Family of 12-year-old boy suspended for 'gay' remark talks with lawyer

    By KRISTY ECKERT The Daily Sentinel

    A 12-year-old boy was suspended from West Middle School this week for saying a four-square officiating call was "gay," according to his mother.

    The boy's family is working with an attorney to discuss its options, according to Susan Madison, Ben's mother.

    School District 51 confirmed sixth-grader Ben Madison was suspended for two days, but cannot comment on why, according to spokeswoman Julie Heacock.

    "It's political correctness gone amok," Susan Madison said.

    She said Ben was playing four-square at school, and another child made a call that Ben's ball was out.

    "And he said, ‘Your call was gay,’ ” Madison said. "The child went to another teacher later in the day and reported it."

    Ben was then suspended, she said.

    Madison does not think Ben used the word "gay" to be derogatory toward anyone.

    "My son thought that the call was not what he had hoped for," she said. "As he used the words, that it was a dumb call or a stupid call."

    The suspension comes on the heels of a recent District 51 School Board discussion about possibly adding language to its anti-bullying policy saying students cannot harass other students for their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

    The punishment also brings to light the issue of intent, and what children in today's society mean when they use the word "gay."

    Many middle-school students say they use the word to mean something is "dumb" or "stupid" — not to mean someone is a homosexual.

    "I don't think we would mean to call someone 'gay' and actually mean it," said Josh, a sixth-grade student at Grand Mesa Middle School.

    Cory, another sixth-grader at Grand Mesa, said he bets every student at his school has used the word at least once.

    "We don't actually mean it," he said.

    Iris, also a sixth-grade student, said she used to say the word "gay" until she learned someone she knows is a homosexual. Now, she said, she stopped using the word in the context many other kids do.

    Annie Olson, who teaches eighth grade at Grand Mesa, said students often use the word "gay" to mean they don't like something.

    She supports the district's punishment decision because students should learn not to use that word in the way they do, she said.

    Grand Mesa Assistant Principal Debra Bauer said she has punished and suspended students for making sexual harassment or bullying remarks "when it is directly directed and it's cruel, not just when a student makes a comment."

    "Kids can be pretty cruel to each other," she said. "And unfortunately, societally or whatever, it seems to have taken the tone of sexual issues."

    Lyndsay, an 18-year-old senior at R-5 High School who asked that her last name not be used, is a lesbian who said she often hears people use the word "gay" as a slang word. She said kids should not use it as a derogatory term, but she is "not really" offended because she is so accustomed to hearing it.

    "I think they went too far" by suspending Ben, she said. "If they punished him in a different way, like sat him down and talked to him and said that could be offensive to other students ... maybe he'd know the difference and not say it again," Lyndsay said.

    Jeff Basinger, who is on the board of directors of Western Equality, a support group for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and their allies, said this could be an opportunity to create awareness.

    "It may be true that many of the kids in particular are just throwing the words around without regard to their meaning," Basinger said.

    "If awareness about that can be raised over a game of four-square instead of having some child bruised and bloodied or beaten and dying because of an anti-gay attack, you know, any way education comes in is fine with me. And the less people who get hurt in the process, the better we are," he said.

    West Middle School administrators declined comment and directed questions to the district.

    Heacock, the district's spokeswoman, said it is against federal privacy laws to divulge any details about student suspensions or other disciplinary action.

    "In general, when a student is suspended, there are quite a few factors that enter into a principal's decision to suspend or move for expulsion," Heacock said.

    She said district personnel follow certain policies, "and in our code of student conduct, and in our current anti-bullying policy, there's very clear direction about the types of behaviors that are not allowed."

    Madison said her son is "thriving" at West and has "great teachers," so her concern about Ben's suspension is not an issue with the school; rather, it is an issue about policy.

    "We want resolution. We don't want to inflame the situation any more than it is," Madison said. "Because we're very fair and reasonable people. We're trying to come to a resolution. Right now, we just want everybody to calmly sit around the table and work through a resolution."

    The District 51 School Board is expected to vote at its April 15 meeting whether to add sexual orientation language to its anti-bullying policy.

     
  2. subtomic

    subtomic Contributing Member
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    I think the Lyndsay girl in the article had the best idea. Instead of suspending the kid (which will only make him feel like he's the one being wronged), the school officials should have sat him down and explained why he shouldn't use that word in a derogative manner.

    Of course, there may be other reasons why this kid was suspended, but it's hard to guess when the school won't comment.
     
  3. Desert Scar

    Desert Scar Contributing Member

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    What if he used a racial slur (take your pick) instead. Granted suspension is way out of wack--but I can understand the district being firm that such comments are not acceptable.
     
  4. A-Train

    A-Train Contributing Member

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    I bet he called no double taps and that little prick double tapped...

    that is gay...
     
  5. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    Four square seems like such a quee, er odd sport for middle school kids to play.
     
  6. Bogey

    Bogey Contributing Member

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    I think that whole situation is gay. I probably never would have graduated Jr. High if they suspended you every time you use a word like that. I think the kid who told on him should be suspended for a little pansy snitch.:D
     
  7. TheFreak

    TheFreak Contributing Member

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    I know some high school sub teachers, and you should hear the things these kids say nowadays and get away with...I was extremely shocked.

    Btw.....4 SQUARE RULES!
     
  8. RC Cola

    RC Cola Contributing Member

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    Tell me about it. I seen kids say pretty bad things or do pretty bad things and get away with it. I've heard plenty of curse words in class, some of which may be DIRECTED to the teacher/sub. But they just get a warning or something.
     
  9. rrj_gamz

    rrj_gamz Contributing Member

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    How gay is this...

    Political Correctness going to far...:rolleyes:
     
  10. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    This is weird....according to my 18yr old..."gay" used in that context...means stupid..

    I corrected her about it's use, and she claimed to not have any idea that it was a derogatory slang word for homosexuals..

    It is stupid to suspend someone for that...especially in the context it was used in...he was obviously not using it in reference to a person.
     
  11. A-Train

    A-Train Contributing Member

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    well, the word "gay" used to mean happy, then it meant homosexual, now it might mean stupid or dumb...

    Maybe in a few decades, it might be a compliment to be called gay...

    "Yo man, you are so GAY!!"

    "How nice of you to say that! You're the gayest person I've ever met!"
     
  12. Nuggets4

    Nuggets4 Contributing Member

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    :eek:

    THIS IS MY HOMETOWN! I know Jeff, he's a great guy. Oh man. Junction making national news again. God I grew up in a wierd town.

    I will admit, I am FLOORED by the decision. That is a VERY conservative town. I never thought they'd go to the opposite extreme in a case like this.
     
  13. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    :rolleyes: :D
     
  14. Earl Cureton

    Earl Cureton Contributing Member

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    Ah, the irony.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. KeepJuaquin

    KeepJuaquin Member

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    What he said was not cruel. I agree with the mother and all the kids. The whole school should be suspended because almost every kid has probably said something like what the boy said. But...it's still a school. And policy.
     
  16. Puedlfor

    Puedlfor Contributing Member

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    He should not have said that, it is a swipe at homosexuality. If you mean something is stupid, say "stupid".

    He should have been forced to wear an unwashed, game-worn Vlade Divac Jersey for whining about the 4-square call though.
     
  17. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    But it is not "cool" to say the actual word...gotta use the slang!
     
  18. Uprising

    Uprising Contributing Member

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    damn....I could have been suspended. Well, back when I used it like that (just like this boy), I never really thought about what I was saying. In my mind it was "stupid". But the "cooler" word for it.
     
  19. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    Gay used as slang also means feminine.
     
  20. olliez

    olliez Contributing Member

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    Here in the Bay Area, CA, GAY is a quite popular life-style... :p
     

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