Monday, November 2, 2009
An 10th and 12th grade Honors English teacher in Piasa, IL was suspended for assigning an article about homosexuality in the animal kingdom to his students.
Dan Delong, an English teacher at Southwestern High School told a local newspaper:
“I have been suspended, but not without pay. But I would rather not comment further until I speak with my union representative.”
DeLong, who is straight and married, had his students read an article written by Jonah Lehrer and quotes Joan Roughgarden, a biology professor at Stanford University who challenges Darwinian sexual selection by documenting more than 450 animal species that engage in homosexual behaviors.
The article was published in a 2006 edition of “The Gay Animal Kingdom” and can be read in its entirety HERE.
Elizabeth Meyer, P.h.D., writing in Psychology Today asks:
“Should teachers ask their students to read about controversial topics? Should we allow parents veto power over the curriculum?”
Ms. Meyer points out Mr. Delong’s assigned reading was an attempt to ask students to question the dominance and “naturalness” of heterosexuality. He is helping his students understand concepts such as heterosexism and heteronormativity.
While Mr. DeLong’s suspension is outrageous and prejudicial on the merits, his wise students have responded in true activist fashion by forming a Facebook group called “Bring back Mr. Delong” to show support and share information about this situation.