Earlier this month, Sullivan High School, in Sullivan, Indiana, created controversy over plans to exclude gay teens from attending the school’s prom. Their argument is from a biblical one (that homosexuality is wrong). However, their argument doesn’t hold any water, mainly because gay teens attending a school prom is NOT a biblical issue.
Still, for me, the greater controversy stems from the comments a special-education teacher made about gay teens. You can watch the video below, but here is the highly-offensive-greatly-unbiblical-answer she gave to the reporter:
[When asked if Special-Education teacher, Diana Medley, thinks gay teens have a purpose in life] “No I honestly don’t. Sorry, but I don’t. I don’t understand it. A gay person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s to realize that it was a choice and they’re choosing God,” said Medley.
Before this comment, Medley said this: “Homosexual students come to me with their problems, and I don’t agree with them, but I care about them. It’s the same thing with my special needs kids, I think God puts everyone in our lives for a reason.”
I’m confused. I can understand her saying she cares for these students, while not agreeing with the things they do. I get that. But then she compares gay teens to her special needs kids, and then states that these gay kids have no purpose in life. I am in no way suggesting that gay teens are handicapped or mentally challenged, rather I can’t understand her comparison here: she has respect for one but not the other.
I am willing to bet big that as a Special-Ed teacher, Medley would be the first to stand and fight that her special needs students have a purpose in life. They are not just here by chance, nor have any point in existing. And I would totally agree with her. I’ve spent many years working with disabled persons in the classroom and workplace. While many people in this world write-off disabled people, or use them as the butt of jokes, they are people created in the image of God who hold immeasurable life and purpose within them.
The same is true for gay teens (and adults). They very much have a purpose in life. They very much have a reason for existence. Their talents, abilities, and presence have much to offer the world in which we live. No child should ever be told they are not worth anything in life – especially from a teacher.
To write off an entire group of people, just because you don’t agree with them, is immoral in of itself. Doing so goes against the teachings of Christ (read the various teachings in Matthew 5-7). Doing so, to me, also goes against a teacher’s ethic and job description.
A real teacher looks deep within his or her students, and brings to life their highest potential. They give students reason to excel in life, and helps prepare them to meet life’s challenges head-on. Their words and actions should bring life to students, not death.