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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Support Ethics Education for Freedom

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation recently forwarded this from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.--

ACTION ALERT

Tell Superintendent Ed Turlington: Teach Respect!
Reinstate Teacher Debra Taylor!
A number of organizations have been monitoring a school controversy in Grandfield, OK where a teacher was recently suspended for teaching The Laramie Project, an award-wining play about the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young man in Wyoming who was killed because he was gay.
Debra Taylor, who teaches the Ethics and Street Law class, was using pieces of the play to help her students examine how hatred and intolerance can be justified by attitudes within a community, a church, or in the home. Midway through the unit, Superintendent Ed Turlington told her to stop teaching the material. She held a mock funeral for the play to give her students closure and was subsequently suspended. She has now accepted a resignation agreement, as she feared that she would otherwise be fired.
Her students are standing behind the play and their teacher. “She always taught us to speak our minds and have our voices heard,” said one student. We need to tell Superintendent Turlington that Debra Taylor is a dedicated teacher who is willing to confront issues of respect and acceptance for all people regardless of sexual orientation and that she deserves to be immediately reinstated.

Tell Superintendent Turlington: Teach Respect! Reinstate Teacher Debra Taylor!
Advocates in Oklahoma, Texas, and surrounding states are strongly
encouraged to call or email in support.
TAKE ACTION NOW…call Superintendent Turlington at
580-479-5237 or send an email to eturlington@grandfield.k12.ok.us and tell him:
“Debra Taylor did not deserve this kind of treatment. Young people need dedicated teachers willing to confront issues of respect and acceptance for people of all sexual orientations. She should be commended for creating a safe space for all her students and should be reinstated immediately.”

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Ricci Joy Levy, Executive Director
The Woodhull Freedom Foundation
1325 Massachusetts Avenue
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
p: 202.628.3333
f: 202-330-5282
Direct Line: 610.212.5555

Affirming Sexual Freedom as a Fundamental Human Right.




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