According to his description of his conversation with the child, Seth was asked why he was not married. He did more than just answer the question, he added information about why, that the child had not asked. This seems to me to be the crux of the problem because:
1. Regardless of what people would like, gay marriage is not legal in Oregon. So Seth's additional information could be seen as promoting something illegal. Although far from a perfect analogy, think about a teacher volunterring his or her opinion about legalizing drugs or similar topics that are of an activist nature. That would be inappropriate behavior on the part of a teacher. Addressing sexual preferences with 4th graders requires more than just a short answer and I would think that an aspiring teacher who happens to be gay would have been aware of when the school ciriculum covers this topic.
2. The additional information that Seth choose to tell the child brought up a subject that the school policy does not deem appropriate until 7th grade. This would be like a child asking a male teacher if they have children and the teacher answering no, because my sperm count is low or because I have erectile dysfunction. Such an answer would also bring up sexual information that is likely not appropriate in 4th grade and I would expect similar action against any student teacher discussing it with a 4th grader.
A teacher needs to be able to use appropriate judgement about when certain sensitive topics are ok to discuss and when they need to be purposely avoided. My guess is that the school decided that Seth needed to improve his skills in this aread before being exposed to young children.
posted 2 years, 7 months ago
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