MONTGOMERY COUNTY SENTINEL

11-10-72

 

‘Gay Teacher’

 

Should a ‘gay’ teacher be allowed to teach?

If he tries to sell the kids on his way of life, he should not.  If he never mentions the subject, it never comes up, and the kids are not even aware that he is “gay”, he should be allowed to teach his assigned subject.

Accordingly, Montgomery County Education Association and the American Civil Liberties Union are entirely correct in demanding that a county teacher transferred out of the classroom because he is a homosexual be reinstated.

His skill as a teacher and his performance in the classroom and the school are proper matters for school administrators to concern themselves with. What the teacher does entirely on his own time, entirely away from the school and its students, with that deeply personal part of his life never being associated in any way with his school life, should be properly a matter for him to decide, unless he is convicted of a crime.  Then -- and only – should his superiors become involved in possible suspension, transfer or dismissal.

The teacher’s personal lifestyle comes to light, according to a story appearing elsewhere in this issue, only because of a delay by Pennsylvania in. granting him his accreditation because of his activities in a-homosexual civil rights group while in college. The case doesn’t surface because he hasn’t been charged with or convicted of anything at all. Partly due to growing enlightenment (some will call it “permissiveness”) and partly due to the open, unashamed campaigns of the gay activists themselves, the idea seems to be growing that what two consenting adults do in complete privacy is up to them and does not call for state interference. Laws on homosexuality, however, are still on the books in Maryland, although we would guess their days are probably numbered.

Meanwhile, the teacher in this case, and his supporters who include most of his professional colleagues in the school to which he was assigned, are correct in arguing that he should be evaluated on the basis of what he did or did not do in the classroom or in the school -- not to what he may or may not have done miles from the school itself in absolute privacy.