Dan Delong teaches English at Southwester High School in Piasa, Illinois. He has been suspended for assigning an article originally published in Seed Magazine called “The Gay Animal Kingdom.” If you are a teacher you know what to do.. download that article and assign it to all of your students as soon as possible!!!!

Here is a press report on this astounding event.

Here is a blog post by Jonathan Turley about The Banning.

Here is Mike Dunford’s blog post: Seed Magazine in the Classroom: Grounds for Suspending the Teacher??

Comments

  1. #1 Rob Miles
    October 31, 2009

    What does an online article about gay animals have to do with an English extra-credit assignment? It’s not something that would offend me, but what was the point? Was the article an example of good or bad writing?

    Or maybe in this case, the teacher actually was pushing an agenda.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    October 31, 2009

    It’s not an on line article (though a copy of it is available on line). It is an article in a widely respected high quality science magazine.

    I personally have a lot of problems with the article, by the way. But that’s another story. My problems have nothing to do with its gay-osity.

    I would say that an English Lit teacher that is not pushing one agenda or another is a lazy teacher!

    But no, I also don’t know what the point of assigning the article was. It could have been a lame attempt at anti-Darwinism, or anti-Evolution.

  3. #3 Kate/ Dorid
    October 31, 2009

    It’s possible the teacher was giving a writing assignment. We often do cross-discipline work. If the science teacher comes to us and says “the kids don’t know how to write a research paper” then we’re likely to do a unit on writing research papers.

    I personally would take an opportunity like this to offer something ‘controversial’… but then again I’m the teacher who was reprimanded for posting a list of banned books during ALA banned books week.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    October 31, 2009

    Kate: In my daughter’s English class, they have been doing a lot of standard and contemporary works …. Count of Monte Cristo, Kiterunner, Huck Finn, etc.

    Next book the students get to choose individually, as long as one criterion is met: The book is or has been banned.

  5. #5 The Science Pundit
    October 31, 2009

    Next book the students get to choose individually, as long as one criterion is met: The book is or has been banned.

    That’s just beautiful! :*-) (That was a “happy tears face” in case you’re unfamiliar with the emoticon I just made up.)

    I saw this story this morning on Twitter (thanks @sciencegoddess & @davemunger). We still don’t have all the facts, but from what I’ve seen, I have to tentaively conclude (until further evidence surfaces) that there is a degree of homophobia invoved in this decision.

    I, like Greg, have issues with that article, which can best be summed up with PZ’s quote in the same article. But I think that it does bring up good points: namely that homosexuality in social animals shouldn’t be viewed as an abberation.

  6. #6 doug l
    October 31, 2009

    If you really want students to read something the first thing you should do is ban it and threaten to expell any student who’s you suspect has read it. Party on.
    Actually, might want to try it with evolution too. Any kid dumb enough to not read it after it was banned is probably not looking at a career where their scientific judgement matters anyhow.

  7. #7 Rob Jase
    November 2, 2009

    Science -it must be banned or children will learn about reality instead of the approved King James ‘truth’.

  8. #8 Joel
    November 2, 2009

    We are the single greatest threat to the security of the United States…

  9. #9 jay
    November 3, 2009

    the ‘I read banned books’ thing is kind of lame.

    Almost none of the examples are anything that is remotely close to being banned (except perhaps removed from a library shelf somewhere). If you want to actually make a serious statement instead of being a naughty-boy wannabe, try something that ACTUALLY has consequences. An example that comes to mind is the man who was arrested for simply providing a Hezbollah cable feed to those who want it (I don’t support the politics of Hezbollah, but I do support free speech).

    Anything less is just puffery.

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