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Hunter Huss IB Readings

The state of Tennessee is not known as the most progressive state in the US. Hopefully, some of you remember the Scopes trail, called “the trial of the century,” that dealt with Tennessee’s ban on teaching evolution.

The legislature of the state of Tennessee is advancing legislation that bans teachers from discussing “homosexuality” in the classroom at any grade level. I have posted a link on that story below. For this blog post, I do NOT want you to argue morality of gay marriage or homosexuality or anything like that. Instead, first look at the text of President Obama’s inauguration address from last month. Then, read the article from “The New Civil Rights Movement” link. The questions to discuss (and to cite from both sources!) are:

Does this law prevent the discussion of the inauguration address? If so, then what does that mean for social studies teachers? Or, if a teacher wants to tie in “The Stonewall Riots” to the Civil Rights Movement, are they violating the law? Does suppressing certain terms or concepts harm American education and “American values” or do they help uphold moral virtue? This is all timely because in March the US Supreme Court will hear arguments and make a decision on the whether bans on gay marriage violate the 14th Amendment. So, also answer: Can teachers talk about the Supreme Court hearings next month or should they even be able to? Can any teacher make a student “be gay” by talking about this issue?

To some of my students, history is just one of those boring high school hurdles, like geometry, that are irrelevant but must be passed to graduate. Hopefully those of you reading this understand by now the value of learning history to understand the apparent craziness of the world (and its inhabitants).

Answer the questions – cite – and discuss. Remind me next week and we can discuss this – while we still can in North Carolina because we aren’t much more progressive than Tennessee 🙂

The inauguration address (If you don’t want to read, go to youtube and watch it): http://www.businessinsider.com/full-text-obama-inauguration-speech-2013-1 (Click to continue unless you like ads)

The article about the law in Tennessee: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/dont-say-gay-bill-one-step-closer-to-law-in-tennessee/politics/2012/04/18/38202

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