Philly Teacher Expresses Concern About 'Damage' Parents Can Do if They Hear Virtual Classroom Conversations on Sex, Gender

(Unsplash/Sharon McCutcheon)

Over the weekend, a Philadelphia-based teacher bemoaned the virtual classroom—but not for the reasons you might think. Among the myriad hurdles such a setting creates, one educator expressed his chief concern: parents listening in on his "honest conversations" about sexuality and gender with students.

Matthew R. Kay, a founding teacher at Science Leadership Academy, reportedly wrote, "So, this fall, virtual class discussions will have many potential spectators—parents, siblings, etc.—in the same room. We'll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work?"

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"How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability?" He continued, "how many of us have installed some version of 'what happens here stays here' to help this?"

Kay went on to explain he is mainly concerned with "the damage 'helicopter/snowplow' parents can do in honest conversations about gender/sexuality."

"And while 'conservative' parents are my chief concern," he wrote, "I know that the damage can come from the left, too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid's racism or homophobia or transphobia, how much do we want their classmates' parents piling on?"

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