Manage episode 353396041 series 3340125
What role should schools play when it comes to gender and sexuality? What books should students have access to? What topics should teachers and students be able to discuss? What kind of support should LGBTQ students be able to expect from their schools? These questions have become the focus of intense debate among parents, educators, students, and policy makers. Not surprisingly, conversations among those who disagree are seldom civil or productive. Board meetings have devolved into war zones, and battle lines are being drawn as parents are being told their rights are being violated. As the culture wars rage on, it is hard to imagine how anyone (save the few who simply relish conflict) would think the toxic conflicts playing out in our schools are a good thing for our students or our country. I wanted to find out if the use of some depolarizing strategies might make it possible to host a civil conversation about schools, gender, and sexuality with political opposites and even to find some common ground. My first guest, Willie Carver, is an openly gay, veteran high school teacher who was selected as Teacher of the Year for the state of Kentucky in 2021. Mr. Carver (whom I interviewed in October 2022) quit because of the harassment he and some of his colleagues received from a small group of parents. My second guest, Dov Fischer, is a law professor, an orthodox Jewish rabbi, and a political conservative. In a 2022 editorial in California’s Orange County Register, Fischer spoke out against policies that allow students to designate their gender identities. In Fischer’s view, this is yet another effort by the government to divide families, and he thinks parents, not educators, should be the ones to mentor children on matters of gender. Tune in to find out what happens.