The “Take a Stand Speech” assignment was titled as follows:
“For every generation in every country, every day, there are issues upon which an individual can take a stand. This assignment asks you to think about what concerns you in your community, your state, your country or the world.”
So, students had to write a speech on an important topic to them while taking a stand for or against it.
One student in the class, Destiny McDermitt, came up with the idea of writing about the marriage of her lesbian moms, Angela McDermitt-Jackson and Chris Jackson, who were married in 2015. It was a way for her to express the pride she feels for her parents. But the teacher refused to allow her to write about it because she found it offensive to the other students.
Destiny offered to simply ask her classmates if this was indeed offensive to them, but her request was also rejected.
Destiny and her moms - AP
Far from giving up, the 17-year-old teen wrote a letter to the school administrators explaining what had happened. They concluded that the teacher had underestimated her students by believing they weren’t going to talk about serious matters. In fact, she refused to discuss other topics such as animal cruelty.
“The teacher was thinking smaller and the kids were thinking bigger,” Montrose Community Schools Superintendent Linden Moore told MLive.com.
It’s a real shame she didn’t encourage the students to freely express themselves. It’s also her job to teach students to think and express themselves, whether or not she likes the subject.
The good news is that Destiny has received the support of her classmates, but I heard she was transferred to a new class.
“We’re grown adults,” Destiny’s mom Angela McDermitt-Jackson said. “These are our children. We went through issues when we decided to be together, but these are our children. They don’t need to be subjected to it.”