Last week I came across this article in the newspaper. 16 year old Hannah Williams was banned from taking her girlfriend to the formal. Instead, she was asked to bring a male partner by her teacher. So apparently, according to Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School, it’s not okay to be gay. Or so it would appear from their stance.
The Principal however, said that the formal was not meant to discriminate against same-sex couples but was supposed to open the all girls’ school students to having a co-educational experience.
”I don’t think it’s appropriate they feel discriminated against, and I’m very upset they feel that,” she said. ”If we opened it up and said girls could bring another female they would all bring females; the policy is trying to create an event where boys are invited. We are a school that has an all-girls environment, and they are meant to invite guests, not partners.”
I don’t know about you but that makes no sense whatsoever in the form of a justification! Not partners but guests? And what every other girl bringing a boy is bringing a ‘guest’? Is the school actually checking to see whether they are a couple or not? And what planet is the principal living in when she says all girls would bring females if it was permitted? I have worked in schools and continue to work with teenagers and trust me, all girls or co-ed schools, teenage girls will go out with boys if they are attracted to the opposite sex. Especially in this day and age.
Apart from the above, another ‘justification’ by the principal was that age was an issue since Hannah’s partner is a Year 10 girl.
However, here’s where the justification fails. Hannah said her friends took younger males and she was the only one asked to provide the age of her date. I’ll go out on a limb and hypothesise that some girls may have brought Year 12 boys as well. Was that a problem for the school? I wonder.
The entire story reeks of just one thing: discrimination based on a person’s sexuality. The students don’t seem to have a problem with it. Why in the world are staff making it a problem? Usually you see young people being teased or bullied for their sexuality. However, it seems like Hannah’s classmates are accepting of her sexuality. But the staff obviously seem to have other views. It’s funny that even the girls’ families are accepting of their sexuality. Everyone seems fine with it. Every one but the school. And it’s not even a religious school! [Relgious schools use religion as their excuse…and while I don’t agree with it, it’s still more valid to them than what this principal is trying to say…if you get my drift!]
I remember reading something similar in the news last year. Another student. Another formal. Unfortunately, I can’t find the article any more.
It makes me wonder though — when will people be completely accepting of a person’s sexuality? Why are they so bothered by something that’s not going to hurt them? If it’s ‘fear’ of the unknown, isn’t the best way to get over that to face the fear? To get to know the unknown? Sigh.
I don’t understand it.
And I work with the way humans think and feel and behave.
Until next time,