Thursday, March 03, 2016

Gay boys at school

It took me some time to adjust to my sister teaching at a posh private school when she passionately believes in state funded education. It took me even more time to adjust to her teaching at a Catholic boys' school. I may or may not have sought salacious details of what her Level 6 maths lads are like. No, I haven't and I am not interested, but hey, that is what is expected of me by many. If I remember anything about my teens, I remember how boring teen age males are, full of testosterone they don't know what to do with and sublimate it with sporting activity. So boring and from what I hear when travelling on trams, their conversation many years later is not more interesting. I didn't what to do with my excessive level of testosterone. I do now (insert leering and lecherous eyes), but now I probably have a lack of testosterone, so not a problem.

I don't know how I manage to turn a one line post into a story I had no intention of writing. I think I may have indicated in the past it was easy for me growing up as gay person who knew what I was. I may have lied a little.

Here is the story. My sister teaches at the only Catholic boys' school in Australia that has signed up to the Safe Schools Coalition that promotes acceptance of gays, lesbians and transgender. It is terrific that it has, and how disappointing that schools like Xavier hasn't, especially as the amazing book, film and documentary has been written by and produced by others about the school's most famous gay students' love story.

I wasn't a really effem boy, so I was not bullied badly. I had it pretty easy as a non sports participant who would run away from a ball sailing towards me from the sky. I have had a pretty easy time throughout my life in that area, but nevertheless, not all do. I am going to send an anon email to the principle of Sister's school and I rarely ask you to do anything via my blog, but here is one case I am asking for your support. This is far more important than gay marriage.

http://www.sjc.vic.edu.au/new/about-sjc/contact-us.html

or

sjcoffice@sjc.vic.edu.au

The story in the paper,

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/catholic-principal-pressured-to-withdraw-from-safe-schools-coaltion-20160301-gn7h6h.html

Photo of the late Xavier gay students Tim Conigrave and John Caleo from our ABC.


27 comments:

  1. I can't believe your educated and well spoken commentaries there, as portrayed on the youtube clip in the link. No such eloquent civil and impassioned argument happens in our branches of government that I've seen. Turnbill is forceful with his arguments for children's safety.

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    1. Strayer, I suspect it presented so well because bullying is a bit of a motherhood statement. No one could say children should be bullied but what some elements of Turnbull's party want to do is remove the same sex bulling part of the programme.

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  2. In my country private schol are better than public ones

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    1. Gosia, that is generally the case around the world and if rich people want to send their children to expensive schools, ok, let them pay for them. But schools for rich people should not be subsidised by taxpayers, including those who can't afford to send their children to such schools.

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  3. Now the right wingnut Pollies have thought up a new way to divert attention, the definition of 'homophobic' and say it doesn't apply to them. As peace loving person that I am, I still would like to go at Cory Bernadi with a lump of 4x2 to show him what being terrified is really like for a gay teen.

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    1. Jah Teh, Bernadi is the nastiest piece of work I have come across since Bill Heffernan, and that is saying something.

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  4. It's said that if the private school system shut down overnight the state system couldn't cope with the fall out, that's the argument for subsidising them. Poor RH would like to have gone to a private school, you mix with better types. I've arrived at a place in my life where I consider it wrong for homosexuals of any age to be persecuted for it. A marvellous and sad film called Therese and Isabel, seen long ago, has stuck in my mind, worn me down.

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    1. RH, as I am sure you would know, that is a specious argument. A slow withdrawal of public funds over a decade would suffice. I vaguely recall that film. Not sure if I saw it. Gosh, before I know it, you will me inviting me to meet you at a cafe for a chat.

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    2. Andrew, if the private schools closed down there'd be a lot of cheap schools that the state could snap up in distressed sales. That would just be market forces - something which the advocates of private schools are mostly usually all in favour of.

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    3. Marcellous, I'd love to see that but politically impossible. I expect private school advocates think more a long the philosophical line of privatise the profits and socialise the losses.

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  5. I went to a public school but it was a girls school in those days, the boys school was next door they have since joined we mostly looked at each other over the fence.
    Religion was a very small part of education in this school and who knew if anyone was gay we couldn't have cared less more interested in The Beatles and the boys next door both were out of reach, kept us busy.
    Merle.........

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    1. Merle, the nuns at my friend's girls school told them not to talk to boys through the cyclone wire fence as they may become pregnant. Possible, I guess through a wire fence.

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  6. Done.
    Holding the Man was an amazing book. And student's mental health is much more important than political or religious posturing.

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    1. Thanks EC. Of course the mental health is more important. The programme will pay off its cost over the long term.

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  7. I wouldn't have a clue what to write, so I won't write anything, but I do think the school should stay a Safe School no matter what anyone else thinks. As far as I'm concerned ALL schools should be safe schools, religious or otherwise, private, public, no matter, let them all sign up and be Safe Schools. How ridiculous to bully someone for the way they feel, for things they have no control over.

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    1. River, kids are a bit like animals. They can never grasp the concept that some people are just nasty and cruel, like adults can at least have some sort of understanding of motivation.

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  8. I watch Q&A the other night on the subject but then I got interrupted, will watch it again on iview.
    All schools should be safe in my book, let's hope they get that way.

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    1. Margaret, I remember some kids who were really bullied at school. This should not happen, and especially if they don't fit into the 'normal' mould.

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  9. Would my Yank voice make a difference? If so, I will certainly write; I spent too much time trying to help my own children deal with bullying to ignore when it happens to others.

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    1. Up to you Cranky, but I think the Principle needs support and to know that his stance is supported around the world would be tremendous. Having a child bullied at school is one horrible part of being a parent, that is to see your child suffer and not be able to do much about it.

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  10. Good for you! All students should be able to feel safe at school.

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    1. Sandra, I believe so and hopefully without security guards at gates.

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  11. Marcellous all the private schools are in swish areas like Brighton, Kew, Camberwell, Malvern, Toorak, South Yarra, Newtown (Geelong Grammar) and so on. Distressed sales are unknown there; distressed buyers are plentiful.

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  12. As a former private school student myself I wonder whether bullying occurs to a greater extent in them than in public schools.

    There was certainly bullying in my school and, I now realise in my adult years, a subtle almost invisible demarcation between the boys from the 'haves' and the 'have nots' families.

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    1. Hard to tell about your last point, Victor. From my observations in the present time, it is not so much of a problem. There are the children of foreign born parents who are the typical 'work hard for our children's education' types and I never noticed any different interactions between them and Anglo looking kids, than Anglo with Anglo. Pretty anecdotal, but that is what I see.

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