It’s bad enough that kids bully kids, driving them out of school, or even to suicide, but what about the teacher as a bully. Apparently, that has happened in Florida, where Luke Herbert, a gay student, and his mother, are looking to sue the Flagler County School District after Luke said a teacher singled him out, and mocked him, for being gay.
Luke is a freshman at Flagler Palm Coast High School, and as a gay student, school has been tough. “It hurts,” Luke says. “I may be different, but I’m still human and for them to treat me like that is ridiculous….People haven’t been nice, let’s put it that way.”
Luke admits that some of his classmates have bullied him, but that now it’s gone further, and higher up. One of his teachers is now the bully. “He stood in front of the class and said ‘you can’t put Mountain Dew or Pepsi in the same fridge or they’ll turn gay’. He [also] came over to me and I was like ‘hi.’ He said hi, like he was imitating me or mocking me.”
Now, these little ‘jokes’ might now sound like much at first, but when they happen constantly, and the joker is a teacher, they need to be taken seriously. So, Luke and his mother took their complaints to school officials several times, but weren’t taken seriously.
Dorene Davenport, Luke’s mother: “As a parent, it’s hard because you feel like you have to be there every day, begging them to please help. That’s how I felt.”
Well, Dorene and Luke took it further, and demanded a meeting with school officials and the teacher in question, The teacher apologized, and school officials said they would move Luke to a different class.
That never happened, though a district spokeswoman said they are investigating the case, but won’t comment further than that. Luke’s option has been to drop out of school because, what his teacher said, and the reaction from his classmates, he can’t imagine going back. He is now looking into other options like home schooling.
One option would be to immediately fire the offensive teacher, and the school officials who’ve been sitting on their hands trying to protect their image rather than protect the life and well-being of one of their students. How can we teach children not to bully, when the teachers themselves are setting the example?