Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Gay men hairstyles

Today there was a seventh grade student who, apparently like most students in this era, was using the computer during some free time. I heard one of the other students say, "He's looking at it again," and they all laughed. I was pretty far from the two computers they have set up in the back of the classroom for student use, so I didn't know what they were talking about. However, once when I got up to throw something in the trash can, I thought I saw some skin.

During a conference period, I thought I'd check the browser history just out of curiosity. I noticed several entries under photos.yahoo.com, so I expanded the history tree and found about 30 searches. There were boys+fuck+boys, gay+boy+sex, boy+sex+with+boy, and my favorite, gay+men+hairstyles. I didn't mention any of this in my note to the regular teacher, of course. While looking at porn is forbidden in the schools, the last thing I want to do is give some kid grief for what is probably the only avenue he has to explore his sexuality.

Just thought I would share.


  1. Sounds like you handled that right! I am curious, were the kids messing with the one who was looking at gay porn? I would imagine 7th grade male culture not handling that very well.

  2. Believe me, I hear "fag," "gay," or "homo" used as an insult every day, no exaggeration. I almost always try to throw in something like a "That's not a very effective insult since there's nothing wrong with being gay" comment . . . which I'm sure annoys them.

    In this case, though, I was "lucky" that it was a special ed class; there wasn't really any "7th grade male culture" around. Just one other boy in the room, and if I'm not mistaken he was autistic. It was a girl who noticed his viewing habits.

    Being around these kids and hearing their overt racism, sexism, and homophobia doesn't encourage me about the future of America, but I have to constantly remind myself that they hardly even know what they're talking about at age 12.

  3. Yeah, I always like to think about what we were like at that age. Anarchy books much?!

    Of course, I guess we weren't ever that bad, but the bottom line is I think we are turning out to be pretty good people.

  4. It does sound like it's a recurring issue though (he's looking at it again). Hopefully the adult that does confront him on it doesn't do it in a shaming way in front of everyone. But my guess is that's what will happen. Not to be pessimistic or anything...

  5. If I were his regular teacher, I might have said something to him in private, but I tend to look at my role as a substitute to be keeping them from killing each other long enough for the regular teacher to get back. I'd rather not get involved, especially about so touchy a situation.

  6. yeah, I agree. I wasn't thinking you should have done anything differently. I'm just thinking porn (or anything private) + teens + public school = major shaming potential. Could be worse--could be catholic school.

    The hair query is funny though. Do gay men have "gay" hairstyles? Maybe I need to watch Queer Eye more.

  7. It's easy to see from your blogs that you are not a parent. You see things only from one point of view, one that wants to fight and rebel against what they used to call the establishment in the 60's. You have a right to that stage also.

    Since you did not know what the boy was doing this time, you can't be blamed for anything. Sure you sympathize with him. He's a kid. Allowing him to continue to view such content in a public place can set him up for discrimination and problems with the other kids and that's not good for him. Of course it doesn't hurt you at all so, unless you care about the kid, it won't matter for you.

    Schools have policies which you could violate if you allow these things to go on. The kids will tell on you. That means that you will possibly be called less to substitute or simply not be asked to come back at all. That's the way all the schools where I worked did it. It also messes up your references for future jobs in the area because administrators talk, fair or not. Sympathy vs the bottom line.

  8. Frankly, I would rather be fired for doing the right thing than hired for the wrong. Contrary to your dire warnings, however, I am routinely praised by the teachers and administrators I work with for doing an outstanding job.

    That said, I have no great desire to fight and rebel. If "the establishment" didn't consistently promote injustice and inequity I would be quite happy with it. As long as there are people being trodden upon it is the obligation of any compassionate person to help them up by the means available to them. I am not a wealthy man, and so speaking out is really the only means I have to effect change, however small.

    If I ever become complacent with racism, sexism, exploitation, enviornmental destruction, homophobia, and war simply by virtue of one day having a child, I urge all who know me to give me a good slap back to reality. In truth, I have very desire to become less complacent with such things, because as a parent I will have all the more reason to want the world to be the best it can be.