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N.Z. Teacher: Don’t Say “Gay” — Negatively

N.Z. Teacher: Don’t Say “Gay” — Negatively

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New Zealand schoolteacher Warren Bowers (pictured) is on a campaign against the word "gay" -- not because he's homophobic (he's a gay man), but because he sees students using it pejoratively.

"Quite often teachers just ignore it ... teachers will pull kids up on using sexist language, they'll pull kids up on using racist language ... but if kids use that word 'gay' ... quite often, they'll just let it slide," he told The Dominion Post of Wellington.

Bowers, whose graduate studies focused on homosexuality in education, said he was moved to research the matter after an 8-year-old student who has lesbian parents told him she was upset because her classmates used the word "as a bad thing." He then discussed this with his students and decided to ban the use of "gay" in his class -- and he would like to see a general ban.

Some students and teachers might not be aware of the harm done by negative use of the word, but "it is offensive and it does hurt people's feelings," he said.

Some educators questioned how much good a ban would do, but member of parliament Chris Carter, who is gay, praised Bowers's move. Read more here.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.