Reprimanded teacher questioned whether parent was homophobic 0
(SCREEN GRAB YOUTUBE.COM)
A B.C. teacher suspended for showing a Christmas video where three men danced in bikinis around a fourth, Speedo-clad man, also inappropriately questioned a worried parent whether she was homophobic or trans-phobic.
Details surrounding Saanich teacher Joe Edward Winkler’s screening of a lip-sync version of Mele Kalikimaka by Bette Midler to his Grade 4 class, were released in a B.C. Teacher Regulation decision reprimanding the educator earlier this month.
In the video, three bikini-clad men are seen playfully dancing, splashing water and playing a xylophone around the fourth man on a beach, referencing the song about Hawaiian Christmas.
“One parent came to the school … and expressed her view that the video was sexually inappropriate,” the decision said, noting Winkler apologized for the video that he didn’t preview entirely prior to showing it to his class.
“Winkler responded in an inappropriate manner by becoming defensive and making inappropriate inquiries and comments as to whether the parent was homophobic and/or transphobic.”
In January, the Saanich School Board suspended him for five days. According to the decision, Winkler now works with the district to “develop a set of guidelines for the selection and inclusion of LGBT” learning in class.
The decision said he’s also agreed not to say or write anything that “contradicts, disputes or calls into question” the facts in the decision.
Qmunity executive director Dara Parker, however, stressed education should be equal and that there shouldn’t be additional guidelines required for LGBT education in schools.
“I don’t think it should be inherently controversial … the same guidelines that apply to all content that’s introduced into the B.C. school system should be used here,” she said, adding existing guidelines factored in age-appropriateness.
“Whether we’re talking about a genocide in Rwanda or World War II, I think there’s different ways to introduce that to Grade 4s as to Grade 12s.”
BC NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert felt, in general, homophobia needs to be dealt with through conversation, but people shouldn’t be judged for simply expressing concerns.
The Teacher Regulation decision noted numerous emails were written to the school principal following the video being shown twice, with parents both supporting and opposing its showing.