Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2022-05-20 23:41:14 –
(LEX 18) — When it comes to classrooms at Montgomery County High School, I like French and English teacher Willy Carber to keep students in control.
“When you look at humans, you see the possibilities,” Carver said.
The teaching method awarded him the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year a few months ago. He also engages with students outside the classroom through his sponsored group, Open Light.
“They teach themselves about the history of blacks, the history of LGBTQ, and women’s rights,” he said. “Everyone is welcome. Specifically, LGBTQ students are welcome. There are literally unwelcome spaces in the school, so it’s important to have an invitation. This is where you can. You need to know that there is .. “
He knows how important support is and raises gay children in areas that are not always accepted.
“I’ve heard so many horrifying things about what homosexuals are, so I didn’t think I was gay when I wanted a boyfriend. I was told that homosexuals are monsters, so that’s not the case. There wasn’t. “I think it could happen,” he said. “I’m smart enough, old enough, and when I was about 13 or 14, I started thinking,’OK, I think this is …’. I really don’t like it.”
He said even the smallest shows of support can make a big difference.
“75% of LGBTQ adolescents under the age of 18 say they are always miserable. In the last 12 months, 50% have seriously attempted suicide. One positive adult is at risk of suicide. If it turns out to reduce suicide by 50%, then there is that positive adult. “
Carver said there was always some backlash, but things were generally okay. But in the last few years, he said it’s getting fierce.
“If I wake up and choose to hold a group meeting, someone in the community will attack me and attack this group, and the new word is the” grooming “group. All you have to do is have the kids clean the park. If I choose not to have a group, I have to deal with the fact that I have a life-saving mechanism. This is a situation that no teacher can win. Those who are trying to make sure that LGBTQ children feel they should exist are becoming more and more politicized these days. ” “Students are stripping posters every day,” Well, don’t you feel like you’re pushing it into people’s throats? By having a sign? I don’t think so. Just “you are loved” there is no room for hatred here “or something along those lines”
Finally, a few weeks ago, he went online and became nervous.
“I’m the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and a proud gay man, but I’m not sure if I can continue to do this,” he tweeted.
After more than 7,000 retweets and nearly 65,000 likes, Carver yesterday sat in the House subcommittee on citizenship and liberty in Washington to discuss laws related to LGBTQ discussions in the classroom. I testified when I was there.
“Few LGBTQ teachers survive this storm. Politicalizing our existence has darkened the school,” Carver told members.
According to Carver, the students seem to be free to hurt the group’s items.
“Students are currently using anti-LGBTQ or racist slurs without consequences. Hatred is now politically protected,” he said.
He told members of the subcommittee that some parents had made rumors.
“Last month, a parent’s dangerous and false allegation that my GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) was” caring “for students was shared 65 times on Facebook,” he said.
Speaking from Kentucky the day after the testimony, Carver pondered what a group like Openlight meant to him when he was a teenager. He said he didn’t learn to accept his identity until college.
“If we had a comfortable space four or six years ago, we couldn’t even imagine how it changed or what we could do,” he said.
Mr. Carver said he didn’t know how long he would stay in the line of fire as a teacher, but said he would never stop standing up for those who were pushed to the limit and hopes to set an example.
“It’s a really important time to stand up aloud for others. I have this … we now have a moment when very few people are trying to establish a pretty ugly story. If people don’t speak out for others, they can do it. “