So apparently the Joe Martins saga continues. Joe who made the suggestion that the Durfee handbook should be updated, as a way to update parents, of the events and activities of a Boston Gay Pride Youth forum that children in Gay Straight Alliance may attend, continues to have his motives questioned.
Now a Durfee teacher, Gary Bigelow, has decided to come forth and express outrage of Mr. Martins suggestion and obviously knows what Joe’s REAL motives were.
Saying that one doesn’t “have a problem” with a certain kind of student is like saying that I have no problem with short people or old people or green people.
Perhaps Mr. Bigelow saying one doesn’t have a problem with a certain kind of student means JUST that and the reason you HAVE to state it is because political correctness has been distorted to the point that you can’t say anything without worrying about some group of people taking offense. Somehow Mr. Bigelow feels that an earlier statement about not thinking guitar playing was as important as a medical course proves that there was prejudice and bigotry. What?!
Mr. Bigelow tries to make the point that parents must sign field trips and how diligent the school and faculty are. Well sorry, I know for a fact that communication between the school and parents needs improvement.
Believe me I understand why people are questioning Joe Martins motives here. I’m aware of the beliefs that he and his wife have expressed in the past. However, all he was suggesting was that parents be better informed. Personally I don’t think the handbook would do the trick, but that is where discussion could have taken place. Mr. Bigelow says “they do not pose for disgusting pictures”, yet Mr. Martins furnished pictures of kids posing. But here is another chance for reasonable discussion. Do the pictures accurately represent what is going on there? If so do parents have a right to be informed about this?
When I read Mr. Bigelow’s letter I don’t see a teacher reaching out trying to assure parents that this event is a positive thing for their children. What I see is an individual who instead of pointing out prejudice and bigotry is practicing it.
However Mr. Bigelow is not the only person I’m disappointed in regarding this incident, I’m also disappointed in Joe Martins. You see I’m no psychic. I don’t profess to be able to read Joe’s mind and therefore know his true motives. That’s why I have tried to look at this objectively and seeing merit, give him the benefit of the doubt. However there is no doubt that whatever his intentions may have been his words and his actions have upset and offended. The other night 2 members of the Gay Straight Alliance came before the school committee and explained that to Mr. Martins. They went a step further and invited him to attend next year’s parade and see it for himself. He declined. Joe, whatever your personal views, if you claim to have no issue with this group you should rethink that invitation. Going to the parade would be a gesture of good will and an example of tolerance and acceptance.At the same meeting, another gentleman rose to speak and pointed out that the application to participate in the parade states any items given away must be age appropriate, which certainly puts into question some of Joe's concerns. If Mr. Martins were to go to the parade he would have a chance to either prove that his concerns are valid or take comfort that the event is not the concern he thought it was. By declining this invitation Mr. Martins simply reinforces the image and belief that many have already expressed about him.
Lefty's View: Shame on Gary Bigelow for being reactionary and simply slamming Mr. Martins when he could have done so much more to enlighten us on what takes place during this event. Shame on Joe Martins for missing an opportunity to show support and tolerance for the GLBT. Congratulations to the members of the GLBT who respectfully addressed Mr. Martins, extended him an invitation, and had the courage to stand up for themselves in a public forum.