Posted by: Catherine Lugg | October 23, 2010

Some very good news

According to MSNBC, gay student teacher Seth Stambaugh was reinstated on Thursday to his original student teaching placement. Stambaugh had been removed from his placement after a student asked him:

1. If he was married. “no.”
2. Then, why not. “Oregon bans gay marriage.”

According to the MSNBC report,

“This is a huge teachable moment,” Stambaugh said in a press conference Friday. “I’m glad I can be back in the classroom with the students I gained a great rapport with.”

I’m delighted with the turn of events. All students, queer and non-queer, need strong adult queer role models. Not only do the stereotypes die, but queer folks are made highly visible in a historically very important social role–a child’s teacher. For queer youth in crisis, they have a possible supportive adult in whom to confide, particularly if their home life is dangerous.

There is a potential downside to this situation: Stambaugh was removed on September 15, and he will not be returning to his original placement until NEXT week. According to my math, unless he had a temporary placement, he’s missed 6 weeks of student teaching (out of 15 weeks). Not good. I hope this “hole” has been addressed by Lewis & Clark University.

But for now, I’m going to enjoy this victory against institutional homophobia. If queer student teachers can be protected, we might, might, might be turning a corner.



  1. Here in Oregon Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) sent us the following message yesterday:
    “Beaverton Superintendent Jerry Colonna will discuss the decision to reinstate Seth Stambaugh at the next Beaverton School Board meeting this Monday 10/25/10. We know that those who oppose the decision will be out in force and we need to make a strong showing of support. Join BRO as we deliver the message that fairness is a Beaverton value!”

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