Citing anti-gay discrimination, 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year leaving classroom

https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article262785383.html

2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Willie Carver Provided by Willie Carver Jr.

2022 Teacher of the Year cautions against Kentucky education returning to  'normal' post pandemic

Kentucky Teacher of the Year Tells Congress How Bad LGBTQ Discrimination is  in Kentucky Schools | Northern Kentucky News | Cincinnati | Cincinnati  CityBeat

Kentucky’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, who is gay, says he is leaving the K-12 classroom “to make the most difference, and the discrimination and lack of support prevent me from making that difference.”

After 17 years being a public school teacher, Willie Carver Jr. said he decided to leave the classroom and take a position at the University of Kentucky in student support services.

Carver told the Herald-Leader – and UK officials confirmed – that he will be an academic advisor at the Gatton College for Business and Economics.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to continue helping young people in their quest for education, Carver said in a Facebook post. “This was not an easy decision; I have cried quite a few times trying to make it over the past few months. But, ultimately, I have always wanted to be in the place where I can most make a difference in the lives of the next generation. I believe that UK is where I can do this.”

“I also increasingly find that, as a queer person in K-12 education, I have been unable to do that work without facing discrimination, heartache, and being a part of systems that cause harm, though I am immensely proud of my brilliant, hardworking, and fierce colleagues who have and continue to change that system in defense of students.”

In May, Carver told a Congressional subcommittee that he faced discrimination as a gay teacher and that hatred was the norm in schools. The panel was examining the wave of race and LGBTQ censorship engulfing America’s K-12 classrooms.

Carver, who had been teaching high school in Montgomery County, told the Herald-Leader that “vocal anti-LGBTQ extremists at school board meetings (and on social media) have been personally attacking me and my former students.”

“The national rhetoric is turned up, and LGBTQ teachers bear the weight of a lot of hatred that catalyzes the vitriol. It’s tiring,” he said.

Carver said he had been unable to find support from his school administration. “Mr. Carver is a wonderful English and French teacher. We wish him well in his new endeavor,” Montgomery County Superintendent Matthew Thompson said. 

Carter said he had been proud to be a teacher and had worked tirelessly for students and their families.

He said he found the resources they needed. He said his goal had always been to strengthen his community and teach young people to believe in themselves.

“I also know that I symbolize potential for some students. I symbolize potential for students who come from poverty, for Appalachian students, and for LGBTQ students,” said Carver. “Of late, I feel beaten down. I’ve withstood it, but it’s hard to find peace or happiness when you’re under attack. This is all the more problematic when a person is a symbol. I can’t risk breaking.”

Some schools are doing incredible work for their students and teachers who are racial or ethnic minorities, or are LGBTQ, he said. Some are not, he said.

“Some are doing harm, are rendering people invisible, are illegalizing discussions about queerness or blackness, are afraid to be allies for fear of political retribution,” Carver said.

“A question that anyone in a system has to ask is whether they are capable of changing that system or whether they are perpetuating it. I believe that I am able best to work with a system that helps students by moving forward.”

Carver mentioned Tyler Clay Morgan, a former music teacher at Kentucky’s West Irvine Intermediate School who resigned after he wrote a message to students on his classroom board that later became controversial.

Morgan in April confirmed to the Herald-Leader that he wrote a message on his classroom board that said, “You Are Free to Be Yourself With Me. You Matter.” The message included a rainbow flag and rainbow colors.

“This is a message I always tried to teach every student too,” said Carver. “I know Tyler and I aren’t alone in this. Thank you to each and every person who has made me, their own colleagues, and their students feel that they mattered.”

 

 

Kentucky Teacher Of Year Resigns Over Homophobia

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports:

Kentucky’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, who is gay, says he is leaving the K-12 classroom “to make the most difference, and the discrimination and lack of support prevent me from making that difference.”

After 17 years being a public school teacher, Willie Carver Jr. said he decided to leave the classroom and take a position at the University of Kentucky in student support services.

Carver, who had been teaching high school in Montgomery County, told the Herald-Leader that “vocal anti-LGBTQ extremists at school board meetings (and on social media) have been personally attacking me and my former students.” Carver said he had been unable to find support from his school administration.

Read the full article.

Last month Carver testified before a House subcommittee about accusations that he was “grooming students.” Watch the clip.

 

PickyPecker • 18 hours ago

its no wonder there is a teacher shortage. low pay + high abuse + no respect.

Zorba PickyPecker • 18 hours ago

If I was 50 years younger, I would not go into teaching again.

Coxygru Zorba • 3 hours ago

I left in 1999. The issue was no pay. None at all for months. The other issue was the university’s extremely poor organization.

wmforr PickyPecker • 12 hours ago

I am thinking it might also become dangerous to be a librarian. }}}shudder {{{

Elagabalus • 18 hours ago

This story makes me sad. Willie Carver could be any of us here – ordinary people who happen to be gay and are just trying to do their jobs and get through life as best we can with some shred of integrity. His story is our story.

Chunk Elagabalus • 18 hours ago

When I was perceived as a straight white male I was on the fast track at the company I worked for, when I transitioned I became unpromotable and was stuck in a corner and told to shut the fuck up. I created my own path after that, I’m much happier now. Good luck to those that face adversity because of who they are, keep your chin up and don’t be afraid to bushwhack your way to a better future.

Bruno • 18 hours ago

So the bigots won, basically.

kaydenpat Bruno • 18 hours ago

It’s hard to teach when you’re being bombarded with bigotry and censorship about who you are.

Todd20036 kaydenpat • 18 hours ago • edited

And then they tell their kids their teacher is “sick” and a “pedophile”

Sister_Bertrille Bruno • 18 hours ago

They did, but I can’t blame him for the career switch. There’s only so much hate a person can take.

ECarpenter Bruno • 16 hours ago • edited

Anyone who thinks that the bigots are not currently winning is not paying attention.

Where are the calls to give Biden a House and Senate that will pass his agenda? Where is the national drive explicitly laying out what the Democrats will pass if they’re given a sufficient majority? Where is the PR campaign pointing out the bills that Republicans have stopped, and their record of obstruction? I don’t get it – where are the Democrats?

Goodbye to a sort-of functioning, somewhat democratic country – we’re pretty much doomed.

wmforr ECarpenter • 13 hours ago

While the real-world channels were covering the attack on Democracy today, the BREAKING NEWS on Fux was Nancy Pelosi ‘s father-in-law ‘s traffic accident.

joe ho • 18 hours ago

This is the red state plan in order to stamp out the “queering” of America.

Make the lives of LGBTs so unpleasant and dangerous that they’re forced back into the closet or leave the state.

A secondary goal is to make public school teaching even more aversive than it is now so that the system collapses.

And now they have the courts to help them accomplish their goal.

JTC • 18 hours ago

Good teachers are being forced out every year. Dealing with inept superiors, parents who are overwhelmed or just don’t give a fuck about their children and their education and being the political football for dipshits like DeSantis and right-wingers brings teachers to their breaking points. Kudos to Mr. Carver and I wish him luck with his new job.

weshlovrcm • 17 hours ago

The far-right fascists were trying to prevent gay people from teaching at least as far back as the 1970’s. See the “Briggs Initiative.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.