Five Minute Friday: ACCEPT

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” Today’s prompt: ACCEPT

Five Minute Friday

My heart is heavy over an incident in our community that is full of non-acceptance.

A local teacher sent a letter out to the families of her fifth graders – a typical “about me” kind of “beginning of the school year” note – and explained that the teacher is “gender-neutral,” prefers to be addressed as “Mx.” (pronounced ‘mix’), and to be addressed with the pronouns they/them/their.

Insanity erupted, fueled (apparently) by a “moms” Facebook group that was heavily on the “ugly” side about this.

THEN it went to the local paper …. then to the national media …. then the apologies started – the teacher for any confusion created, the principal for [I don’t recall the principal’s statement], the superintendent for the whole thing (he noted he is responsible for everything done in our district).

My biggest issue is the utter hostility among adults about this.

CAVEAT: I know this site [Five Minute Friday] has its roots among Christian writers and I realize there is probably a WIDE array of how people feel about this topic …. but I am frightened of a world where people, frankly, show such un-Christian behavior toward an educator, a fellow human being, a person who reiterated that they intend to address students by their chosen pronouns (I am sure at that school that means 100% “he” and “she”).

Then there are the social media comments. So ugly and hateful.

This is a time for acceptance. It is a matter that transcends grammar. Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday linkup.

15 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: ACCEPT

  1. Love this, Paula. I’m sorry this is happening in your community. I lean left of center, moreso than most Jesus followers, but regardless of political opinions: this is about people. this is a HUMAN we’re talking about, someone made in the image of God, no matter their gender. The ugly comments are so unlike Jesus that it makes my heart hurt and makes me wanna flip tables Jesus-style.

    I don’t understand why we can’t disagree in a kind manner, ESPECIALLY those that say they are followers of Jesus– this isn’t something to be ugly about. The internet emboldens us to say things we wouldn’t say face-to-face, and that makes me so sad.
    everybody deserves acceptance–that transcends grammar, indeed.

    right behind you on the linkup this week! <3

    • Hi Jordan. I love the internet and social media but times like this I am reminded how easy it is to jump to judgment and to forget our empathy. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’ll visit your post soon!

  2. ah…it’s a hard one this gender stuff. And honestly…it’s just a word, but in parental minds it means more than that. It means explaining why…and that’s a hard and often scary topic for parents. Does hatred need to be shown? And anger? No…but in this reactive society it’s what comes quickest to the forefront. it’s not an excuse, but it’s an understanding. Never-the-less, God calls us to be something more than what we want to be.. and kindness and gentleness rank way up there. 🙂

    • Yes. The teacher has been very disciplined (it seems to me) about not getting into the fray on social media (I can’t imagine any good can come of that) — but I have this picture in my head of an enthusiastic educator (and goodness knows there are too few of those lately), beaten down by the ire and wrath of so much self righteousness. My heart hurts for that teacher. And honestly for all those angry people — it’s a difficult thing to bear the weight of so much anger/hatred/vitriol.

  3. Yes thank you! My heart hurts at how ugly people can be. Words can and do hurt. This teacher is a beloved child of God; fearfully and wonderfully made just like the rest of us. I know the world might not understand but who am I to judge. I’ll simply love. I’m in the 6 spot this week.

    • I feel the same way, Tara. And I suspect the students are more about “is this teacher ‘fun’ (they are fifth graders after all) and does the teacher do a decent job of making math about more than numbers …. rather than what pronoun the teacher wants used. Love is the way to go.

  4. Paula, all I can say is that the USA today is heaven for squirrels, because there sure are a lot of nuts out there.

    We kinda need to remember that we all bleed red, and if you need a battlefield transfusion you ain’t gonna care if the blood’s coming from a Mx.

    • Ha ha ha – yes you are right! Sounds like it’s not exactly the same abroad? I’m just blown away (maybe I’m naive) by all the “fire the teacher/get rid of the school board/these kids’ lives are ruined” sentiments out there. I would put my kid in that classroom in a hot minute.

  5. Amen, friend!! We need to put our big girl/boy panties on about being Christian. “That’s the way it’s always been” is no longer a valid point. I love your heart. Keep on. Praying over Mx that their life is filled with joy about how great of a teacher they are and not dimmed by the pronoun or title Mx wishes to use. xx

    • Yes, exactly. Definitely sending prayers to Mx. Teaching is hard enough anyway — having the world judge you (in a blunt and hateful way) does no good at all. I keep thinking (but not knowing enough about history to specify) ….. probably in the early 70s a teacher who requested to be addressed as “Ms.” instead of “Miss” or “Mrs.” may have gotten similar treatment without the exponential pressure of social media mobs.

  6. Such a tough topic, but yes, we need to respond with love even when we disagree. There is no excuse for hatred. We need to remember that every human being is created in the image of God and loved by him.

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