And I Found that Love was More than Just Holding Hands

Posted by Drew | Posted on 11:41 AM

Ok so here is a post i wrote on my computer in word earlier this spring. I didn't have a blog at the time but I had a feeling I'd start again soon and figured this would be a good post. Sorry if its a little long.
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So the last couple days I have been a substitute teacher at a school district near me. I was in for a jr high teacher (8th grade to be exact) who was out two days in a row for some medical proceedure or something. I dont get told that information. All I get is a sheet of paper that says, in about two sentences, what each period is and what they're supposed to do.

All I could think about was back when I was in school (not too long ago) and how I treated substitutes haha. Luckily nothing bad happened for me the last couple days, but I do like to play the "cool" substitute. In most of the classes the teacher had assigned a bunch of questions from the book that were to be turned in at the end. So I made a deal with the kids that if they worked hard and were quiet and good the whole period I would go over the answers with them the last few minutes of class to make sure everyone had the right answers. The way I looked at it was most of the answers are already in the book, and I'd rather have kids learn the right thing than not learn at all. Plus, I was told to grade the papers if I could and right simply a + or - in the grade book on wether they did the assignment fully or not.

But thats not really what I wanted to post about. As part of my duty for the day I had to patrol the hallways inbetween classes and at the end of the day as students head for the bus. Yesterday, after I was done with that I preceeded to the office to sign out for the day and was then told that they needed me to fill in for the same teacher today as well. I agreed and left to go back to the classroom I had been teaching in to grade the papers and grab my coat to leave.

When I turned back down the hallway by where the students catch the bus, there were two boys, both in 8th grade, standing there holding hands as they waited for a ride since the buses had already left. They didnt see me coming as they were talking to each other. When I came closer to them they're heads snapped towards me, their hands droped from one another like the opposite had the plaque, and both had the look of a deer caught in the headlights on their face. They both looked like they had been caught commiting murder right in front of me...when in reality all they were doing was holding hands.

Now I know this school takes a no "public display of affection" policy when it comes to students, and this technically includes holding hands. However I know that most teachers would ignore two students holding hands...as long as one student is a boy and one is a girl. I've seen it before in other school districts I've substituted in or worked in as part of college/uni. Often straight students would be able to push the boundaries of the rule, but if two students who were labeled "gay" "bi" or "lesbians" were to even stand too close to each other they were often "talked to" or "reminded" of the rules. Its sad that even though school districts pretty much have to take a policy where all students are treated equal regardless of sexuality, it often isn't that way when it comes down to it.

So as I kept walking towards these two boys who had the scared to death look on their face I decided to put them at ease. I simply smiled at them and said "Hows it going boys?" They both had a mixed look of relief and confusion on their faces as they both quietly peeped "good." I continued the conversation with "Waiting for a ride?" to which the one, gaining more confidence, replied that his mom was picking them both up. I ended the conversation with "Ok, well I'm still going to be in Mrs. (insert name of teacher) here grading papers for a little so if you get caught in the hallway and need somewhere to stay you can come down there and wait until your mom gets here if you want." They both smiled knowing they were safe with me and said thanks.

As I walked away I noticed the one boy who had done most of the talking reached his hand back out and grabbed the other boys hand. It was a risky move as I was still a teacher that could send them to see the vice principle for doing it, but I'm glad they felt I wasn't a threat to them in that way. I finally turned around to see them still holding hands and smiled again and said "Have a good day boys." The next day when both of them entered the school I got a "Hi Mr. (insert my last name...or rather first initial since its easier for kids :p)" from both of them.

School for young gay kids can be a challenge. Sadly, as in life, the people who are against homosexuality are often the loudest with their arguements. It creates an environment where the students aren't really free to be themselves. I know myself in life I have to "feel" out people to see where they stand, to see who is someone who is against me, and who is someone who will support me. I'm just glad that these students know that not everyone in schools will be against them being themselves. I support them, even if I'm just a substitute teacher haha.

Comments (5)

That was great! The funny thing is if they were straight you would have treated them the same way. Too bad others can't see that..

Awww.

I think it's good that they know that the whole world doesn't hate them. Presumably, for all they know, you could be straight or gay.

Whatever people think of homosexuality, they need to treat each other with respect. Christians are commanded to treat others with love.

And love is what I think you showed those kids.

If I wouldn't already, I would like you at least now.

Awww, that was really great of ya. I hope those boys can look up to you and acknowledge you if/when they see you again.

Everyone needs support every now and then, and I think you did a great job showing them the support they needed.

I must say, I was quite moved by this post. :-)

Great!

As we see from all these cases of bullying of kids by kids on the grounds that they just might be gay - a little understanding is going to go a long, long way with those guys.

That these two had the guts to hold hands says that the school hadn't been too tough on them so far - maybe it's up to gay guys like you on the staff to ensure it stays that way.

I guess you've certainly found your vocation!