Ask School to Apologize to Teacher Fired for Showing Gay Rights Film

milk

Target: Administration at Colegio Lomas Hill, a middle school in Mexico

Goal: Ask Mexican school to make a full public apology to a teacher who was fired for showing the movie “Milk” to her middle school students

Cecilia Hernández, a teacher at Lomas Hill School in Cuajimalpa, Mexico has been fired for showing the movie “Milk” to her 7th and 8th grade students. The movie is about the life of Harvey Milk and his struggles as an American activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected official. Hernández, a civics teacher, was “addressing sexual orientation and human rights, which is part of the official Department of Education curriculum.”

But the school’s administrators said the Oscar-winning film was inappropriate for students. Hernández, who showed the first half hour of the film to her students, says she included the screening in her pre-approved lesson plan and heard no objections. However, the day after she showed the clip, she was sent to the principal’s office and was told she was fired.

“The lack of tact ad the disrespect you have shown students today is unforgivable,” said principal Annette Muench de Labardini in an email. “I consider it disrespect towards myself as well, since your lesson plan did not say you were showing this filth.”

Hernández does not want her job back, but wants an apology from the school district. She wrote a petition asking for a public apology from Colegio Lomas Hill and that the school cooperate with the conciliatory process proposed by the Mexican Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Ask the administrators of this school to issue a formal apology to Cecilia Hernández.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Lomas Hill administration,

As an institution whose own mission statement says it wants to “form pupils as principled and bold citizens of the world, capable of confronting challenges with wisdom and determination,” it is disappointing that you would treat an educator like Cecilia Hernández with such disrespect. In attempting to expand her students’ world-views by showing them this film, she was working to fulfill your mission and develop children with “positive attitudes for their fellow human beings.”

Provided that gay people all over the world are still ridiculed, discriminated against, and persecuted unfairly for who they are, you should know better than to so severely scold a teacher who was trying to open the hearts and minds of her students. Please consider issuing a public apology to Ms. Hernández, and continue to work to fulfill your mission of teaching children the skills needed to become critical thinkers and courageous leaders.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: strangedejim via flickr

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