On the German news – parents were protesting against a gay kindergarten teacher
Today I caught attention of an article on the German print news on the internet. The story is about a gay kindergarten teacher in Berlin. The part of Berlin where the kindergarten is located, is mostly inhabited by people with an immigration background, some of them who belong to the muslim community.
You don’t have to understand the full article to get the message, that I want to communicate here. Just a little bit more of the background might be good enough to get you thinking.
The parents of this kindergarten were protesting against the employment of the teacher, as soon as they got the information, that this person is gay. They think that gay people are pervs, and therefore shouldn’t have contact to their children. The management then took the decision to stick with the teacher, and to terminate the contracts for those parents, who didn’t accept, that their children would be educated and taken care by a gay man.
The publication of that article was commented by many people. You can find the full range of opinions represented there. Starting with racism, islamophobic comments, homophobia, some discussing the integration of immigrants, man phobia, rape phobia, sexual orientations, some demanding these parents to be more tolerant, some blaming them for their culture, pedophilia, mistrust against people who are in contact with children, statements like ‘I would never give my child to a male person, or to a whatever person, differences between religions, and criticism on the German welcoming culture. Sorry if I missed some opinions here. Anyway this is enough, to get the impression that the figure of different kinds of phobias for itself, is showing that this is not an objective discussion.
In short – it’s a full blown collection of fears, angers, and irrational feelings.
Folks I can fully understand, the emotions that come in here. I guess the same thing can happen anywhere else in the world, where different cultures, and lifestyles come together.
My main takeaway from the article itself, and also from all these comments is, that no one was really interested in proposing a solution for that issue, although that would have been so important to have. We have to learn tolerance, and acceptance of people that are different from us, no matter where you start from. I am not sympathizing with either of these opinions, because all of them are cause for more intolerance. Although I am the T in the LGBTQI-family, I wouldn’t even take that role here. Intolerance can apply to any sexual orientation, gender, culture or religion. No one is really better than the other party, although everybody is claiming that for themselves. This brings in my idea, that we can learn from such cases, how tolerance is created. Let’s go into the details, if not already detailed enough.
What makes intolerance
Intolerance has different roots. The one that has the biggest impact, from my point of view is the missing knowledge, and understanding of the other people. This article is a beautiful example for that kind of problem, as it covers more than two minorities. At least we find LGBT folks, immigrants, muslims, racists, and so on. I don’t want to repeat the full list from above. Anyone on the comments section could at least identify with one of them, even the newspaper, taking their position on this particular situation, or other situations, that could relate to this, depending on their preferences (prejudices).
What’s the solution then?
Well, it is very simple in my eyes. I love simplicity, because it’s so easy. It’s definitely not a final judgement for one of the previously described opinions, as it happened in reality here. The decision to terminate the contracts for these kids, can be considered as a kind of judgement in that case. Some of these parents were in a oneway street, and nothing could convince them, to change their minds. The management saw no other options, as it didn’t want to loose it’s credibility, and it also had to defend the employment of that man.
What are the consequences of this termination? Such a thing only leads to a postponed problematic. The parents lack understanding, and acceptance of homosexuality. In their cultures gays are prosecuted for their sexual orientations, and they are considered as perverted people. Did the termination change anything in their minds?
The management of that kindergarten took a final decision to protect the gay teacher from intolerance, but at the same time they disrespected the muslim culture. Why can’t we work with both sides? Bring them to the same table. Someone who needs to be neutral, to take responsibility for the equal, and fair representation of both sides. When people refuse to accept each other, why not putting them back into the classroom? Putting adults into school – is that a really good idea? I don’t know. It’s just a spontaneous idea. Although not the worst one, that I may have had. But the real point is, that if any of these parties refuse tolerance, and respect, there should be an organized, and structured system, to resolve that conflict. People learn best from people who they would consider as peers. Why not taking some tolerant muslims, to educate those who are not that open? Why not taking another kindergarten management with muslim heritage, educating the manager? Why not having a higher authority to take over the responsibility for such cases, where there is a significant lack of acceptance, and tolerance? Why not oblige people to participate in tolerance workshops?
Just an idea from my side – what do you think?