David Friedman had some cool posts a while ago, hunting down various myths about social conservatives. (I can’t go look them up right now.) The pattern was: anti-religious people would absolutely flip out over some “nutjob Christian” stance somebody took, it would become common knowledge, and the only problem was…it was either totally backwards or it took the person way out of context.
I’m wondering if there’s something like that in the case of a biology teacher who–as a bunch of my Facebook friends could not believe!!!–might lose his job because he said the word “vagina” during class. And yep, if you go to the news story they linked, both the headline and opening paragraph support the claim:
High School teacher under investigation after saying ‘vagina’ in biology lesson
* Tim McDaniel used term while teaching 10th grade biology lesson on reproduction and anatomy
High School science teacher is facing the sack after he used the word ‘vagina’ during a biology lesson for pupils aged 15 and 16.
Tim McDaniel, is being investigated by Idaho’s professional standards commission for using term while teaching a 10th grade biology lesson on reproduction and anatomy.
Four parents in conservative community of Dietrich wrote to complain, and now education chiefs in the conservative state are considering his future.
Wow, I can’t believe it! Organized religion is ruining this country, I tell ya.
But hang on, the article continues:
Mr McDaniel, who said he had never received a complaint in the 18 years he had taught at Dietrich School, is also accused of explaining the biology of an orgasm.
A disciplinary letter from the Idaho State Department of Education also accused McDaniels of showing a video clip in class depicting an infection of genital herpes and teaching about different forms of birth control.
The letter also alleges that McDaniels told inappropriate jokes in class.
According to a 2002 survey, 66 per cent of church goers in Lincoln County, where Dietrich is located, are affiliated with the Mormon Church,
But it seems the majority of his students back him.
But still, to possibly get fired for all of this? Oh wait, the article concludes:
Dietrich Superintendent Neil Hollingshead said: ‘It is highly unlikely it would end with his dismissal.
‘Maybe a letter of reprimand from the school board.’
So rather than “OMG a biology teacher got fired by some religious freaks for saying ‘vagina’!!!” the actual story is, “A biology teacher was accused of talking about orgasms in class, showing video of a genital infection, and making inappropriate jokes, and will likely receive a reprimand from the school board.”
I don’t really remember what we learned in high school on this stuff when I was growing up, and I don’t know whether this is outrageous or not. But it’s a heck of a lot less outrageous than a biology professor getting fired for using the medically appropriate word.