Today, a lot of alumni from my high school are gathering to support one of the teachers at the high school that was fired. Let me explain the background.
I went to an all-girls high school. It was Catholic and run by the nuns that lived on the property. It had the usual: uniforms, masses, classes on religion. How does that make a Hindu girl feel, especially when I was in the minority? Actually, I never felt out of place. This school was pretty tolerant of those that were not Catholic. We were never made to feel different. We had to attend everything, of course, but I do remember one specific idea that was presented in one of my religion classes. It was that every religion has the same 5 basic principles so we aren’t all that different from each other. I remember also being asked to stand up in front of the whole school and say something about friendship in Hindi during Thanksgiving Mass. I was proud of my culture and I was allowed to share it. I actually wore a sari to my prom which when I went to prom was something that most people had not seen before.
A few weeks ago, I saw an article that a former classmate had posted on Facebook. It was about a teacher from his job at a high school getting fired because he got married to his partner of 10 years. Turns out it was my school. There was already a movement in place to get him reinstated that was orchestrated by former students of his. I signed the petition and expressed my surprise at the intolerance of my high school, especially when I had remembered it to be otherwise.
This is not a teacher I had learned under when I was in school. He was present but our paths never really crossed. From what it sounds like when I read his other students’ stories that he was a greatly influential and well-respected teacher. It’s been amazing to watch people come together to support this cause. It’s remarkable to know that a man who just did his job by supporting his students is now being supported by his students.
It’s embarrassing to know that my high school could show this type of intolerance. I’m glad that someone took a stand. Their petition has reached a lot of people and I believe they have a march tonight at the high school to show their support.
It’s about time that those who aren’t tolerant come into the 21st century.
If you would like to show your support, attached is a link to the petition.