School Reprimanded Music Teacher After His Husband Sent Him Flowers

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When it comes to being a part of the LGBT community, no matter which country you live, you’re likely to experience pervasive discrimination which drastically affects your well-being.

A recent incident at a school in Illinois reflects the widespread discrimination persistently shaping the lives of LGBT people in both understated yet significant ways.  

Nathan Etter, a 30 years old music teacher received a bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day from Phillip, his husband. This made some first graders make comments, such as ‘gross’. Etter told The Chicago Tribune that he made up his mind to use it as a ‘teachable moment’ in order to explain that there are some families who have 2 dads or 2 moms.

Later, Etter was summoned to the principal’s office and was told to stick to the curriculum. The Principal of the school scolded Etter, according to a representative of the local teachers union and was treated in a discriminatory manner. This led to a controversy that lasted several months.

He said, “The way the situation was handled brought me great personal concern.” He told NBC that, “This would have never happened if he had received flowers from his wife.”

Following the incident, hundreds of parents and students from Prairie View Grade School in Burlington, Illinois, gathered up to support a gay teacher at a school board meeting. The incident was discussed at the standing-room-only school board meeting, and over 100s of faculty members, parents and teachers marched inside the room to support Ether. In fact, some showed up with placards that read, “Respect for all” and “We support Mr. Etter.”

Jeff Kellenberger, School board president, called Etter a valued mentor and he was asked to teach again next year. He added that his employment was never in jeopardy and there is nothing to protest.

“A primary value of 301 is we are welcome, inclusive, respectful to all faculty, staff, students, and families,” Kellenberger told NBC.

10 thoughts on “School Reprimanded Music Teacher After His Husband Sent Him Flowers

  • June 6, 2019 at 1:13 am
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    Children need to learn that there are people in the world who are a little different than they. You have to start teaching them to accept differences at a young age, or they’ll think something is wrong with the person. And that’s the vibe a few of you are giving off by saying what this teacher said was unacceptable. It’s not like he described how he has sex with his husband. A teachable moment came up and he used it.

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  • November 30, 2018 at 3:44 pm
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    I am sorry his job is to teach music not relationships .. or family life . He crossed the line ..

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  • September 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm
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    It’s not that they don’t understand, they choose not to understand. They are so closed minded and ignorant, they dont want to know or their kids to know. If people would open their minds and give people a chance, they’d realize their sexual identity has nothing to do who the person is. I know the person can be wonderful, but can be gay. My son is gay, and I’m so proud of him.

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  • August 15, 2018 at 1:58 pm
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    It should be the parents decision to decide when and how to explain different family dynamics to their children. I have a daughter who has a wonderful girlfriend in her life but we did not explain this to my 6 year old. Why because he is 6

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    • May 29, 2019 at 8:58 pm
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      Why wouldn’t you explain it to your 6 year old? It’s a simple conversation…’ Mr./ Ms. Whoever loves Mr./Ms. Whoever and that is perfectly okay.’ They chose to be together and it’s ok.

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  • July 24, 2018 at 2:46 pm
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    I can’t believe people get so buthurt about this. This is exactly why the teacher did the right thing, because more students should be taught that this is human and not to act bigoted because of it.

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  • July 13, 2018 at 1:40 pm
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    I had a teacher with a very similar incident, only that my school, being a very Christian one, fired him the moment they found out. We were taken from a great teacher simply because others couldn’t understand.

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  • June 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm
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    I think it was a complete overeaction and an example of how he really felt despite what he told the press afterwards. The protestors did not even object to the way he explained how some families are different so he must have done it in a very professional manner. The person who stated none of this would have been an issue if the flowers had come from his ‘wife’ summed it up in a nutshell.

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  • May 16, 2018 at 4:22 pm
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    He did an excellent thing! With his teachings and situation, I’m sure he would open the eyes of a lot of those students!

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  • May 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm
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    This principal should be FIRED…no excuses!

    Reply

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