US high school teacher reportedly says 'straight' is offensive

By Ho Phan   January 13, 2024 | 07:36 pm PT
A teacher at a U.S. high school allegedly told a student that the word "straight", referring to one's sexual orientation, is offensive.

Ian Golash, a history teacher at Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle, reportedly told a 15-year-old student who labeled himself as "straight" that he needed to pick a term that was less offensive, 770KTTH reported.

Golash requested students to complete a "Social Identity Wheel" worksheet, which asked students to explain several facets of their identities, including race, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation, said Fox News. 

A mother of the student, who requested anonymity, filed a complaint with the school, providing a copy of Golash's email, Fox News reported Friday. 

"When filling out a Social Identity Wheel, he (the student) was told that if he identifies as straight that he needed to pick a term that was less offensive. It is completely inappropriate to dictate what terms a student can and cannot use to identify themselves with," read the parent's email, which was sent to Golash and the school's principal Ray Garcia-Morales.

In an emailed response to the parent, Golash wrote: "I did say to the class, in response to a student, that I do not use the term 'straight' because it implies that to not be straight is to be 'crooked' which could have a negative connotation." He added he was "not interested in telling them how they should identify," 770KTTH reported.

According to Fox News, parents of students in Golash's class also filed complaints last month after he allegedly gave a failing quiz grade to a student for answering that only women can get pregnant and only men can have penises. 

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