The Lebanon Daily Record forums have been abuzz with talk about the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network Day of Silence being observed at Lebanon High School. It is a volunteer observation. Students are not forced into observing (personally I thing they should be or face expulsion - but that is me).
The fuss over this reminded me of what happened at LHS in 1986 (maybe 1985).
It involved the young lady pictured above. I won't give her name. It isn't important to the story. She was a teacher. I never had her for class. Too bad, she was HOT! I wish I could have been one of those kids who had sex with a teacher. I'd pick her.
The country was talking about A.I.D.S. Homophobia was rampant among teenage boys. It gave them a certain amount of masculine reinforcement. LHS had (probably still does) quite a few rednecks and jocks. They liked to call those they didn't like "faggot" or "queer."
This young teacher got tired of the some of the guys calling other students these derogatory terms for gay people. She had enough of this and told them her brother was gay. She said she would bring him in an introduce him to show that he was a "real human being."
She took this to the principal, who told her no because he was afraid of possible violence toward her and he brother. That should have been the end of it.
Not long after, a local preacher, who was a known trouble maker, shows up asking why the school was going to allow gay men to "make love in front of the students." Some way this had become a crazy rumor spread around the school. I might add the preacher had NO children in the school and was known to cause trouble with the school over silly rumors. He claimed once that there was an arcade in Lebanon where teenagers were dancing naked and drinking. Needless to say it closed soon after. Worst of all, this preacher had a radio show on KLWT every morning. He bashed everyone from Ozzy Osbourne to Jane Fonda, who he called a "harlot." If I had been running KLWT, I WOULD HAVE TAKEN HIM OFF THE AIR. Unfortunately, I was a junior in high school at the time (Sadly, I have a degree in media from MSU and I'm still not allowed to make programming decisions in radio).
The teacher left Lebanon after just one year, but the preacher had to leave town too. He was caught having an affair with another woman. He now lives in Springfield. He writes bad Letters to the Editor in the News Leader and has been heard on one of the local talk radio shows (Guess who?). He is also involved with local politics (Republican, of course).