School of Education: Legal Seminar Videos

Illegal Discrimination: Scenario 2


Scenario #2

Dr. Erma Jean Sims,
Sonoma State University

I've decided to add two additional scenarios to our illegal discrimination lesson. The first one is on sexual orientation. Matthew, a high school junior, has shoulder length blonde hair and frequently wears pink and purple clothes and talks in high-pitched voice. Mr. Jones, a teacher has heard many students at the school routinely refer to Matthew as a 'faggot' in the hallways and in his own classroom. And recently, he heard rumors that Matthew has AIDS. The winter ball is coming up and everyone is looking for a date. Matthew asks Mr. Jones if he thinks it would be a problem if he brought his boyfriend to the dance. Mr. Jones tells Matthew, 'you should not make yourself more of a target of ridicule and teasing, why don't you ask Susie to the dance? She's a nice girl and she is interested in you.'

Now that you've heard the scenario let's look at the questions on sexual orientation scenario. The first question is: Does calling Matthew a 'faggot' constitute illegal discrimination? If so, what type? Question number two: Does Mr. Jones have a responsibility to address the name-calling and rumors about Matthew? If so, how? Question number three: Did Mr. Jones respond to Matthew's question regarding the Winter Ball dance in a way that would prevent him from being accused of illegal discrimination? Now that you've heard the questions for the sexual orientations scenario take a few minutes on your own to think about these questions and some responses that you might have.

CREDITS: Instruction and Content by Dr. Erma Jean Sims, Sonoma State University. Videography and Technical support by Mark Niemann, Sonoma State University