Jewish Journal

Little Boxes on the Hillside

by Beit T'shuvah

March 14, 2013 | 10:28 am

By M. Alexander

Earlier this week, while running a Prevention group at a Hebrew School in the valley, we ran into a difficult dilemma when we split the group into boys and girls. The teacher fashions herself a progressive and decided that a split by gender was antiquated. What about sexual preference? What about gender identity?

The teacher decided that the students could go into whichever group they felt the most comfortable. In a hypersensitive and politically correct world, this seems a reasonable solution. The teacher didn’t want anybody to be marginalized. However, the teacher’s focus was not on the rest of the class. What happens if the desires of the few affect the comfort of the many? After all, these are 10th graders and I am not sure if a boy would feel as comfortable sharing his intimate problems if he was sitting across from somebody he does not think shares the same issues.

I don’t know if there is a simple solution. I have absolutely no problem discussing “men’s” issues with a group that includes transgender and homosexual students. But what about the students who do? Should they suck it up and enter modernity? Or is there another reasonable solution that I have not yet thought of? Your help would be much appreciated.

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