When an anonymous middle school teacher shared a picture of a survey answer sheet from a 9th grader, the internet had a thing or two to learn.
The teacher, who introduced herself as a math instructor at a girls middle school, explained there was an openly lesbian couple on campus. Upon hearing this, the principal said the school cannot have such gossip go around. The principal, set on identifying the homosexual students and penalizing them for their sexual orientation, created and conducted a survey on homosexuality that looked like this:
“SURVEYThis is an anonymous survey and your answers will remain confidential. Please answer to the best of your abilities, as this is to create a healthy school culture on campus. Please check where applies.
1. What is your opinion on homosexuality?
(1) I don’t have an opinion about it.
(2) I can understand it.
(3) I don’t understand it.
(4) I don’t ever think about it.
2. Do you think there are homosexuals on campus?
(3) I don’t know
(4) I heard about them
3. If there are, which class has the most of them?
(1) 7th Grade Class
(2) 8th Grade Class
(3) 9th Grade Class
4. What do you think the school will do about homosexual students?
(1) Offer counseling
(2) Assign volunteer work
(3) Suspend them
(4) Expel them
5. If you are aware of a homosexual student, please write their names below.”
The anonymous teacher hesitated before handing out the survey papers to her homeroom students, as the two homosexual students in question were said to be from her class. The teacher explained that as soon as the students received the survey, they went silent and began glancing at the couple.
After five minutes of surveying, the teacher collected the answers to take back to the principal. On the way to the principal’s office, the teacher looked through the papers and found the sheet that simply wowed the internet. The teacher explained, “I took a picture of it because it was such a big deal. I’d like to share it.”
While the survey said it was anonymous, this particular student identified herself by writing her grade, homeroom class, student number, and name on the top right hand corner. To question #4, which asks about what she thinks the school will do to the homosexual students, the student answered,
Homosexuality is not something with which the school can interfere. It is the student’s personal orientation. This survey, conducted in order to identify the homosexual student and penalize her, is unreasonable. Just like introverted students who take a long time to build relationships, or neat students who clean a lot more than other people, homosexual students like the same sex. It is a preference.
Before you try to “create a healthy school culture on campus” this way, you should focus on improving the level of maturity and mentality of this place where students are constantly learning.
This school wanted to progress so much that it replanted the field grass and installed state-of-the-art smart boards. The school held essay contests about discrimination and categorized “equality” as an entire chapter. But this survey, worthy of being shoved in the trashcan right now, is very outdated and extremely discriminatory. What an irony.”
The teacher who uploaded the picture commented:
“This student was the class rep. She was focused on her studies, often quiet and hard to approach, so I thought she was a bit mean and selfish. I don’t know how she managed to white out question 5 and write such a long answer, but I know that I was completely ashamed of myself after reading it.”
Other comments praised the 9th grader for her power to stand up for what’s right.
“Those of you who think this is about supporting homosexuality are clearly misunderstanding the point of her answer. She’s asking not to discriminate. Her school surveyed its students to force them into outing a homosexual couple on campus, leaving the two students branded for the rest of their school days. This isn’t normal. This is active discrimination and abuse. The student isn’t saying “being homosexual” is being progressive. She says while the school tries to be progressive, it is trying to discriminate against sexual orientation. A real progressive school would teach not to discriminate. Again, this isn’t about homosexuality, it’s about discrimination. Try to understand that before you comment.”
“Wow, she’s amazing. I should try to be like her.”
“This girl is going places.”
While Korea still remains largely conservative regarding LGBTQ+ communities and their issues, the effort to create equality for all is very active among the younger generations. This student’s survey answer became hope for many who are fighting to end discrimination.