Ethics Quiz: “Professor Nalo”

Nalo twwet

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day…

What’s the ethical way to deal with “Professor Nalo”?

(Or is there one?)

Stipulated: a grade school teacher’s sexual orientation, identity, habits and proclivities are not a proper topic for instruction or discussion with students. Prof. Nalo also raises the question of whether it is competent or responsible for a school to hire a screaming narcissist as a teacher at any level.

[Full disclosure: One of my favorite teachers growing up was, in fact, a screaming narcissist, though I didn’t realize it at the time. But boy, did she do a lot of damage to some of my classmates.]

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Pointer: The Daily Wire

28 thoughts on “Ethics Quiz: “Professor Nalo”

  1. No problem with Nalo asking students to call him “professor” or “teacher” or “sad one” or….. It is also clear to me that his sexual orientation, or sexuality, or gender preference, or … have nothing to do with his worth as a teacher. However, it seems to me that the most queer thing about this narcissist is that he somehow thinks it is ok to discuss that with his first graders! And he thinks it is a good thing to tweet about it, although I have concluded that many individuals who tweet about themselves must be narcissists.

      • I think there is always an element of narcissism to posting on the internet, and I’m certainly as guilty of it as anyone else. My dad is of the opinion that Facebook et al should be like your living room, where you only talk about the nice things in your life and do it in a polite manner. OK, that’s one approach, but I’d like to talk about more than grandchildren and the occasional trip or purchase I think is interesting.

        I admit, I use it as a platform for blogging, and I know not everyone is going to like or even want to read my thoughts on politics, history, or this or that. I use it as a platform for jokes, and I know most of my jokes are dumb. I use it as a platform for photography, and I know not everyone is interested in looking at my latest pictures, be they nature photographs, event photographs, still life pictures, the occasional model-type picture (when I can find one to shoot with) or whatever.

        That said, I’m one private and relatively unimportant individual who no one has to deal with there. All folks are welcome to scroll right past what they aren’t interested in, or absent themselves from my page if they decide it isn’t their cup of tea. I know I do the same every day, scrolling right past this guy’s daily picture of his baby daughter and this gal’s inspirational quote, and jumping right over this other couple’s endless travel pictures that are just them standing together in front of famous places. I have also absented myself from more than a few pages, once for endless “my husband is the best” posts (tell him, not everyone else!), another time for repeated breastfeeding pictures (in public is one thing, but sending it around the world?), yet a third for constant militant atheism (OK, I get it, you don’t believe and you think anyone who does is an idiot, can we talk about something else? Please? Just for a minute?). Later it became about bad TDS. In one case the final straw was someone who posted five(!) attacks on Trump before breakfast, and then there’s still the rest of the day to go. I’ve probably been pushed aside too, for too many conservative articles (No, I don’t want to hear Victor Davis Hanson’s thoughts on this), too many overblown historical screeds (I really don’t need to hear all about why this battle was pivotal or why we need to take another look at this ruler I’ve never heard of), too many photos of this or that (ANOTHER damn picture of the Blue Angels? I don’t care if it’s a new model plane, it looks the same to me.)

        This is really not all that different than a naked teacher situation. This guy’s defining himself by his sexuality, making sure everyone knows about it, and not letting anyone else move past it or change the subject. He’s also passing right over parents’ choices for 6-7 year old kids to learn about different kinds of sexual behavior or maybe to hold off until its something they think they’ll “get.”

    • I wonder what the first graders’ parents think about this. I can’t see any legitimate reason for a first grade teacher to be discussing his/her sexuality and queer issues with 5 and 6 years olds.

      jvb

    • Is it an assumption to call this Nalo and “him”?

      Personally I don’t know it Nalo is a “him”, “her” or an “it” and I don’t give a damn. When it comes to sexual orientation Nalo and others like Nalo needs to keep their pie hole shut and get back to teaching the 3 R’s.

      Twitter is a breeding ground for narcissists, totalitarians, Marxists, hive mindedness and bigots.

  2. What’s the ethical way to deal with “Professor Nalo”?

    It sounds like an Ethics Zugzwang to me.

    That said…

    Since I don’t much care about angering virtue signaling teachers or indoctrinating school districts; if my that was my grandchild’s teacher I’d recommend to my children to pull that grandchild out of that class and I’d also recommend using some of Jack’s words to tell the school that “a grade school teacher’s sexual orientation, identity, habits and proclivities are not a proper topic for instruction or discussion with students” in K-12 schools and I won’t put an impressionable child in a classroom with someone, anyone, that is going to talk about sexual orientation, identity, habits and proclivities and if that means I need to retire to do home schooling for my grandchild then so be it.

    It is not the place of schools to teach sexual orientation, period! Parents need to step up and take back control of our schools or take their children out of them.

  3. Why does EVERYTHING have to be about race or sex? Math is racist? How? Who cares what people do behind closed doors, as long as it hurts no one? I’m reminded of the line “The love that dare not speak its name has become the love that won’t shut the hell up.”

  4. I probably can’t count on my two hands the number of gay and lesbian teachers I had in grade school and high school. Nuns for grade school supplemented by probably some “spinsters.” Marist Brothers in high school. My Corporations prof in law school was doubtless a lesbian. She went on to become the dean. One of the priests on the faculty died suddenly and mysteriously, no doubt of AIDS.

    None of which had anything to do with anything. Honestly, there are times I wish gay and lesbian people would go back to being a hidden subculture where they all seemed perfectly content to be left alone to live their lives as they saw fit.

  5. Full disclosure: I’ve never attended one of your ethics classes, Jack. However, Dr. Cohen was my law professor and did teach ethics. He stated that ethics is essentially about acting beyond one’s own self-interests. Can we be ethical without considering others and acting in ways that value them?

    I submit this teacher hasn’t a clue.

    Ethical behavior is also moving beyond the ego to show concern for others. This teacher is all about self and ego without consideration for students.

    A moral point of view goes beyond self-interest to a place that takes everyone’s interests into account. Ethics, therefore, assumes that self-interest is not the basis for human behavior, although some Hobbes have tried to base ethics on self-interest he was not convincing.

  6. I think it is easy to look at the post and conclude the OP is a narcissist. Everything about his post makes this a rebuttable presumption. I am going to look at a hypothetical rebuttal (since, I do not have access to facts other than the post itself at face value, I can only offer speculation).

    Let make the assumption that nothing untoward is said in the classroom. If the Nalo is trans, he deliberately avoids this issue by using the term “professor”, instead of Mr./Mrs. On its face, a kindergarten teacher called “professor” sounds presumptuous, however, if he is dancing around the difficult topic of his gender identity, I’ll give it to him. (I will refer to the OP as “him” because, again, I have only the post to go by, and the individual appears biologically male, whatever his gender identity might be).

    Regarding “Mr./Mrs.”, this has a built in function of broadcasting marital status (at least for women). A five year old may very innocently ask about a teacher’s spouse. Answer such a basic demographic question inherently reveals sexual orientation. You would be hard pressed to say it is inappropriate for Mrs. Apple to say she is married to Mr. Apple. Would it be inappropriate Mrs. Orange to say there is a second Mrs. Orange in her marriage?

    Do we expect gay/queer individuals to refuse to answer what their spouses name is? What would the point be of legalizing gay marriage, if sharing the name of one’s spouse is taboo? If students ask typical get-to-know you questions, and one question could only be answered to say he is “queer”, without elaboration, I cannot categorically say this is inappropriate.

    Nalo may well be proud of his students for politely asking about his queerness, even though he offers no further elaboration to them.

    The idea that “straight/gay/queer” issues have no place in the classroom is unrealistic, particularly since we as a society publicly acknowledge homosexual marriages as equal to heterosexual unions. Some amount of comfort around these topics is needed even at the earliest ages. Based on this post alone, he isn’t necessarily sharing age-inappropriate information, thus there isn’t anything to “deal” with.

    • I had similar thoughts. If he was making that a point of teaching about being queer/non-binary, that’s wrong. But if he’s just answering questions asked in an age appropriate way (including “that’s a question you should talk to your parents about it” if it’s too invasive) that’s something likely to happen in the community these days.

      I don’t trust that that’s what he’s doing, but nothing in the tweet suggests otherwise.

      That said, the Professor should send home a note about it the first day to warn parents, the same way a kindergarten/first grade teacher who’s pregnant should give parents a heads up. How parents address it should be up to them, but that parents might have to address it is part of the world.

      • In first grade, how many students have any concept of what “gay” means? My guess? None. If the question to the teacher is “why do you dress like a man?” her answer should be rote: because I choose to.

        • I agree, but, first, I think he’s talking about genderqueer rather than sexually queer/gay (though genderqueer people kind of are by default. But they don’t need to go into that.) I think it’s pretty likely that kids are going to ask “are you a boy or a girl?” And his answer is going to have to be something like “I’m neither.” When they ask what he is… Using the common (these days) term for it seems uncontroversial. Parents can then tell their kids it doesn’t matter, or some people think that’s what they are but their really a boy or a girl, or that it’s a wonderful thing, or anything they like.

          And as Rich pointed out, even if we were talking about LGBT, kids are going to be exposed to the public effects of gayness. If Professor NoGender has a wife or husband, it may come up just as it does for straight teachers. Questions about who’s the “mommy” and who’s the “daddy” might come up and have to be dealt with. Once again, whether that’s right or wrong or whatever details parents want to disclose are up to them.

          Really, I think a pregnant teacher is a good comparison. Children of that age (at least only or youngest children) might have no idea where babies come from, and if that happens to be the case there might be a lot of questions, and not all of them are appropriate for a teacher to answer for a 6-year-old… But that doesn’t mean a teacher shouldn’t be pregnant or acknowledge it if asked. It does mean that she should be careful to make parents aware and give parents room to address the issue according to their values and their kid’s maturity.

  7. Well, it seems the parents aren’t too happy about this:

  8. Let kids be kids!! They don’t have any need or reason to discuss anyone’s sexuality at age 5&6. Ick. No. Just no. They shouldn’t be discussing SEX period. It’s not appropriate, especially not as a person of authority to a child. I don’t care what your sexual behaviors are. Nope. Inappropriate. “Professor” should be fired for inappropriate topics. Let’s just show them Holocaust corpses while we’re at it.

  9. I have a big issue with academics discussing any part of their private lives with students at any level. It is especially abhorrent in my mind to discuss issues of sexuality with impressionable children fir two reasons: they cannot or do not understand the complexity of human sexuality and it has no relevance in the teaching of reading, composition or math.

    I also have a problem with Nalo appropriating the title Professor. The career path starts as lecturer then assistant professor before achieving associate professorship which precedes the title of Professor which often requires post doctoral studies.

    I would invite Curmey to verify or correct my career path understanding. It has been awhile since I worked in a post secondary institution.

  10. The first objection is her taking on or allowing herself to be called “Professor.” That is a term with a specific meaning to which she has no right to use.
    Her queerness is her business, not a point of discussion for 1st-grade students. She/he needs to adhere to the syllabus. If the first-grade syllabus allows for this conversation I would pull my child out of this school without hesitancy.

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