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'To not be straight is to be crooked': Seattle teacher accused of telling students identifying as 'straight' is offensive
Image via NYPost/X

'To not be straight is to be crooked': Seattle teacher accused of telling students identifying as 'straight' is offensive

A Seattle high school teacher was accused of correcting a student for identifying as "straight" after pupils were given an assignment where they reflect on their sexual orientation, race, and more.

Ian Golash, a 10th-grade teacher at Chief Sealth High School, teaches ethnic studies and world history. A complaint was filed by a parent after a child in his class alleged that Golash told him that being "straight" was offensive and implied that it suggests gay people are "crooked."

As reported by the Post Millennial, students were given an assignment called the "Social Identity Wheel," which asked the kids to classify their race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and more.

The worksheet described gender as how students "socially identify [themselves] on the spectrum from young woman to young man."
Examples given for sexual orientation included heterosexual, homosexual, "pansexual," and "asexual."

This prompted the boy's mother to email the teacher and Principal Ray Garcia-Morales in September 2023. The email was obtained by 770 KTTH.

"When filling out a Social Identity Wheel, [the boy] was told that if he identifies as straight that he needed to pick a term that was less offensive. It is completely inappropriate to dictate what terms a student can and cannot use to identify themselves with," the mother reportedly wrote.

In his response, Golash said that he didn't target the boy with his comments. However, his comments were to the classroom at large, explaining that he "stated explicitly that [he] was not going to tell them how they should identify except to explain the difference between race, ethnicity and nationality."

"I think language has power and that it shapes the culture that we live in. I did say to the class, in response to a student, that I do not use the term ‘straight’ because it implies that to not be straight is to be ‘crooked’ which could have a negative connotation," Golash claimed. "But, again stated that I am not interested in telling them how they should identify and that the wheel they are completing is for their own reflection, not for me to assess."

The same mother had previously accused Golash of failing her son on a quiz because he answered "true" to the statements "all men have penises" and "only women can get pregnant."

Seattle's public school system allegedly said at the time that the quiz was to promote inclusion and was in line with course material. The course syllabus reportedly described the class as an investigation of "the global economy, society, and culture."

Seattle Public Schools declined comment to the New York Post, citing that the district does not comment on pending litigation. The outlet also did not hear back from the school's principal.

The Post Millennial noted that Golash has a criminal record and is already under investigation regarding the aforementioned quiz, as well as an alleged anti-Semitic lesson plan.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
@andrewsaystv →