How very sad. How very evil. I spent the last 37 of my 44 years of teaching in universities, but I began teaching with 6 years in prep schools (Darlington in Rome, GA, 59-62; St. Andrew's in Middletown, DE, 62-65) plus a year in the Penge Secondary Modern in the London Borough of Bromley. When I was blessed to teach middle schoolers, I never considered it my job to shelter them from reality nor to tell them what to think. I found most of them could think quite well already, and got much better at it the more they had a respectful, critical listener. They often taught me to think more clearly, as some from that period still do through correspondence almost half a century later. I experienced evil first-hand in my own education when racial segregation sheltered me from knowing any persons of color personally unless they served my family as servants. Imagine my shock in 1961 when I found myself as the only white person in a room for a day with about 50 fifty very bright black Ph.D.s (I had only a master's at the time). I asked myself, "If my education was this wrong about race, what other ignorance have my teachers promoted?" With that question I took responsibility for my own education, and it continues to be a life-time work. How terribly disappointing that those in charge of St. Andrew's in Boca Raton are depriving their students of a marvelous intellectual challenge from a courageous and talented young teacher. The malice and the ignorance of those who sacked Mr. Giombetti will continue to harm their charges until the third and fourth generation. They are not running a school, but a brain-wash, albeit a lovely Episcopal one. LC, Chair of the Newark Deputation Louie Crew, Ph.D., D.D., D.D., D.H.L., Emeritus professor at Rutgers > From The Independent Gay News, http://www.indynews.4t.com/ Curtains for Gay Teacher Man Booted for Playing Gay Character in Play By Paul Harris PHarris@ourindependent.com An eighth-grade teacher was effectively forced out of his teaching position because in his spare time he worked as an actor and has played gay roles. Dominick Giombetti had been asked to choose whether he wanted to continue teaching at St Andrew's Episcopal School in Boca Raton, where he had only recently started teaching six weeks earlier, or continue performing in the theater in his spare time where he would most likely be asked to play gay characters. At the school he had been responsible for teaching eighth grade English, seventh and eighth grade Drama, as well as coaching the high school Cross Country team. He has two degrees from the University of Miami. The situation came about because a student "Googled" Giombetti's name and it brought up articles referring to his appearance in the Sol Theatre's production of "Trafficking In Broken Hearts" in Fort Lauderdale last year. In the production he portrays a 30-year old closeted gay lawyer who falls in love with a prostitute. The play did involve nudity. The play was so successful that its run had to be extended twice. Earlier this year the Sol Theatre received a "Special Award" from this newspaper for the quality of that production. The Miami Herald made the play one of it's "Critic's Picks" of the week. Their theater critic, the respected Christine Dolen, wrote that "Giombetti is convincing as the button-down, uptight guy whose inner wild man finds release." Giombetti is currently in rehearsal for another play at the Sol Theatre called "Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love," by Brad Fraser in which he is playing the leading role of David, a gay man. The play was named one of the 10 best plays of the year by Time Magazine in 1989. A rumor started making the rounds at the school that Giombetti was a gay porn star. The rumors reached the ears of Ann Haynes, the middle school head, who told Giombetti that they would need to discuss the issue. "There's a fire that we might need to put out," she told him. He was told not to discuss the issue with the children he taught. He asked if his $42,000 a year job was in jeopardy and was told that "it could be." During the day he started to hear comments such as "faggot" behind his back. Speaking with The Independent he said that "I threw up several times in the bathroom that day." He continued teaching until lunchtime. "The day was a blur," he told The Indy. "I felt that I had been hit by a baseball bat." At lunchtime he met with Ann Marie Krejcarek, the associate head teacher of the school who revealed that there had been a meeting that morning between her and two members of the school board. She expressed a concern that this situation could come up "year after year" if Giombetti continued playing gay roles in the theater in his spare time. She expressed a concern about "what kind of message it sent to the students." He went back to teach after lunch. He was asked to `sleep on it' and decide what he wanted to do. The following day he told them "I will absolutely not give up acting. What's happening to me is wrong." Haynes told him to go back to his classroom and continue teaching and that a meeting was going to be held at 10am. During the day he threw up several more times. He was told that the school board had still not come to a decision. Later in the afternoon a meeting was held between Ann Marie Krejcarek, Ann Haynes and Giombetti. He reiterated that he would not leave the cast of the play he was rehearsing at the Sol Theatre and was told "We have to decide whether you can do both." Ann Marie Krejcarek, raised the point that in Trafficking In Broken Hearts he had played a gay lawyer who has a relationship with a prostitute. Giombetti asked her if she had seen the film Pretty Woman in which a lawyer played by Richard Gere has a relationship with a prostitute played by Julia Roberts. She did not answer. He was told by the associate head teacher that "the best case scenario is that the board will let you finish your year and then we'll part ways." On Tuesday evening after returning from work he was sick. He called Haynes at 6:15 in the morning and was told to `call in sick' and to continue to think about his options. He hasn't returned to the school since. Since then the case has been reported in The Palm Beach Post and there has been an outpouring of support for him. Two posters were delivered to him bearing messages of support from students at the school. On a blog at The Palm Beach Post numerous students, former colleagues and friends have posted supportive comments. One student commented that "Although I had Mr. G for six weeks, he was the best teacher I've had and had the biggest impact of my life. He inspired me." Another wrote "Mr. G is the most inventive and experienced teacher. He would always remind our class that we will learn not about the book, but what is in the book that we can use in life. He is sorely missed, and I can only wish he was still here to inspire us all." On the school's web site it states "As an Episcopal school, students of all faiths, customs, cultures and beliefs are welcomed." Dominick Giombetti's name is still listed, although mis-spelled, and with his e-mail contact removed. In a statement on the web site from the headmaster, the Reverend George Andrews, he states "It is important to note that any concern that members of the administration expressed to Dominick had nothing to do with sexual orientation. The concern was the idea of a Middle School drama teacher involving himself in theater productions with adult themes. Saint Andrew's School would have the same concern regardless of the teacher's sexual orientation or membership in any other protected category. It is perfectly appropriate for the School to investigate the circumstances when it becomes aware that an employee's outside activities may conflict with the school's philosophy, values, and mission. Because Dominick has not returned to the School since September 19, 2006, we have been unable to conclude our review of this matter."
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