Ian Golash is pictured in a headshot.
Ian Golash Source: Superior Court of Washington for King County

Has Saying 'Straight' Become Offensive? This High School Teacher Allegedly Thinks So

Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.

A Seattle high school teacher is in the middle of an ever-brewing controversy after reportedly berating a student for identifying himself as "straight." According to the teacher, he felt the term was "offensive" because it implies that LGBTQ people must be "crooked," and now the student's mother is upset.

As reported by Page Six, the unidentified Chief Sealth International High School student's mother filed a formal complaint naming Ian Golash as the teacher, who also chairs the social studies department.

According to the mother, Golash gave students a "Social Identity Wheel" worksheet at the beginning of the year and asked them to reflect on various identities – including race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. When her son labeled himself as "straight," Golash reportedly told him it was "offensive" to do so.

"It is completely inappropriate to dictate what terms a student can and cannot use to identify themselves with," she wrote in an email to the school.

Golash reportedly has denied solely singling out her son, but he did confirm that he prefers students not use "straight" because of potential negative connotations.

The mother also claimed Golash told her 10th-grade son he was "a product of the patriarchy" during a discussion about Florida "banning ethnic studies."

"I'm told that rather than converse about the topic and provide him with information and an actual answer, he was told that he was a 'product of the patriarchy that teaches young boys not to care,'" the student's mother said in another email to the principal and teacher. "You missed an opportunity here to teach your student about current events and instead shamed him for being a male."

by Emell Adolphus

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