My brother’s third grade teacher was gay. We lived in a small rural town, and the elementary only had about 200 students- total. It was a mixture of regular “folks”, Mennonites and Amish. At first there was whisperings about why a forty year old man who was attractive and educated was single. Then the rumors started. Someone saw him in the city with another man. A group of students (mixed boys and girls) in his house saw a postcard in his sock drawer of a naked man. Boys in the classroom started to complain that he was hitting on them. I don’t know if this was true or not- but we were all pretty young and imaginations went wild.
Then it came out that he had HIV. The shit hit the fan in a pretty major way, and he was fired. The PTA would say to this day that it had nothing to do with the fact that he was in a homosexual relationship or that he had HIV, it had to do with him amassing sick days and they were afraid he’d bleed them dry if it wasn’t quickly settled and he went away. Maybe that is what they truly believe- that their actions were honest.
All I know is that on the playground boys played “beat the gay” mock games and threatened to kill the teacher if he ever came back to town, and no one stopped them. They said horrible things, the teachers turned the other way.
It’s really a shame. He seemed like a nice enough guy. He was quite, he was clean, he kept to himself. He was really passionate about English and would loan books out to the kids, and talk about them when we were done reading. I suppose some of the parents thought that he did it to get alone with the kids. They must have been afraid he would hurt us.
He can’t have ever behaved in a bad way, though. If he had, there’s no way they would have just sent him out of town.