Story at a glance
- Carver said his move to the University of Kentucky offers him the place where he can “most make a difference in the lives of the next generation.”
- “I also increasingly find that, as a queer person in K-12 education, I have been unable to do that work without facing discrimination, heartache, and being a part of systems that cause harm,” he said.
Kentucky’s 2022 teacher of the year, Willie Carver Jr., is leaving his K-12 post for a university job, citing anti-gay discrimination.
Carver, who spent 17 years teaching K-12 students, will assume a new role in student support services at the University of Kentucky.
“This was not an easy decision; I have cried quite a few times trying to make it over the past few months. But ultimately, I have always wanted to be in the place where I can most make a difference in the lives of the next generation. I believe that UK is where I can do this,” Carver said in a Facebook post viewed by the Lexington Herald Leader.
“I also increasingly find that, as a queer person in K-12 education, I have been unable to do that work without facing discrimination, heartache, and being a part of systems that cause harm, though I am immensely proud of my brilliant, hardworking, and fierce colleagues who have and continue to change that system in defense of students,” Carver added.
Carver, who testified before Congress in May that he’s “always faced discrimination as a gay teacher,” told the outlet he’s making the transition due to vocal discrimination at school board meetings.
“The national rhetoric is turned up, and LGBTQ teachers bear the weight of a lot of hatred that catalyzes the vitriol. It’s tiring,” he said, adding he did not receive adequate support from the administration.
“Mr. Carver is a wonderful English and French teacher,” Montgomery County Superintendent Matthew Thompson told Changing America. “We wish him well in his new endeavor,” Thompson said.
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Published on Jun. 23, 2022