In my nine years as an educator, I have spent the majority of my time with teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18, and I have come to one certainty: Teenagers say some of the most profound and most entertaining things you could ever imagine. A day doesn't go by that my students don't enlighten me with their genuine innocence, or entertain me with their youthful ignorance. For that reason, I believe there is so much we, as adults, can learn from today's youth. So, I decided to not only empower my students, but give them a forum where they can freely, and without judgment, share their thoughts, views and opinions on the topics that are current and being discussed in the mainstream media. Be prepared, because I can never predict what they may think or say.
So, here is what my students think about Mike Sam coming out.
I think Mike Sam is very brave for letting everyone know he is gay on national television... Him being gay doesn't affect anyone, so people should not judge him, it's pointless. I support him 100 percent.
-- Toni, 10th grade
I personally think Mike Sam is a brave and confident person. It takes a lot for a person to let that part of his life in the media limelight.
-- Kennedy, 10th grade
Before his coming out, I didn't even know who Mike Sam was. Now, I see him as a brave, fighting soldier. LGBT rights are becoming very relevant. I support every one of them and feel that their time is now...Hopefully now the non-supporters will reevaluate their opinions.
-- Taylor, 10th grade
Honestly, I don't feel like it is a big deal. I do not care about someone's sexuality, as long as you just be yourself, I'm cool. If coming out to the public will make you feel better, then do it.
-- Jordann, 10th grade
I think he is a very great man. Every man who plays football is very strong and powerful.
-- Thinh Le, 10th grade
I think Mike Sam is a very brave person because he came out of the closet about being gay before his NFL career. All of the other players who are gay would never do this and wait until they retire.
-- Nervens, 10th grade
In my opinion, people shouldn't care if he's gay; let him be. He shouldn't be judged. Even though he's gay, it doesn't mean that he's different. I really don't care who is gay; we are all human beings, and we all deserve to be treated equally.
-- Laurelle, 10th grade
I think that he has more courage than any NFL player. I think that he shouldn't be discriminated against because of his sexuality.
-- Leshay, 10th grade
I think Mike Sam is incredibly courageous for being able to come out as gay. He showed that no matter what your occupation is, you should have the freedom to express your sexuality.
-- Arber, 10th grade
Mike Sam is very brave and courageous. The fact that he is black and gay, and spoke out about it is brave. Mike Sam used his football platform, which is a very manly sport to speak about it.
-- Jada, 10th grade