As a guy and former PTA president, I’m very conscious of gender roles and disparities in education and parent-teacher groups. Still, I was surprised to see a news item put out by the National PTA, proudly recounting the accomplishments of its first-ever male president, Charles J. “Chuck” Saylors, who is now ending his two-year term. For details, click here.
Believe me, I know that PTA leadership is overwhelmingly female, but I didn’t realize it had been exclusive from 1897-2009. You can build up a lot of stereotypes in that amount of time.
I deal with this issue in Chain Gang Elementary, when Richard Gray fights gender stereotypes and breaks a 20-year “females only” tradition at the Malliford PTA to begin his ill-fated tenure. The last guy to take the job had messed up big-time, so people are watching Richard with a skeptical eye, waiting to see if he can break the curse.
Are the hostilities that arise caused by his male attitudes, or is something else at work at Chain Gang Elementary? It will be interesting to see what readers think.