In order to teach tolerance, a teacher must proactively bring in those who are typically left out of the mainstream. With the 2010 release of the HBO movie about her life, Temple Grandin may be going mainstream. But autism remains an enigma to most people. So I was thrilled when my student teacher, Eva Oliver, prepared a lesson about Temple Grandin and her work as a livestock equipment designer at the beginning of National Autism Awareness Month.
I do not bark. I do not swing open my mouth and chomp my teeth six times while telling a story. The n-word does not dart suddenly from my mouth. And derogatory comments about gays and lesbians? They do not spew from me. My mere presence in a movie theater or a restaurant or a subway does not arouse anger or disgust from others. But then, I am not Marc Elliot.