Tom McLaughlin

Tom McLaughlin is a retired middle school social studies and history teacher who, for several years, has written an opinion column that appears in newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire and on several websites. He blogs at: Tom McLaughlin.

recent articles

A Teacher’s First Encounter with Gay Activism

Homosexuality became an issue early in my teaching career with the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, which coincided with my return to the classroom from an administrative position in 1979. The outbreak was a major news story and I covered it in the current events portion of my classes. We had only one nurse for … Read more

When Teenagers Debate Abortion

“Are you planning to debate abortion in class?” asked our new principal. We were standing in the hallway near my classroom. “Yes,” I said. “Don’t,” she said. “Why not?” “Because…” She paused, seeming surprised that I would question her. “Because eighth graders are too young to discuss it.” “But we’ve debated it several times the … Read more

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