Arizona Teacher Requires Chivalry in Class… and NOW Disapproves

March 31, 2010 | NeW Staff

This story in ABC World News Report and on really caught my attention! High school Latin teacher Cord Ivanyi requires chivalry in his classroom. Just what is Ivanyi doing?

Among Ivanyi’s other rules, boys are not allowed to sit at their desks until the girls have been seated first. And if a girl should stand in the middle of class, the boys must stand with her to show respect.

Ivanyi discussed the idea with all of his classes after he became fed up seeing male students treat females with disrespect. Some classes were hesitant to adopt the concept, while others took it and ran with it.

The behavior was “a little awkward” for students at first, but it has been infectious on campus. Students agree that the overall atmosphere of the high school has changed for the better. Ivanyi explains:

“There’s a different tenor in the class, a gravity attached to the girls. They’ve been more feminized in the boys’ eyes. These girls are reading Jane Austen novels in class. For them, chivalry hasn’t gone out of style.”

Of course, NOW couldn’t let this sort of feminization go unchallenged. Erin Matson, the acting vice president of NOW had some criticism:

“We see it as teaching kids to treat people differently because they’re girls,” Matson said, though quickly adding, “I don’t want to seem like an angry raging feminist.”

Despite criticism, Ivanyi is confident. Students are happier and the classroom environment is friendlier.

“I teach old-fashioned subjects, so I don’t think I’m doing anyone a disservice by promoting old-fashioned traditions.”

And the school’s principal, Brian Rosta, agrees!

“The only negative thing I’ve heard are parents calling to make sure that their daughters say ‘thank you’ to the boys.”
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