Parents upset at class assignement fo...

Parents upset at class assignement focusing on same-sex marriage

There are 162 comments on the www.nbcactionnews.com story from May 5, 2007, titled Parents upset at class assignement focusing on same-sex marriage. In it, www.nbcactionnews.com reports that:

Parents of some elementary school students are upset after their children were told to read a newspaper column supporting same-sex marriage for a class assignment. via NBC Action News

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.nbcactionnews.com.

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Since: Apr 07

Morrison, IL

#1 May 5, 2007
Explain to me again why we have to protect our children from the fact that people are different? And why is it something to be taught only to older kids and treated as sensitive and controversial? My daughter is almost 9, very normal and average, and has known about gay people her whole life. It's like explaining food. I like broccoli and Daddy doesn't, he likes eggs and I don't, but that doesn't mean either one is gross and you can eat whatever you like.
mw4th

New York, NY

#2 May 5, 2007
This article implies that people as young as 5th Grade (10 or 11 years old) are unable to have a real discussion about big issues. Young people will not learn to think creatively, have adult discussion, think for themselves and become powerful young adults if they are not challenged to do so.
snewy

Longview, WA

#3 May 5, 2007
CDMelton wrote:
Explain to me again why we have to protect our children from the fact that people are different? And why is it something to be taught only to older kids and treated as sensitive and controversial? My daughter is almost 9, very normal and average, and has known about gay people her whole life. It's like explaining food. I like broccoli and Daddy doesn't, he likes eggs and I don't, but that doesn't mean either one is gross and you can eat whatever you like.
Well said! I can not say it better!!!!!

Since: Apr 07

Pottstown, PA

#4 May 5, 2007
I *wouldn't* have found this a big deal if I weren't so suspicious of *why* the parents were complaining.

For some "weird" reason, I find it hard to believe that every last parent who complained said something like the following: "I just think it's a complex issue that they really can't grasp at that age." Yeah, ya know; why is it that for some "bizarre" reason, I do *not* think this is what most of the parents said?...
James

United States

#5 May 5, 2007
CDMelton wrote:
Explain to me again why we have to protect our children from the fact that people are different? And why is it something to be taught only to older kids and treated as sensitive and controversial? My daughter is almost 9, very normal and average, and has known about gay people her whole life. It's like explaining food. I like broccoli and Daddy doesn't, he likes eggs and I don't, but that doesn't mean either one is gross and you can eat whatever you like.
You hit the nail right on the head!

“Chicago Muser”

Since: Mar 07

small town Pennsylvania

#7 May 6, 2007
This is another variant of the "don't ask--don't tell" approach; if nobody talks about it, maybe it'll go away. Discussion could bring about the threatening prospect of change, and the flat-earth society prefers the darkness of their dogma to any light that could be shed on the issue by reasoned discussion. It is the same impulse that tried to smother Galileo and Darwin.

Since: Dec 06

Indianapolis

#8 May 6, 2007
Now wait just a second here. What if that teacher had told to read a newspaper column supporting Jerry Falwell and his church? Or maybe column about the stand that Bush takes on gay marriage.

Would that have changed your views on this? I bet so. But since its on supporting gays, its ok.
linda

Cincinnati, OH

#9 May 6, 2007
DavidM wrote:
Now wait just a second here. What if that teacher had told to read a newspaper column supporting Jerry Falwell and his church? Or maybe column about the stand that Bush takes on gay marriage.
Would that have changed your views on this? I bet so. But since its on supporting gays, its ok.
What would be even more interesting is if the assignment was about the pro's and con's of the war.

I bet the parents would be more accepting and would have no problem with talking to their kids and explaining what war is all about. Funny how they can explain killing better then they can explain about love. I guess this old hippy has a problem understanding that.
Cpetr13

Indianapolis, IN

#10 May 6, 2007
either would be fine. The assignment was to write an editorial view of the column, so it would be okay no matter what the topic was.

The teacher didn't expect to get mature answers to the topic, but noted that the kids were ALREADY talking about gay marriage. So what is the problem if it is already a topic of discussion?

What are they supposed to editorialize on, the last Harry Potter Movie?
DavidM wrote:
Now wait just a second here. What if that teacher had told to read a newspaper column supporting Jerry Falwell and his church? Or maybe column about the stand that Bush takes on gay marriage.
Would that have changed your views on this? I bet so. But since its on supporting gays, its ok.
Gay and happy

Burlingame, CA

#12 May 6, 2007
I wouldn't have a problem if the class were assigned to read an article about an actual spiritual leader, but Falwell? This isn't the 1980's David. Get out more and learn, Falwell hasn't been relevant to anyone other than his own church for years. There are plenty of currently relevant spiritual leaders today, pick one of them and have kids read a newspaper article about them and what they are saying or doing that is current news and I have no problem.

There would have to be an article in a newspaper about this leader though. I am sure you can find a better, current, spiritual leader than Falwell. Give it a try.
DavidM wrote:
Now wait just a second here. What if that teacher had told to read a newspaper column supporting Jerry Falwell and his church? Or maybe column about the stand that Bush takes on gay marriage.
Would that have changed your views on this? I bet so. But since its on supporting gays, its ok.
Randi

Fort Worth, TX

#13 May 6, 2007
Gay and happy wrote:
I wouldn't have a problem if the class were assigned to read an article about an actual spiritual leader, but Falwell? This isn't the 1980's David. Get out more and learn, Falwell hasn't been relevant to anyone other than his own church for years. There are plenty of currently relevant spiritual leaders today, pick one of them and have kids read a newspaper article about them and what they are saying or doing that is current news and I have no problem.
There would have to be an article in a newspaper about this leader though. I am sure you can find a better, current, spiritual leader than Falwell. Give it a try.<quoted text>
Right on! That's telling him!
Jessica

Lynnwood, WA

#14 May 6, 2007
The ignorance that parents want thier children to endure: how sad. Why not open the discussion to them; why not give them an open forum to speak to what they've seen, heard, or thought about gay marriage? School is to help to open the minds of students--and help them to recognize and follow their own opinions on issues: not just their parents and ignorant people who want them to just accept everything the way it is. Question authority, children. Think and make decisions based on fact, not fear! That is education.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#15 May 6, 2007
DavidM wrote:
Now wait just a second here. What if that teacher had told to read a newspaper column supporting Jerry Falwell and his church? Or maybe column about the stand that Bush takes on gay marriage.
Would that have changed your views on this? I bet so. But since its on supporting gays, its ok.
Well I can only speak for myself and say that, I wouldn't be bothered by them exploring the questions of Jerry Falwell and his church, President Bush's views on Gay marriage, intelligent design vsevolution vs. creationism, or any topic that is part of the news in today's world.
As another person in this thread stated, these are 9 and 10 year old kids. They hear about these issues and even more.
I don't think the assignment was really to push anyones social agenda. I think it was to teach kids about editorials, how to ste there opions and views, and to explore issues and then form an opinion.
Just because I am gay, doesn't mean I want to limit the views of Falwell or anyone else. It was my decision to be open about my sexuality because I wanted to see political and social change. But as far as the details of my sex life, that's crossing the line into my privacy and that's a whole differnt animal.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#16 May 6, 2007
"how to state their opinions" sorry my typing is so bad today folks.
SocialWorker

Princeton, WV

#17 May 6, 2007
People have made alot of valid points in regards to the article. From a professional stand point I have to say usualy, not always, if kids are attempting to talk about a subject in class then they may be mature enough to handle a controlled conversation for their age and educational level. For 5th graders a discussion of gay marriage would not be beyond the realms of their understanding, what would be innapporpriate would be a discussion of sex in lewd terms, which it does not sound like the editorial did. The likely hood that the parents who complained about the article are homophobic is possibly high, but there could also be those who simply wish to discuss the issue at home with their kids, like some parents opt kids out of sex education to explain it to them when they feel their children are ready. Not knowing said facts makes it impossible to judge the parents one way or another and I am sure the school system will handle the issue according to policy. In this case the teacher likely should have asked for permission to use the article or discuss such a topic in the class room because we do live in an educational system that allows parents to decide, to a point, what they want their kids to learn. Topics like gay marriage, sex education, and political idealogy are usualy those subjects that need administrative review to ensure that if something like this happens, administration knows about it and can defend the teachers choice better. Many school administrations are willing to protect their teachers choices so long as they know in advance when it comes to topics like these.

“laugh until your belly hurts”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#18 May 6, 2007
rdg1234 wrote:
I *wouldn't* have found this a big deal if I weren't so suspicious of *why* the parents were complaining.
For some "weird" reason, I find it hard to believe that every last parent who complained said something like the following: "I just think it's a complex issue that they really can't grasp at that age." Yeah, ya know; why is it that for some "bizarre" reason, I do *not* think this is what most of the parents said?...
actually, i don't think that any of the parents involved either said that, or could have said that. that was a quote from earnest perry... a journalism dept. chairman.

even at that it's wrong. children in that age group are quite able to grasp even the most complex issues and understand them perfectly well. that's what scares most parents. they don't WANT their children to know more than they do.

“laugh until your belly hurts”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#19 May 6, 2007
DavidM wrote:
Now wait just a second here. What if that teacher had told to read a newspaper column supporting Jerry Falwell and his church? Or maybe column about the stand that Bush takes on gay marriage.
Would that have changed your views on this? I bet so. But since its on supporting gays, its ok.
if it were an opinion piece i wouldn't have any problem with it at all... as long as they were given the opportunity to either agree of dissagree with it. why do you ask?
Luigi

Scarborough, Canada

#20 May 6, 2007
What a backwards argument David. Teaching students about tolerance, respect and that fact that people are different is different than Jerry Falwell who teaches intolerance and once claimed God told him he would die unless he was able to raise a certain amount of money. The fact is that whenever gay rights or issues are brought forward in the education system bigots scream and yell but they don't when their own issues or rights are discussed. It's the 'nimby' syndrome...not in my backyard.
DavidM wrote:
Now wait just a second here. What if that teacher had told to read a newspaper column supporting Jerry Falwell and his church? Or maybe column about the stand that Bush takes on gay marriage.
Would that have changed your views on this? I bet so. But since its on supporting gays, its ok.

Since: Apr 07

Pottstown, PA

#22 May 6, 2007
dances with weebles wrote:
<quoted text>
actually, i don't think that any of the parents involved either said that, or could have said that. that was a quote from earnest perry... a journalism dept. chairman.
even at that it's wrong. children in that age group are quite able to grasp even the most complex issues and understand them perfectly well. that's what scares most parents. they don't WANT their children to know more than they do.
Interesting psychological principle.

Most parents have very, very little influence in their children's behavior or in who their children become -- except in negative contexts, not positive ones. Parents have a *torturous* time giving up the illusion that they do.

Since: Apr 07

Morrison, IL

#23 May 6, 2007
DavidM wrote:
Now wait just a second here. What if that teacher had told to read a newspaper column supporting Jerry Falwell and his church? Or maybe column about the stand that Bush takes on gay marriage.
Would that have changed your views on this? I bet so. But since its on supporting gays, its ok.
A column supporting a man who uses his vast influence to perpetuate homophobia. If any of his politics were mentioned then yes I would feel offended. Maybe a column about the stand that Bush takes on gay-marriage. In other words, a column repeating a homophobic government policy of blanket discrimination adding to the second-class status gays already have to live with. Yeah, I'd object.

The fact is, I object to discrimination and inequality. So there is a difference between an article supporting equality and one seeking to destroy it. The difference is there no matter what side you're on. The difference is what lets you choose sides.

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