Some Parents Angry About "Gay Fairy Tale" Book In School - Page 7 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-24-2006, 05:37 PM   #91
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
cell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Disneyland
Posts: 5,901
Local Time: 05:07 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Lexington gay rights event fuels debate


In April 2005, Lexington parent David Parker was arrested on trespassing charges because he refused to leave Eastabrook school grounds until the administration allowed him to remove his son from classroom discussions about same-sex parents. Parker objected to his son bringing home from his kindergarten classroom a book called ''Who's in a Family?," which depicted same-sex parents along with other types of families. His stand prompted national groups to come to Lexington and other communities to protest gay rights.

wow...so he no choice. wow. i'd go nuts.
__________________

__________________
cell is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 08:29 AM   #92
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,998
Local Time: 07:07 PM
By James Vaznis and Tracy Jan, Globe Staff | April 27, 2006

LEXINGTON -- Many parents resented the new rules Joni Jay started when she became principal of Lexington's Joseph Estabrook Elementary School seven years ago.

Parents had to sign in when they entered the school instead of popping into their children's classrooms to drop off forgotten homework or snow gear. Jay, who had worked both in industry and education, came across as a by-the-book administrator, while her predecessor was more laid-back, parents say.

Now, many parents speak of Jay with growing admiration and respect. They like the way she has handled herself and stood her ground during recent controversy. A few weeks ago, a set of parents protested the use of books about gay couples in instruction, making the 50-year-old Jay a target of radio talk-show hosts and Internet blogs for the second time in a year.

Today, two sets of parents plan to file suit in US District Court in Boston against the principal, the superintendent, and other school officials. The suit, according to the parents' attorney, will contend that the school system violated the parents' civil rights because they weren't notified about the books or discussions in class. Jay and other school system officials have maintained that the material was about families, not sexuality. Jay supports the school system policy to discuss same-gender couples as part of lessons on diversity.

''It's a culture war, and she's caught in the middle," Estabrook parent Althea Bertrand said of Jay. ''I might not have been her biggest fan beforehand, but I have tremendous admiration for how her response has been cool and measured."

On April 6, parents Rob and Robin Wirthlin met with Jay to protest a second-grade teacher's reading to the class of ''King & King," a fairy-tale about two princes falling in love and getting married. Last week, The Parents' Rights Coalition, a Waltham group, issued a press release on behalf of the Wirthlins. Hundreds of people sent e-mails to Jay, many of them out-of-staters who oppose gay rights. Jay said she files away those e-mails in a computer folder labeled ''angry letters."

''I try as much as I can not to take it personally," said Jay, noting that most e-mails from Lexington residents have been supportive. ''I try to focus on my job and not think about it.

''It's not our intent to be on the forefront of one of the most controversial issues in the country," she said.

A year ago today, David Parker, whose son was then in kindergarten, was arrested for trespassing when he refused to leave school grounds until Jay and other school administrators promised to excuse his son from classroom discussions about same-gender parents. Parker's son had brought home a ''diversity book bag" that included ''Who's in a Family?," a book that shows pictures of same-sex parents along with other types of families. The Wirthlins and the Parkers are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that will be filed today, according to attorney Jeffrey Denner. Five parents at the 470-student school for kindergarten through Grade 5 asked the school this year not to send the diversity bag home with their children.

Tension between some school officials and parents uncomfortable with the discussion of homosexuality in public schools continues to simmer -- not just at Estabrook, but in the community at large. During a student-led event at Lexington High School yesterday to protest discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgenders, a Lexington father who opposed the event tried handing out pamphlets on the campus. He was cooperative when asked to leave, Lexington police said. The students' event was a part of the national ''Day of Silence."

Lexington started developing its policy about incorporating same-gender parents into discussion of families about seven years ago, about the time Jay became principal. More families headed by same-gender parents were moving into the community, she said.

''I think it's right to have books and materials that reflect the children in our school," she said in an interview earlier this week. ''We're not talking about sex here. We are talking about families."

The distinction between sex and families, school officials say, is key. A 10-year-old state law requires schools to notify parents only on sex education. Some groups, including the Waltham-based group that has been working with the Wirthlins and Parkers, are seeking to broaden the law to include lessons on sexual orientation.

Students begin drawing pictures and writing stories about their families in kindergarten, and at some point a child will sit next to a classmate who has two mothers, and that's going to prompt questions, Jay said.

Jay, who moved to Massachusetts with her husband in 1982 from the St. Louis area and has a 20-year-old daughter, said she never imagined that the school she was leading would be caught in the national spotlight.

Parents give Jay credit for handling the media attention and protesters with dignity. Jay led parents and teachers in crafting a plan last spring to shield the school's students from the Westboro Baptist Church protesters who traveled from Topeka, Kan., to picket the school.

Rob and Robin Wirthlin, the parents who pressed Jay to warn them before their son's second-grade class talked about gay marriage, said they were initially intimidated to meet with Jay but found her to be pleasant, even though she denied their request.

''She wanted to make us feel that our concerns were heard," Rob Wirthlin said, ''and that's what she left us with -- that our concerns were heard." That was insufficient, he said.

Parker, who was arrested last year after meeting with Jay, said he appreciates the challenges of her job, but disagrees with her decision. ''She runs a tight ship," he said.

But Vincent Case, whose daughter is in the same second-grade class as the Wirthlins' child, said he thinks the principal should be more understanding of parents who disagree, even though he has no problem with discussions about same-sex parents.

''I agree with the school's decision, but as a parent I want to be involved in the process of exposing my children to that material," Case said. ''I want to be aware so when my daughter brings it up, I wouldn't be hearing about it for the first time."

Meg Soens, the mother of two sets of twins who moved to Lexington with her partner in the late 1990s, said she respects Jay for always standing in the hallway with a smile, even on days when she has received a spike in negative mail from out-of-state groups. Soens said the school policy of allowing students to discuss same-gender parents has made her children feel more at ease in class to talk about their family and has enabled her to serve as a school volunteer.

''One of the reasons we moved to Lexington was that Lexington has a good school system but was also a fairly welcoming community to all kinds of people," Soens said.
__________________

__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 09:15 AM   #93
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,998
Local Time: 07:07 PM
Honestly I can't understand being against the day of silence, how is that offensive or "promoting a gay agenda" in any way? I think perhaps it's just tangled up in the book issue and the whole "power struggle" that seems to be going on. Like I said before, I would never say that parents who want the right to know about books that their kids are reading are automatically some sort of"bigots", I think that is unfair.


By Bethan L. Jones and Dawn Witlin/ Lexington Minuteman and Boston Herald
Thursday, April 27

Students across the state quietly joined in yesterday’s “Day of Silence” in support of gay rights, but a ruckus still occurred outside Lexington High School.
Parent Rob Bennett was escorted away from the school as he loudly objected to being forbidden to protest.
“At Lexington, they have been promoting one side of the agenda,” said Bennett. “If anyone voices any dissent, they will be attacked, they will throw out the word bigot.”
Bennett said he had permission from Principal Mike Jones to visit Lexington High and hand out fliers from various Christian and Baptist Web sites to students who were against the day of quiet in school.
But when he showed up, Bennett said he was told by Jones to leave and he was escorted off school grounds by a police officer.
“I was shocked. I realized (Jones) had lied to me, or maybe he changed his mind and didn’t tell me,” Bennett said. “I was dumbfounded, I told (Jones) ‘I don’t like what’s going on, you’re promoting a gay agenda and not promoting a dissenting point of view.’ ”
Jones said the Day of Silence, sponsored by the Boston-based Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is not a school-sanctioned event, but students have a right to express themselves.
“People are entitled to free speech,” Jones said.
Lexington High has participated in the event for the past eight years. Other schools, including Newton and Cambridge, also took part.
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 09:53 AM   #94
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,499
Local Time: 07:07 PM
[q]‘I don’t like what’s going on, you’re promoting a gay agenda and not promoting a dissenting point of view.’ [/q]


Irvine's gay agenda for 4/27/06:

6:45 -- wake up
7:00 -- morning run
7:45 -- breakfast, make fun of Katie Couric
8:15 -- shower
8:30 -- depart for work
9:00 -- work
2:00 -- lunch
2:30 -- more work
7:00 -- leave work
7:30 -- arrive home
8:00 -- head out to dinner/drinks for the birthday of one of Mr. Memphis's firends
11:30 -- bed


be warned, western civilization. the above will destroy your marriage! turn your children homosexual! make men fuck dogs! and nowhere will you see a dissenting agenda from the one above!

mu-hahahahahahaahah!

the gay agenda!
__________________
Irvine511 is online now  
Old 04-27-2006, 10:55 AM   #95
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,697
Local Time: 06:07 PM
__________________
BVS is online now  
Old 04-27-2006, 11:23 AM   #96
She's the One
 
martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Orange County and all over the goddamn place
Posts: 42,338
Local Time: 04:07 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

Irvine's gay agenda for 4/27/06:

6:45 -- wake up
7:00 -- morning run
7:45 -- breakfast, make fun of Katie Couric
8:15 -- shower
8:30 -- depart for work
9:00 -- work
2:00 -- lunch
2:30 -- more work
7:00 -- leave work
7:30 -- arrive home
8:00 -- head out to dinner/drinks for the birthday of one of Mr. Memphis's firends
11:30 -- bed


be warned, western civilization. the above will destroy your marriage! turn your children homosexual! make men fuck dogs! and nowhere will you see a dissenting agenda from the one above!

mu-hahahahahahaahah!

the gay agenda!
You know, I was going to ask what the hell the gay agenda is, but our dear Irvine cleared that up for us.

He's a giver, that boy.
__________________
martha is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 11:26 AM   #97
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,998
Local Time: 07:07 PM
Once again, I'd like to ask the parents there who are saying the school is " promoting a gay agenda" by the day of silence and/or the book if they ever thought/think a straight agenda is being promoted via all the traditional books kids read in school. Where is the dissenting point of view for the straight agenda? Is that not a logical question compared to their logic? I suppose they might not think so, I don't know.

from a Jeff Jacoby editorial

"There is nothing subtle about "King & King," the book that Heather Kramer read to her students. It tells the story of Prince Bertie, whose mother the queen nags him to get married ("When I was your age, I'd been married twice already," she says), and parades before him a bevy of princesses to choose from. But Bertie, who says he's "never cared much for princesses," rejects them all. Then "Princess Madeleine and her brother, Prince Lee," show up, and Bertie falls in love at first sight -- with the brother. Soon, the princes are married. "The wedding was very special," reads the text. "The queen even shed a tear or two." Bertie and Lee are elevated from princes to "King and King," and the last page shows them exchanging a
passionate kiss.

Dismayed by such blatant propagandizing, the parents of one student made an appointment to discuss their concerns with school officials. "This is a highly charged social issue," Robin and Robert Wirthlin told them. "Why are you introducing it in second grade?" Kramer said she had selected the book in order to teach a unit on weddings. When the Wirthlins checked the Lexington Public Library, they found 59 children's titles dealing with weddings, but "King & King" wasn't among them. The library's search engine listed it instead under "Homosexuality -- Juvenile fiction."

Massachusetts law requires schools to notify parents before "human sexuality issues" are taught in class and gives parents the right to exempt a child from that portion of the curriculum. But the Wirthlins' request to be given a heads-up before something as contentious and sensitive as same-sex marriage comes up in their child's class again was rejected out of hand.

"We couldn't run a public school system if every parent who feels some topic is objectionable to them for moral or religious reasons decides their child should be removed," Lexington's superintendent of schools, Paul Ash, told the Globe. "Lexington is committed to teaching children about the world they live in, and in Massachusetts same-sex marriage is legal." Reviewing "King & King" for the website Lesbian Life, Kathy Belge -- who describes herself as a longtime lesbian activist and the director of a queer youth program -- writes that it is "sure to capture a child's imagination" and praises it in particular for its nonjudgmental embrace of
homosexuality: "The same-sex attraction is normalized. There's no proselytizing, no big lesson. It just is."

But homosexuality and gay marriage are not like subtraction or geography; they cannot be separated from questions of morality, justice, and decency. No matter how a school chooses to deal with sexual issues, it promotes certain values -- values that some parents will fervently welcome and that others will just as fervently reject. And what is true of human sexuality is true of other issues that touch on deeply felt religious, political, or ideological values.

When it comes to the education of children, there is always an agenda -- and those who don't share that agenda too often find themselves belittled, marginalized, or ignored. Perhaps it was true, as Thomas Reilly says, that the public schools his children attended "reinforced the values of our home." But as the Parkers and Wirthlins in Lexington can testify, other families have a very different experience. When Kerry Healey says she wants her children "to be in an environment where they can talk about values ..... in a way that you can't always do in a public school setting," many public-school parents will know exactly what she means."
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 12:07 PM   #98
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,499
Local Time: 07:07 PM
[q]But homosexuality and gay marriage are not like subtraction or geography; they cannot be separated from questions of morality, justice, and decency.[/q]




i don't get this at all. is heterosexuality and "traditional" marrige inseparable from morality, justice and decency?
__________________
Irvine511 is online now  
Old 04-27-2006, 01:10 PM   #99
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,998
Local Time: 07:07 PM
I don't get it either Irvine. Sounds like a nice, roundabout way of saying certain things, I don't know exactly what he is saying without asking him . I think it's moral, just, and decent to teach kids that there are gay people in this world and that they do fall in love, and that it is good to learn to live with them in harmony and to respect the differences among all of us- and all of that. No one is trying to teach them to be gay (which I believe is completely impossible but many people don't agree) or whatever it is that some of these parents might think. I like to give kids the credit that they can learn to live in harmony with many different types of people and not see anything else in a book like this, sometimes better than their parents can. Again, I also see nothing wrong with parents being conscientious and involved parents with their kids and wanting to know what books their kids are reading-but I think that should definitely also involve concern w/ heterosexually themed books and be based in logical thinking and not paranoia. It's much easier for me to give an opinion since I am not a parent, I freely admit and recognize that.

His e-mail is on boston.com or maybe you could write a letter to the editor
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 01:55 PM   #100
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
cell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Disneyland
Posts: 5,901
Local Time: 05:07 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
I also see nothing wrong with parents being conscientious and involved parents with their kids and wanting to know what books their kids are reading-but I think that should definitely also involve concern w/ heterosexually themed books and be based in logical thinking and not paranoia. It's much easier for me to give an opinion since I am not a parent, I freely admit and recognize that.


kind of off topic but once when my daughter was 6 years old, she brought home a new book from her father's home after a weekend visit. it was a rugrats book titled "chuckie's new mommy." call me paranoid or unreasonable but i was furious. i gave the book back.
__________________
cell is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 02:11 PM   #101
War Child
 
MsGiggles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 905
Local Time: 10:07 AM
It sounds as if these parents want to keep their kids as sheltered as they can which I guess as parents, they're "allowed" but unless they learn that all lifestyles and cultures are accepted in society, they'll remain sheltered or worse take on the same outlook as their parents
__________________
MsGiggles is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 02:14 PM   #102
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,998
Local Time: 07:07 PM
I know nothing about Rugrats icelle but I can certainly understand why you'd be upset by that in that personal situation and I would never call you or anyone paranoid about that. I say paranoid in terms of some parents in Lexington and the way they have seemingly reacted to this book. I think people can have concerns over what their kids are reading in school and still be good, reasonable and intelligent parents and not be "bigots" of any kind, as I have already said many times here.

It's just very hard for me to grasp that some of the parents in Lexington would think this book is an attempt to "indoctrinate" their kids or that the silence day "promotes a gay agenda", I just have a difficult time understanding that.
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 02:15 PM   #103
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,297
Local Time: 07:07 PM
I don't understand how these parents think that it's in the best interest of their children to live in complete denial about the reality of our world. Do you think it's best if your child only finds out when they're 16 or 18 that their friends came from homes with 2 straight parents, 2 gay parents, broken homes, foster homes, etc?

They're not doing their children any favours.
__________________
anitram is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 02:22 PM   #104
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,998
Local Time: 07:07 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I don't understand how these parents think that it's in the best interest of their children to live in complete denial about the reality of our world. Do you think it's best if your child only finds out when they're 16 or 18 that their friends came from homes with 2 straight parents, 2 gay parents, broken homes, foster homes, etc?

They're not doing their children any favours.
I can definitely see it from that point of view as well, I would think it would be good to shelter your children from many things but not from others. Like I posted before, kids eventually have to function outside the sphere of their parents' influence and just for me, the optimum way to maximize that is to be exposed at an early age to diversity. Obviously all parents have the right to do that in their own way or to not do it at all, it's their choice to make. I know my parents never sat and talked to me about homosexuality, but I do recall that my Mother always tried to teach me that diversity existed in many forms and to respect that and get along with people in a respectful way. Life experience has been my greatest teacher, but the foundation can be started in childhood.
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 04-27-2006, 03:17 PM   #105
She's the One
 
martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Orange County and all over the goddamn place
Posts: 42,338
Local Time: 04:07 PM
How do these parents deal with the same sex parents at their child's school?
__________________

__________________
martha is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com