There is an interesting little gay debate going on right in the neighborhood. In Evesham Township, NJ (like 20 mins from Philadelphia), a video about diverse families was pulled from classrooms. In Jersey it is mandated that the curriculum include the different forms families can take. This particular video, “That’s a Family!” includes such cheesy gems as:
“It’s not your fault,” says Montana, a first grader whose parents are divorced.
Emily describes her interracial family — her father is of European descent and her mother’s background is Asian — this way: “It doesn’t mean you have to be a rat to marry a rat. You can be a rat and marry a mouse.”
Daniel introduces his parents: “These are my two dads.”
Another child says, “It’s really cool have to two gay dads, because they brought us into a home, and they adopted us, and they love us.”
Therein lies the problem, parents in the district felt the reference to gay parents was inappropriate for third graders. Parental voting was pretty evenly split on whether to show the video or not. A committee was formed and eventually decided to ban the film. Gay rights activists argue it is being banned solely because of gay prejudice and that a video designed to inform children about the different forms of family must include gay families. Parents against the video are arguing that it is too controversial of a topic to teach children that young and that parents should be able to teach there children about homosexuality.
I have mixed views on schools introducing homosexuality to children. I do think it is important for children to understand that it is out there and what exactly being gay means, not just the negative stereotypes. But I also think parents should be the ones that decided when there children are ready to learn somethings, and what they are exposed to. But I think the video should be shown, because it is not specifically about homosexuality but rather family forms. And in New Jersey specifically gay families are a big reality. The state has union/partnerships and is moving towards marriage. Jersey was also one of the first states to allow gay second parent adoptions.