1:21 pm - 06/15/2012
We're (unfortunately) too used to hearing about this type of censorship from private religious schools, but a public school? In New York City? Color us shocked!
Kameron Slade was told by school officials at PS195 in Queens, New York that although he won his class's speech writing contest, he would not be allowed to read his moving LGBT-supportive piece to the entire school as promised. Because it "is inappropriate." Somehow.
Kameron's mother said he was told to choose any topic, so he chose same-sex marriage. But on Wednesday, the principal said he should write another speech or be removed from the contest.
"She said that people have different opinions on it and that some parents may not want their children to learn about this type of topic," Kameron said.
Kameron's speech calls for acceptance and tolerance. It describes his mother's explanation of the issue and his impression of his mother's friends who are gay.
ThinkProgress transcribed an excerpt of the speech (which Kameron reads to all of New York City via NY1—take that, PS195!):
Some people are for same-gender marriage, while others are against it. Like President Obama, I believe that all people should have the right to marry whoever they want. Marriage is about love, support, and commitment. So who are we to judge? If we judge people like this, this is a form of prejudice. We must learn to accept all differences.[...]
My mom is very open to me about same-gender marriage. However, some adults may feel uncomfortable and think it’s inappropriate to talk about this to children. I think adults must realize that as children get older, they become aware of these mature issues that are going on in the world. If children read or watch the news, they can learn about things like same-gender marriage, so what’s the point in trying to hide it?
In conclusion, I hope that everyone understands how important it is to respect everyone for who they are. Same-gender marriage is becoming more popular. I believe that same-gender marriage should be accepted worldwide and that parents and teachers should start to discuss these issues without shame to their children.
A few parents agreed that the speech was inappropriate for school-aged children, but that sentiment has time and time again proven to create a dangerous and even deadly environment for LGBT youth. Plus, the innocuous speech was written by a kid for chrissakes, and for that reason alone is appropriate to share with his peers.
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