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New Jersey School District Under Fire for Video Showing Same-Sex Parents

Some parents in the Evesham School District of Marlton, New Jersey are up in arms about part of the diversity curriculum that includes a film showing same-sex parents, reports WCAU-TV/NBC 10 Philadelphia News. Garden State Equality has posted a clip of the coverage to YouTube. The film shows children and their parents, with the children talking about why they love their families.What bothers me most are the people in the school district who say that elementary-school children are “too young” to be learning about this. “He should find that out later on in life, during high school or something like that,” one man says. So I should wait until my son’s in high school before telling him that he has same-sex parents? The newscasters play along. One wonders if the film simply shows same-sex parents, or if “In the video, do they explain why some kids have two daddies or two mommies, how that got to be?” Another asks “What did they do to help the children understand what was shown in the video? . . . So apparently we assume the kids came home with even more questions?”

People fall in love. Sometimes they have children together. How complicated is that, really? If children already know the basics of human reproduction, then yes, maybe they will have questions, but is it really that hard to say that people adopt, or find a man willing to donate sperm or a woman to act as a surrogate? Apparently, it is, and that’s the root cause of the problem. The parents don’t have the information or language to talk about this with their children, and their fear of appearing ignorant makes them want to avoid the matter altogether. And just to be perfectly clear: teaching about same-sex families is not “sex education.” It’s diversity education. (We’re parents; we don’t have time for sex.) Incidents like the one in Evesham are why resources like Making Schools Inclusive from the Family Pride Coalition are so important for us to read and share.

Garden State Equality has called for action in support of the school district, saying “We must come to the school district’s defense and do all we can to encourage the district to stick to its courageous, inclusive curriculum.” They ask that people send Evesham School District officials the e-mail they’ve prepared. If you live near Evesham, they invite you to join them at the next school board meeting of the Evesham School District on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 at 8:00 pm, 25 South Maple Avenue, Marlton.

(Crossposted at Mombian.)

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