Show of HandsShow of Hands

camigirl July 13th, 2013 12:52am

I read an article about a teacher who got fired for reading her fourth grade class a story about two gay penguins, parents were upset and claimed she had no right to expose their kids to homosexuality. Would you be upset as a parent, or not mind?

11 Liked

Comments: Add Comment

avril89lavigne RVa
07/13/13 1:50 pm

It's a part of life now. It will not go away. Get over it. It's always better to understand than be clueless.

Reply
scottstots Georgia
07/13/13 11:23 am

My neighbor's are gay and one guy has a daughter. My 7 year old has never not known her. Goes over there and plays. She comes over here. Totally normal to both kids. Not familiar with the book, but ignorance on such things is not positive

BCKR Onward and upward
07/13/13 6:47 am

Did a little research:
1) The 2005 book, "And Tango Makes Three," is evidently a true story about penguins at NY's zoo.
2) It seems a British teacher was fired for not reading it to her students.
3) it's been banned or challenged in at least half...

BCKR Onward and upward
07/13/13 6:50 am

...a dozen states, and librarians across the country are defending it.
4) So far I haven't found anything about a teacher being fired for reading it to a class; I'd love to get a link for that.

But the book has been in the news for years.

146787456777 .......
07/13/13 1:02 am

jeez, thats horrible! they fired her for that??? sometimes our society disappoints me beyond belief.

Reply
Gingerred primum non nocere
07/12/13 10:45 pm

The fact that's its an issue at all is evidence to me that there should be more books like it.

Being gay is normal. Hearing a story about anything with gay characters shouldn't even register as abnormal.

That's the real problem here.

Reply
kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 11:00 pm

+gay infinity

camigirl
07/13/13 12:46 am

I have to agree. I wouldn't get mad at that whole scenario in general but if I had to choose something to get upset about, it would be the reproduction thing rather than the actual gay characters.

djkittie7 Texas
07/12/13 9:47 pm

If reproduction is already being taught, it would be ok. If not, then the whole "not being able to make an egg" part could be left out. No problem with the homosexuality itself in it or a single penguin taking in a baby for that matter.

Reply
Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:28 pm

Excellent question by the way Cami. Kudos on the poll! I've really enjoyed the comments.

Reply
camigirl
07/13/13 12:47 am

Thank you! So have I. Interesting results for sure.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 8:06 pm

These comments make me sad. Apparently none of you have known what it's like to never see yourself represented in the books, movies, etc that you see as you grow up.

Pointless? Hardly.

Reply
BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 8:17 pm

I know what it's like. But there are some things that are meant for a more mature audience.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:17 pm

That's what you are concerned about as a gay person? Why aren't there any books for small children that mention gays and sexual reproduction? I happen to find that to be sad.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:20 pm

I'm for gay rights more than most. and I still can't see a way that this should be okay. If I could get it on a ballet I would, and if gay marriage was on the ballot in my state I would stand in line for hours to vote on it. It's beside the point.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 8:27 pm

I'm totally unclear what your objection is, Matt. What's inappropriate about the book?

And yes, that's what we're all concerned about as humans. We develop by seeing our experiences and emotions reflected by others.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:30 pm

Because they are small children Kermie. They don't need teachers to tell them about reproduction or gay rights. Let children be children. When my child is old enough to have that conversation I will tell him how daddy sees it. It's my job as a father

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:33 pm

You're feelings and emotions are reflected by others. They are reflected by me. I will stand up and acknowledge you and fight for your rights. Books about sexual orientation and reproduction aren't meant for children. Do you have any children Kermie?

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 8:35 pm

Well, books on orientation are perfectly fine. It's normal to see a male and female animal children story. Why not a male and male one?

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 8:35 pm

Yeah, clearly you don't even understand my point. You saw yourself reflected in media that you grew up with and learned that you were normal and accepted. I didn't.

I still don't understand your objection. Children can't learn about reproduction?

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:39 pm

Because children of that age learn by watching their parents. Society is still very traditional with gay marriage unfortunately still being illegal in most parts of the country. If this hasn't been introduced by the parents at this point then these

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 8:40 pm

Reproduction is a lesson taught in physical education or by a certified teacher. It is a lesson that a student can be opted out of. The questions that could come out of this would be inappropriate for the teachers level of experience on the issue.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:41 pm

type of things can be very confusing to small children. When you're job is to prepare young minds for the next level if education and you are teaching them about gay rights instead you have overstepped your boundaries as an educator.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 8:41 pm

I don't have any children of my own, although I have a class of four and five year olds. One of them has two dads. One has two foster moms. And guess what--it doesn't phase them.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 8:43 pm

I think you don't understand very well what confuses children and what doesn't.

Anyway, the penguin book isn't about gay rights. It just reflects a real story about two penguin dads and, like I said, reflects real life.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:44 pm

It's not at all because the gay population is less deserving of rights or freedoms or recognition than anyone else. It's because this topic raises questions that are meant for someone closer to explain than a school teacher.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 8:44 pm

You're still objecting to children's stories about "reproduction"? Again, almost every children's story features babies of some kind. Have you ever cared before?

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 8:46 pm

I feel like this is a whirlwind of differences in opinion.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:46 pm

Well. I do agree that we are all entitled to our opinions, but apparently it was confusing to at least one kid. The child went home and asked their mommy what it all meant and a teacher lost their job over it. But I respect your opinion.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:49 pm

Yes they talk about babies, and sometimes storks. Never reproduction really. And definitely why exactly two boys can't make an egg.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 8:50 pm

My students go home and ask their parents all kind of questions! And they ask me questions that I tell them to ask their parents if I'm not qualified. If I could get fired for the myriad things that my kids think about, I'd have been gone long ago.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 8:53 pm

Tradition on the curriculum for reproduction is slow to change.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 9:00 pm

As you should Kermie I'm sure you are an excellent teacher. I'm sure you also don't put yourself in a position where children would ask questions of you that you aren't qualified to answer.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 9:01 pm

But as far as me not knowing what confuses children. I would say that this poll alone and the outcome of the situation would prove otherwise.

camigirl
07/12/13 7:31 pm

Okay guys so I read it was a book about two male penguins that were in love and wanted a baby of their own, but they couldn't make an egg. They found an abandoned egg, took it in, and raised it together. One of the kids went home and asked their

camigirl
07/12/13 7:32 pm

parents why the two penguins were boys instead of a girl and a boy. Just to give more details for those who were wondering.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 7:42 pm

That sounds like the most pointless book ever, but I still don't understand what the problem is.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 8:04 pm

Pointless? First of all it's based on a real story, and secondly how is it pointless to let children know there are all kinds of families?

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 8:08 pm

I don't, but I think reproduction (which is something you must understand to get the story) is a little bit much for a teacher and 4th graders.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 8:12 pm

LOL you're kidding, right? Do you object to children's books about straight animals with children? All those baby puppies and ducklings must drive you crazy.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 8:16 pm

Having children isn't the same thing as looking for an egg because you can't reproduce with the same sex. That puts the focus on reproduction, not family. Notice how most children stories shy away from the reproduction part?

kelsey498 Colorado
07/12/13 7:27 pm

Wouldn't bother me in the slightest. Who cares?

Evseng2
07/12/13 7:00 pm

I'm just confused on the story. Why say they're gay. Does it matter?

Books like that have animals hanging all the time. It shouldn't matter what their sexual orientation is.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 7:22 pm

Why are there books about animals that fall in love at all?

camigirl
07/12/13 7:33 pm

Beats me guys, beats me

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 6:52 pm

My question is why? Of all the books why two gay penguins. Only reason that comes to mind, to push an agenda or a personal belief. I'm not okay with a teacher indoctrinating children. Regardless if its sexuality, religion, or political.

Reply
Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 6:53 pm

It doesn't belong in the classroom. Stick to the basics that's what you're paid to do. Don't get me wrong. I'm for gay marriage and equal gay rights. If my child turned out to be gay then so be it. I support them, but let me have those conversations.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 6:56 pm

Let you have those conversations? It's not an agenda, it's school. Do you want them to stop teaching algebra because Muslims discovered it?

Keldeo Laverre City
07/12/13 7:06 pm

Beautifully written, Matt. My thoughts exactly.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 7:18 pm

That's the worst analogy ever. She is pushing a personal belief. I know the last time I went to the book store I saw 50 children's books on the gay lifestyle. Really Matt? No, not really!!! Because if you find a children's book like that then you

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 7:21 pm

went out of your way to find it. Why would you do something like that? To influence or indoctrinate children with your own personal beliefs. Stick to the curriculum!

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 7:24 pm

Thanks :) I try.

Teachers find a lot of things I can't find. I think sexual orientation in a children's book is pointless, but I think so is the outrage.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 7:35 pm

I'm not outraged. I said its not okay which is what the poll asked. If it was a first offense then maybe a suspension and a stern conversation is appropriate. If she doesn't learn at that point then absolutely terminate her.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 7:37 pm

No one should be teaching my 10 year old about human sexuality but me. We all have roles in life and that's not a teacher's role.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 7:44 pm

Reading a book about 2 make penguins isn't a lesson on sexuality any more than jack and Jill went up the hill. If this were about a male and female penguin there would be no problem. That's the only problem there is.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 7:58 pm

About two male penguins that were in love and couldn't make an egg together. Yeah. You're right. Not about sexuality at all.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 8:02 pm

Sounds like love. But sure, reproduction issues in general seem like an odd topic for 4th graders.

Matt1981 The Who Dat Nation
07/12/13 8:15 pm

I agree 100% regardless of sexual orientation. And hey I'm all about health class and teaching about safe sex to a 14 or 15 year old, but using children's books to present these kind of things to 10 year olds is not cool.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 8:22 pm

Well, sex Ed is taught to 11 year olds, but that is with parental consent.

BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 6:34 pm

What's the difference if they were gay or straight. I don't care about an animals sexuality in a book. I wouldnt care if the story was about a lioness caring for a tigresses offspring.

Reply
susanr Colorado
07/12/13 6:24 pm

Wouldn't bother me a bit.

Reply
susanr Colorado
07/12/13 8:52 pm

((((*kermie*)))) Any time, pal.

<sigh> I haven't read the newer comments here... will have to come back later... but I can imagine.

Why is it so hard for people to think outside their own lives? And imagine growing up without...

susanr Colorado
07/12/13 8:53 pm

..reflections of themselves, their family, their hopes & dreams, role models. Why can't people care?

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 9:01 pm

Thanks :) I knew I could count on you. Between this poll and the latest Zimmerman poll, I can't help thinking about the gay black kids I've worked with and how the world is incredibly stacked against them for being who they are. And I want to cry.

susanr Colorado
07/12/13 10:47 pm

I'm so sorry. I saw you in the Zimmerman poll... You can imagine how long I lasted in there. I hear several things you're saying about the penguin book. What I don't understand (about others' ideas) is... if it's a book about a male & female...

susanr Colorado
07/12/13 10:49 pm

..penguin who have an egg that hatches & they raise their baby penguin, then it's a cute book about an animal family. If it's two gay penguins who have an egg that hatches & they raise their baby penguin... then suddenly it's a book about...

susanr Colorado
07/12/13 10:51 pm

..reproduction. WTF? It just comes back, again, to equality, or rather lack of it. A gay family is... not equal, not something that should be talked about. It makes me want to scream. A book like this is a good thing not just for kids with gay...

susanr Colorado
07/12/13 10:53 pm

..parents, but for ALL kids, because gay families exist, they're part of life, and they shouldn't be treated differently... and yet, that's exactly the lesson this incident teaches kids: they're different; reading a story about them...

susanr Colorado
07/12/13 10:55 pm

..will get your teacher fired. How more hideous can it get, without outright violence?

I've talked myself into such a funk that I want a good stiff drink.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 11:00 pm

Oh my gosh. I didn't mean to drive you to drink (not that there's anything wrong with that on a Friday night! Hehe) but I feel better just hearing you say that.

susanr Colorado
07/12/13 11:04 pm

Nah, not your fault. I drove myself there. I also just read the Wikipedia article about the book & all the places people have tried to get it removed from general circulation in school libraries. So now I feel worse. Except there were some...

susanr Colorado
07/12/13 11:05 pm

..courageous librarians & school administrators who stood up to it.

I probably won't drink. I think it'll be blueberries & a little yogurt.

kermie gaytopia
07/12/13 11:10 pm

I'm sort of familiar with the book--I haven't read it. But now I want to get a copy for my classroom just on principle :)

Personally I would compromise and make a blueberry mojito. But I have a weakness for mojitos.

susanr Colorado
07/12/13 11:17 pm

Kinda hard to make any kind of mojito out of stout or sherry. But a blueberry mojito sounds fabulous!

XercesBlue ...
07/12/13 6:06 pm

I don't see the point of pointing out that they are gay. It seems a little off to me. I know penguins can be homosexual in nature, but idk.. To me its like pointing out different races in books - why would you?

camigirl
07/12/13 6:28 pm

I don't think she explicitly said they're gay, maybe one of the kids just picked it up and told their parents? I'll look into it more. Personally I wouldn't mind, makes no difference to me. But I can see where the other side is coming from.

b4mytime Orange County, CA
07/12/13 6:43 pm

The book doesn't have to "point out" that they're gay. Most children's books refer to a male and a female being together without using the word "straight"...maybe this book just had two dads or two moms in it.

XercesBlue ...
07/12/13 6:48 pm

Those are much more likely scenarios.

Octopus
07/12/13 6:01 pm

I wouldn't mind. The love in a gay relationship is no different than that in a straight (or any other) relationship.

Reply
Jungle in the dog house
07/12/13 5:58 pm

Yes, I'd be upset.

Reply
BeachSt Coastal Virginia
07/12/13 6:32 pm

Why? It's just a story.