December 1, 2005

The Real Issue Behind Broward County’s Nixing of “We Are Family” Video?

Tuesday July 26th 2005, 10:44 am
Filed under: Schools

As you may remember, Broward County (FL) schools decided against using the pro-diversity “We Are Family” video in their classrooms. (One critic of We Are Family — which shows kids getting jiggy with Big Bird, Elmo, SpongeBob, and other bad influences — said that the video’s producers were trying to “mess with our kids’ minds.”)

Pro-diversity forces in Broward are fighting back. One observer, gay dad Stratton Pollitzer, says in an op-ed that the issue is actually much larger than puppets dancing to the Pointer Sisters.

Right-wing radio host Steve Kane, who also sits on the Diversity Committee, says he doesn’t want children with same-sex parents talking about their families at school, calling that the “foot in the door.”

As a gay dad, it’s my family Kane is talking about, my daughter he says shouldn’t talk about her family, my son he wants to fill with shame. He doesn’t want my little girl Sarah to hear Barney sing “We Are Family” and decide to share about her family with the class. Even worse, Kane fears the teacher might tell Sarah or Ben that their family is valued and respected, too.

Kane is even less coded in his attack on gay groups that provide critical resources, like anti-bullying programs and suicide hotlines, saying ” I have dealt with them in the past, they are devious, devious people… the whole thing smells like fish that is dead for three days.”

That’s where the far right’s true agenda reveals itself — to remove every resource for gay students and to ignore the reality that gay students exist and that some children grow up in households headed by gay parents.

The bottom line is they believe some families, like my family, don’t deserve kindness or respect, and they would rather throw out the very notion of diversity rather than extend that respect to families they deem unacceptable. That should worry all of us.

Steve Kane has more to say about the issue in the Agape Press.

The Broward County school board will revisit the issue later today.

You can read the rest of Pollitzer’s piece in the Sun-Sentinel.

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1 Comment so far

If the goal is to help kids to see things from other point-of-view, there is probably a less controversial way of going about it:

Exercises in the perspective of characters, in lesson plans which don’t even mention tolerance.

The word “tolerance” has positive connotations for me, but apparently not for everyone.

Comment by Eric Jaffa 07.26.05 @ 12:47 pm

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