Bigots won this round: Gay marriage video in Janesville, WI school leads to complaints, then apology

Carrying a large rainbow flag. Pic by blue cheddar. Event: Madison Pride 2012
My photo from a Madison pride parade.

I just read “Janesville superintendent issues apology for ‘Kids React to Gay Marriage’ video” in the Wisconsin State Journal.

The gist of the story: the Gay-Straight Alliance of the Craig High School of Janesville showed a film entitled, “Kids React to Gay Marriage” on April 11th as part of the “Day of Silence”.

Then a few parents complained.

Then the Janesville School District superintendent issued a public apology. Technically the video was “controversial” enough to warrant the inclusion of content that provides an opposing viewpoint.

I’m curious to know why the group didn’t stick to the stated goal of the Day of Silence – – which is supposed to be reducing harassment and abuse of lesbians, bisexuals, gay people, and transgendered people in schools?*

Not that marriage equality isn’t an important issue BUT the need for anti-bullying work for LGBT youth is pressing.

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center estimates that 30 – 40% of LGBT youth have attempted suicide. –source

After Jamie Nabozny won a landmark case against the Ashland, Wisconsin school for four years of being kicked, mock raped, and verbally abused he said, “I was just happy to get out alive”.

According to W.S.Journal, Superintendent Schulte said, “The appropriate thing would be to present both sides of an issue or all sides of an issue, so that’s why I sent the apology, because I felt we did not follow board policy.”

Would the bigots try to express their “side” on harassment? Would they say LGBT kids should be beaten? I can imagine them getting together in a flurry to do just that and figuring out (with a big sigh) that they’re in indefensible territory.

Or maybe they WOULDN’T figure it out and their repugnance would be fully exposed for our inspection.

Bottom line: I hate to see bigots gain a millimeter.

* From DayOfSilence.org:
“The Day of Silence is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT.”

 

By the way – here’s the video:

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3 thoughts on “Bigots won this round: Gay marriage video in Janesville, WI school leads to complaints, then apology

  1. No apology was necessary. The students, advisors and principal who approved the film were doing exactly the task they are charged with by the parents and tax-paying citizenry…EDUCATING the students. Want “equal time” to bog down every “controversial” issue (of which this was only to those who embrace intolerance)? Imagine if we then give peace activists equal time to promote alternative national service and information about “opting out” and the access as the military who can hold events, give away enticing paraphernalia, table the hallways and have complete access to all student records? Imagine equal time for the KKk when civil rights is discussed? How about “flat Earthers” in the science classes? Some such “equal time” is as absurd as the initial complaint. Any issue that broadens acceptance of ALL in a caring and factual manner is always preferential to the messages of denial and bullying as the initial grandmother who complained demonstrated. At least the student body now has another learning opportunity about “small minds” and the real world educational struggle that continues.

  2. Apologies are not enough. The damage is done. Worse .. the one whose decision to show the video was not even charged with using “ambush” tactics to further his/her own agenda. And, worse still, nowhere in this article was any mention made that parental permissions were probably deliberately avoided .. nor any prior public notifications advertised. You simply KNOW this was a hostile ambush that would not have gained any sort of approval. Here is a clear cut case demanding instant removal of several heads.

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