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10/14/2008

HEY, TEAM UNSCRUPULOUS FIB: STOP OVERLOOKING PERTINENT INFORMATION!!

by Jeremy Hooper


"How can we possibly justify bringing in an adult agenda like gay marriage into a classroom? Parents are the ones that should have the right to introduce a subject like that first, foremost, and in accordance with their own beliefs."

But wait a minute -- this failed-to-be-mentioned point comes from The SF Chronicle:

As is the case with all field trips, parents had to give their permission and could choose to opt out of the trip. Two families did. Those children spent the duration of the 90-minute field trip back at school with another first-grade class, the interim director said.

So who's really trying to prevent parental choice here? Because last time we checked, permission slips are the currency through which American parents typically cast their opinions on matters like field trips. So one would think that since this particular set of parents did grant permission, our opposition would see it fit to mention this point before crying about the parents who were robbed of their "right to introduce a subject like [same-sex marriage]."

But hey, these are San Francisco parents we're talking about. We should probably just be grateful that the anti-gay side refers to them as "parents" at all, knowing how much they like to write off the Bay Area denizens as "Godless, liberal, Prius-driving, hippie, child indoctrination factories."

Class surprises lesbian teacher on wedding day [SF Chronicle]

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Your thoughts

So very true! But then, I've been arguing for a while that we're talking about people who really want to control what your kids are taught, not just what their own kids are taught.

Posted by: Jarred | Oct 14, 2008 10:32:49 AM

Besides the whole "parents signed permission slips" bit, there is quite a bit more pertinent information being left out:

1. Gay couples had ceremonies before the ruling, and will continue to do so. Replace "Wedding" with "Commitment Ceremony" and the exact same story could still happen. So it has nothing to do with Prop 8.

2. The trip was organized by the parents, and approved by the principal. The teacher and Gavin Newsom were both unaware that the children were coming. The parents thought it would be a sweet surprise for the parent.

3. The school in question is a charter school. While these schools are part of the public system, they are subject to different rules and have flexibility in curriculum/trips that standard schools do not have. No child goes to one of these schools unless their parent opts to enroll them. Charter schools "opt out" of a whole lot of the laws, regulations, and curriculum concerns of standard schools.

The CA Education code limits field trips to, "field trips or excursions in connection with courses of instruction or school-related social, educational, cultural, athletic, or school band activities to and from places in the state, any other state, the District of Columbia, or a foreign country for pupils enrolled in elementary or secondary schools." So unless one wanted to make the argument that the gay wedding was a "School-related social or cultural activity", a standard school would never have this come up in the first place.

Posted by: Amanda | Oct 14, 2008 4:59:05 PM

Actually, Amanda, your second point was the one thing that has bothered me about this story, though not in ways relevent to marriage equality or LGBT rights. Depending on the curcumstances, a dozen or so unexpected guests showing up to a wedding could create a great deal of stress for the couple. After all, there are a number of potential logistical concerns. The parents' idea was a good one, but I hope they did consider how the appearance of extra guests might effect the happy couple's planning of their special day.

Posted by: Jarred | Oct 20, 2008 9:54:09 AM

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