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READING RAINBOW

Utah School District Puts Gay-Family Book In Our Mother’s House Behind Counter

A school district in Utah isn’t banning In Our Mother’s House, a children’s book about a lesbian family, outright: If students want to read it, they just have to bring a permission slip from home and ask the librarian to get it from behind the counter.

A group of parents angered by the Davis County School District’s recent decision to remove the book from general circulation attended a school-board meeting yesterday with the intent of bringing it up with board members.

Davis spokesman Chris Williams said the committee’s decision was based on state law that prohibits school curriculum from advocating homosexuality. Committee members also determined the book was not age-appropriate. Concerns about the book bubbled up in January, when the mother of a kindergarten student at Windridge Elementary in Kaysville became upset when her child checked out the book and brought it home. The mother and her husband brought their concerns to elementary school officials, according to Williams.

A committee at the school level decided to move the title to a section of the library for grades 3 to 6, after determining the book — recommended for students in kindergarten through second grade — was better suited for older readers, Williams said. That didn’t appease parents of the kindergarten student, who gathered 25 signatures on a petition to move the discussion to the district level.

A whole 25 signatures? We could probably get 30 people to sign a petition swapping chocolate milk with Four Loko in the school cafeteria.

Ironically, In Our Mother’s House, written by Patricia Polocco, was originally purchased because a student at Windridge Elementary has two moms and librarians wanted to be inclusive.

Well there’s your mistake, silly!

Sadly, Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams didn’t let LGBT families address the board, claiming that allowing someone to speak who isn’t on the agenda would violate state law. (He also indicated he didn’t think a school-board meeting was the best place to have a discussion.) So advocates confronted Williams outside the meeting, asking him how the committee that voted to relocate the book was selected.

“When I first heard about the [book’s removal], I was very hurt by it,” Weston Clark, a former Davis County teacher who has a toddler with his partner, told the Tribune. “A lot of the words that were thrown around were ‘inappropriate.’ ‘It’s inappropriate to show this stuff to children.’ What exactly do you find ‘inappropriate’ about my family? We’re great citizens, we pay our taxes, we go to work, we keep up our yard.”

 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jun 20, 2012
Tagged: , , ,
  • 5 Comments
    • rye
      rye

      I’m really disappointed that my former school district would decide to restrict such an inclusive, modern, cultural and educational children’s book from students. I WISH I had seen a book like this when I was a kid, it would have been comforting for me I’m sure. These parents missed a HUGE educational opportunity with their child. They cannot shelter her forever from learning that gay couples do exist. It would have been a great moment to teach the child about tolerance of others.

      I hope this gets more media attention. There is nothing wrong with this book. There is something very wrong with the parents who launched this matter, and those who signed the petition.

      http://blog.ryeharris.com/post/25498669275/restricted-access-in-our-mothers-house

      Jun 20, 2012 at 7:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1equalityUSA
      1equalityUSA

      I’m going to order this book. If we all order it and make it a “best seller” then maybe bigots will think twice about banning our books. It’s like 1,000 moms giving free advertising for JCP.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1equalityUSA
      1equalityUSA

      $12.23 (16.22 with shipping and handling) Screw you Chris Bigot Williams.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 11:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LaTeesha
      LaTeesha

      Why are people surprised by these actions? It’s Utah. Utah is a state that for decades stole children from unwed fathers, by essentially allowing the mother to place the kids for adoption without his consent.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Richard Ford
      Richard Ford

      The writer of the Queerty story erroneously punctuates the name of this book three times. The apostrophe goes after the final “s” in the word “Mothers” (as you can see in the picture of the book cover).
      The point is that the kids have two mothers.
      Get it?

      Jun 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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