Anna Gregoline | March 19, 2004
I don't mean to make this into "Gay Tragic Comedy," but....Parents angered by book about gay princes in the school library.

I find this to be annoying on several levels - first, that someone once again is trying to limit access for others to a book they don't agree with. Second, that they didn't use the opportunity to explain to their daughter why they feel this book is wrong and instead are trying to blame the school for having it in the first place.

Scott Hardie | March 19, 2004
Sorry, I'm having trouble forming a reply... The phrase "gay Prince" just seems redundant to me.

Anna Gregoline | March 19, 2004
I know, that's why I used it, I thought it was funny. I'm sure it was intentional on the book author's part too.

Melissa Erin | March 19, 2004
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Scott Hardie | March 19, 2004
I think a lot of parents in some areas would rather have their little kids come home with straight porn than a children's book about homosexuality.

Anna Gregoline | March 19, 2004
Well, sure because then the issue would be more cut and dry.

I just don't like that people feel they need to censor something from everyone else because THEY don't agree with it.

John E Gunter | March 19, 2004
Not that I'd want my young child to bring home straight porn from the library either.

Lol!

One thing that is great about this country is that we have the ability to complain about things. Does it make it right? Not always, but at least we get the chance to do it.

I just think a lot of parents are blaming others for their own short comings and it kind of frosts me.

We just need to make sure we do our best and keep the minority from changing things against the majorities wishes, and of course, complain when we don't like something, as long as it's not one of our short comings!

Melissa Erin | March 19, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | March 19, 2004
Amen to that. I am amazed daily at what people choose to get worked up about. I feel bad for the little girl for many reasons, one of which that she might be transferred to another school.

I got this story off of metafilter.com and at least one person there already sent a new copy of the book the parents are holding hostage to the school. Someone else sent two other books, the "Heather has Two Mommies" kind.

John E Gunter | March 19, 2004
Seriously, I very much agree with you Melissa, it's much better in my opinion to explain things to a child in the proper context. When they are young and aren't, for lack of a better word, experienced enough to understand pornographic magazines, a book like that one, if it's done tastefully, is a much better way to introduce the subject to a child.

Unfortunately, we allow breeding of stupid people, or at least that's what it seems to me. The worst thing is, it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

I often wonder, half heartedly, if as the number of people in the world increases, the intelligence level decreases. I know it doesn't seem to affect everyone, but it's really scary sometimes the lack of intellect that you run across everyday, which seems to be growing in leaps and bounds!

Anna Gregoline | March 19, 2004
I, too, didn't really have a scope of the ignorance prevelant in this country until the last few years.

Kris Weberg | March 20, 2004
If a child reads a book where a prince and princess fall in love, no one feels that the child has been exposed to early to heterosexual realtionships and must now be told about the birds and the bees; if a book involves two princes falling in love, somehow the content is automatically sexual, and the child now corrupted and confused.

Wasn't it Michel Foucault who pointed out that it's forbidden sexuality that is discussed and categorized obsessively by self-appointed "police," while supposedly "natual" and "healthy" are never the subject of discussion or codification except as the "not-this?" Indeed, the notion of healthy and unhealthy sexuality was, historically speaking, born out of negative morality, rather than positive morality. In the discourse of this sort of morality, far more time is spent telling people what they can't do than telling them what they should do, tot he point that virtue is essentially an implicit negative rather than an articulate construction in itself.

Put another way, isn't it a better use of time and energy to teach a child how to do what you think is good than to command them not to do bad and assume that the absence of sin is virtue?

Steve West | March 20, 2004
Why do these two methods have to be mutually exclusive? As a responsible parent you must teach what is right and what is wrong - not one or the other. The debate seems to be into which category each action or philosophy falls into.

Melissa Erin | March 20, 2004
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Kris Weberg | March 21, 2004
Steve -- I'm ot arguing that it's ideally one or the other, only that, as practiced and discussed, one almost exclusively encounters "do not" morality. People tend to be much more concerned with setting limits than with setting good examples, and as you say, both need to be given equal time and weight.

John E Gunter | March 22, 2004
The only problem with society pushing the "Do Not" morality is that they make it more interesting. How many times have you thought about doing something you've been told is wrong. I'm not just talking about something sexually.

It's human nature to want to look into forbidden things. Granted, not everyone feels the need to carry out forbidden actions, that's actually a good thing, but deep down, a person wonders, even if it's just for a moment what it would be like.

So personally, I prefer the show both sides method rather than the no only method. Then the individual can begin to make their own opinions and judgements on the thing.

Now, I'm not saying that you should tell people to try everything, what I'm saying here is to educate the child when you feel they are ready for that education and then allow them to make their own choices. But you also need to make sure they understand the consequences of their actions.

Case in point, we've had some trouble with our child gambling at school. We've told him how wrong it is and that he needs to stop. He was even punished for doing it. Well, he's done it again in the recent past, and so now he's on restriction till the end of the school year. As his life is now over, he's behaving a whole lot better.

So hopefully he will realize the next time he is given the opportunity to gamble at school, that if he gets caught doing it, he'll be in even more trouble. So in my opinion, you need to educate rather than just say it's bad, because if you don't, the individual will go ahead and do it anyway. At this point, if he gambles again in school, he should know the consequences and will be ready to face the music as it were when we find out.

Jackie Mason | March 22, 2004
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Melissa Erin | March 23, 2004
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