Kindergartners pledge to be nice to gay students

Filed under: In The News

colored pencilsYou would probably agree that it is important to teach our children to be nice to others, to be accepting of differences and to stand up to those who aren't. But do you think it can ever be too early for certain lessons? Like, for example, asking kindergarten children to promise not to engage in harassment toward a specific group of people -- namely gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids?

That is exactly what Tara Miller, a teacher in Faith Ringgold School of Arts and Science in Hayward, California did. She had her kindergarten students sign pledge cards in which they vowed to "not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language or slurs; intervene, when I feel I can, in situations where others are using anti-LGBT language or harassing other students and actively support safer schools efforts."

While I cannot argue with the sentiment behind the teacher's actions, I do question the appropriateness. School board member Jeff Cook agrees. "We have a general rule that all instruction should be age appropriate, and this clearly was not," said Cook.

In fact, those cards were created with middle and high-schoolers in mind. The average kindergartner has no idea what many of those words even mean. Now parents are mad and the school is backpedaling, admitting that the exercise was not age-appropriate. They won't say what action, if any, will be taken against Tara Miller, but at least one parent has already contacted a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in parents' rights.

According to this article, it is common for children in California to be taught about gay, lesbian and transgender issues as early as pre-school. Do you think that for children that young, lessons about acceptance and respect for others need to be that specific?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.