Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Youth speak out about Sally Kern and Deerfield High School . . . and outclasses the adults

Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern is still getting no defense from anti-gay industry members such as Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber. This silence is interesting since (as seen in yesterday's post) it was their words she used in making her claims, including the one that homosexuality is worse than terrorism and Islam.

You will remember how Peter LaBarbera rushed to Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle's defense when he made controversial statements about the gay community.

Hell, Janet Folger even gave Naugle an award.

Meanwhile, there is an excellent letter from a senior in an Oklahoma high school addressed to Kern. This student lost his mother in the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing. The letter has not been verified as legitimate. If this letter turns out to be legitimate, it is a powerful indictment on Kern's ignorance.

Part of the letter reads as follows:

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they've been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I've spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however, many gay students beat up and there's never a day in school that has went by when I haven't heard the word **** slung at someone. I've been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?

The entire piece is here.

And yesterday, I received a comment from someone who claims to be a senior attending Deerfield High School and a member of the AP class embroiled in the Angels In America controversy.

If this post is accurate, then this student puts the entire situation in perspective:

I am in the AP English class in question and have chosen to read the book.

Many of the articles make a fuss about how this book was "required reading." What they fail to point out is that there is ALWAYS the opportunity to opt out of reading a book if you or your parents are truly offended by it. It's not well-publicized, but it's there.

Some articles went as far as to say that forcing this book on us was "child abuse," which I think is patently ridiculous.

1. This cannot be child abuse because we are not children. Everyone in the class is eighteen or close to it. We can see similar things in R-rated movies; why can't we read about them in a class where we can discuss them in a mature and intelligent manner? If we are of legal age to vote for president and to die for the country, I should think we are capable of deciding what we believe and what we want to read.

2. If parents are trying to protect us from the issues discussed in the book, they must know that their efforts are doomed to fail. We all know that homosexuality and racism exist, and any parents who think their darling angel couldn't possibly have used or at least hear the "objectionable language" need to pull their heads out of the sand. These issues are out there, and refusing to let us read this book in class will not change that. If anything, more of us are likely to go out and read this book just to see what all the fuss was about.

For those have or are tempted to connect this to the SAGA Advisory pannel and say that the school is forcing homosexuality down our throats, I disagree. The freshmen are not asked to agree with the panel members and their decisions. They are asked to respect them, as we are asked to respect all of our peers. My English teacher has not told us his views on homosexuality, much less tried to convince us to agree with him. The hate mail he has received is unjustified.

Because we were not allowed to read the book without having a parent sign the permission form, I talked with my mom about the book. Our conversation was very short. She told me that I was eighteen and could make my own decisions. I wish all parents--not to mention the NSSA--had as much faith and respect for their children.

My hat goes off to these two youngsters. But it's also sad when the young act more mature than adults.