Prophecy in today's headlines

LGBT Teaching Material Chosen For California Schools

We’d all love to see the plans,” the Beatles once sang about revolution. Some Alamedans have borrowed that sentiment about the Alameda Unified School District’s proposed LGBT curriculum, saying instead, “We’d all love to see the books.”

The school district’s Web site mentions the titles of the books it intends to use for the program tentatively scheduled to start in the fall, but delivers little else in the way of information. Here’s a look at some of the books and material.

* For kindergarten, The New Girl and Me: According to one reviewer the book is a “gentle story about Shakeeta, a new girl at school, and Mia, the classmate who befriends her… A stellar choice for any ‘new kid in the classroom’ situation, as well as for children who may be hesitant in making new friends. The author is a former elementary school teacher, which is obvious by her style of writing.”

* For first grade, Who’s in A Family: “This equal opportunity, open-minded picture book has no preconceptions about what makes a family a family,” says Random House, the publisher. “There’s even equal time given to some of children’s favorite animal families. With warm and inviting jewel-tone illustrations, this is a great book for that long talk with a little person on your lap.”

* For second grade, And Tango Makes Three: The book is based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male Chinstrap Penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo who for six years formed a couple. The book follows part of this time in the penguins’ lives. The pair was observed trying to hatch a rock that resembled an egg. When zookeepers realized that Roy and Silo were both male, it occurred to them to give them the second egg of a mixed-sex penguin couple, a couple which had previously been unable to successfully hatch two eggs at once. Roy and Silo hatched and raised the healthy young chick, a female named “Tango” by keepers, together as a family.

* For third grade, a video called “That’s a Family”: This is how the filmmakers describe their work: “With blunt and sometimes hilarious candor, children from over 50 diverse families open the door to their homes, and explain things like divorce, mixed race, gay and lesbian, birth mom, single parent, guardian and stepdad — and get right to the point of what they wish other people would understand about their families.”

* For fourth grade, an essay written by an 11-year-old named Robert called “My School Is Accepting — But Things Could Be Better.” Among Robert’s thoughts: “When kids learn that I have two moms, they are normally OK with it. Sometimes I’ll come across someone who says it is weird but that doesn’t bother me because I’m fine with my family. I tend to not be very good friends with the kids who say it is weird to have LGBT parents.” The essay can be read in its entirety on the AUSD Web site.

* For fifth grade, a handout that list famous LGBT personalities: The list includes author James Baldwin, singer Elton John and poet Walt Whitman. Like the fourth-grade essay, the list can be read in its entirety on the AUSD Web site.


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