Friday, April 16, 2010

Class project accused of pushing the "gay agenda"

"What started as a third-grade lesson on the history of women’s fashions ended this week with a lesson in intolerance." reports:
As a project for Women’s History Month, a teacher at the Maude Wilkins School in Maple Shade [New Jersey] planned to have her students wear outfits showing how women’s clothing styles have evolved through history. Boys could wear pants or jeans and explain how those have been common for women at various times. In a letter to parents, the teacher explained that boys would "not have to wear a dress or skirt."

But after one parent posted a complaint online, bloggers began raising an alarm that the Burlington County school was pushing a "gay agenda." One pointed out that the planned lesson coincided with yesterday’s national "Day of Silence" to protest harassment of gays.

It was a ridiculous overreaction. Women’s roles in science, arts, sports and, yes, fashion have long been part of elementary school lesson plans on women’s history. Maple Shade schools Superintendent Michael Livengood said there was no conspiracy to cross-dress, and the school wasn’t even aware of the gay rights event.

Still, the furor prompted the school to pull the curtain on the fashion show and have the students draw pictures instead.

Mary Hawkesworth, chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, said the activity could have been used to teach students about gender, tolerance and understanding others. That’s the real missed lesson here.
There's always some nut job out there who will scream "gay agenda" at the drop of a hat. Too bad the fashion show was cancelled. The bullies won.