According to NY1: "A letter sent to parents Friday confirms that 10-year-old Kameron Slade will be allowed to recite his speech on same-sex marriage at a special assembly at PS 195 on Monday."
More after the jump!
After hearing from gay rights advocates, including the New York Civil Liberties Union who called the initial decision to block the speech "censorship," the decision was made to allow Kameron to give his speech in a special assembly.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott defended the school principal's decision to refuse to allow Kameron to give his speech, explaining that, "The principal felt that she needed to do more due diligence with her parent community because of the topic of the speech itself."
Daniel Dromm, a gay city councilman and former teacher, wasn't entirely appeased by the decision to allow Kameron to recite his speech in a special assembly rather than in the actual speech contest. He says:
"I don't believe separate but equal works. I think this is a topic that everybody should talk about. There is nothing inappropriate about this topic."
According to the school, parents who have concerns about Monday's assembly can call the principal.
Kameron's mother is pleased with the decision. She tells NY1, "I'm really glad that the DOE has took the time to pay attention. I feel like progress is being made."
What do you think, Instincters? Is this a case of separate but equal? Should we just be happy that Kameron gets to deliver his speech to the school?
We're (unfortunately) too used to hearing about this type of censorship from private religious schools, but a public school? In New York City? Color us shocked!
(Details and video after the jump.)
Kameron Slade was told by school officials at PS195 in Queens, New York that although he won his class's speech writing contest, he would not be allowed to read his moving LGBT-supportive piece to the entire school as promised. Because it "is inappropriate." Somehow.
Kameron's mother said he was told to choose any topic, so he chose same-sex marriage. But on Wednesday, the principal said he should write another speech or be removed from the contest.
"She said that people have different opinions on it and that some parents may not want their children to learn about this type of topic," Kameron said.
Kameron's speech calls for acceptance and tolerance. It describes his mother's explanation of the issue and his impression of his mother's friends who are gay.
ThinkProgress transcribed an excerpt of the speech (which Kameron reads to all of New York City via NY1—take that, PS195!):
Some people are for same-gender marriage, while others are against it. Like President Obama, I believe that all people should have the right to marry whoever they want. Marriage is about love, support, and commitment. So who are we to judge? If we judge people like this, this is a form of prejudice. We must learn to accept all differences.[...]
My mom is very open to me about same-gender marriage. However, some adults may feel uncomfortable and think it’s inappropriate to talk about this to children. I think adults must realize that as children get older, they become aware of these mature issues that are going on in the world. If children read or watch the news, they can learn about things like same-gender marriage, so what’s the point in trying to hide it?
In conclusion, I hope that everyone understands how important it is to respect everyone for who they are. Same-gender marriage is becoming more popular. I believe that same-gender marriage should be accepted worldwide and that parents and teachers should start to discuss these issues without shame to their children.
A few parents agreed that the speech was inappropriate for school-aged children, but that sentiment has time and time again proven to create a dangerous and even deadly environment for LGBT youth. Plus, the innocuous speech was written by a kid for chrissakes, and for that reason alone is appropriate to share with his peers.