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Diatribe: Erie School District Of Illinois Pulls “The Family Book” From Shelves Over Reference To Same-Sex Parents.


It always surprises me that adults give children so little credit.  It seems that some imagine them as little animals that need to be “trained” and that they’re impossible of thought, understanding and reason.  Certainly, some subject matter is beyond a toddler’s comprehension, but we should never assume that something will “just confuse them” without discussing it with them first.

Unfortunately, many parents don’t know how to have intelligent conversations with their children.  This is particularly true if the subject matter is something that the parent doesn’t understand or makes them uncomfortable.  Avoiding these discussions often makes intelligent children all the more curious.  When something is labeled “for adults only”, it usually makes it more desirable to children.  What is forbidden is often desirable.

Banning a book from a school library, for instance, might make children want to read it more.  The people of Erie, Illinois will soon discover if their school district’s removal of The Family Book will make children more curious about non-traditional families.  Students in this school district will no longer have access to Todd Parr’s book because it has been pulled from local elementary schools’ shelves because of a line which notes that “some families have two moms or two dads.”

The winner of two National Parenting Publication Awards and three Oppenheim Gold Awards, Parr has authored more than thirty children’s books, including The Feelings Book, It’s Okay To Be Different and We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption And Families.

I this another example of the if-we-ignore-them-they’ll-go-away mentality exhibited by many parents who are uncomfortable with, or unaware of, the realities that their children face in today’s world.  Families with same-sex parents exist and banning a book that mentions them will not make them disappear.  In my opinion, all this will do is alienate students whose parents are of the same gender and further define their families as somehow “less than”.

This surprises me as the state of Illinois seems to be moving in a direction that treats its LGBT citizens more equally.  Surely, banning the book will inspire children to ask even more awkward questions than the book ever would have had it been allowed to remain in the district’s libraries..  Odds are, any kids who read this book would have whipped right past that part and not given it a second thought.  But, now that a few parents have made a stink, the issue is front-and-center.

Frankly, I think censorship is a much more harmful.

Copyright © 2012

From → Diatribes

  1. mary i permalink

    I agree with you 100%. As a child when I read what did not pertain to me went in one ear and out the other. People never cease to make me shake my head….


  2. These people think that by removing a book it makes the subject go away. It doesn’t. In fact, when their kids hear about all the hoopla over the same-sex parents issue, they’ll be more apt to want to read the book.


  3. wcdameron permalink

    Why do people think that simply by being exposed to gay people children will turn gay? They are only hurting their own children who either were or were not born gay. The ones banning this book need to look in their own closets.


  4. Scott Rose permalink

    The theocratic gay-bashing bigots in Erie held a “prayer vigil” for the book to be banned, and then Superintendent Cox banned the book. He appears to have violated the First Amendment-mandated separation of church and state, which all public school superintendents are by law compelled to uphold. He has colluded with the theocratic gay-bashing bigots to send the message that minorities are “morally inferior” to Evangelical Christians by reason of the minorities’ non-compliance with Evangelical Christians’ theocratic demands on non-Evangelical minorities. The Conservative Jewish movement in the U.S. recently officially announced support for same-sex marriage rights. Ergo, Superintendent Cox’s actions in banning the book at the demand of Evangelical Christian gay-bashing bigots has sent the message that Evangelical Christians are “right” and Conservative Jews are “wrong.” The man appears to have broken the law.


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