A New York City fifth grader’s winning speech in favor of marriage equality will never be heard by his classmates after his school’s principal deemed it inappropriate.
Kameron Slade won a class competition and was scheduled to deliver his speech at PS 195 in Queens. However, because the speech was to be about same-sex couples, his principal told Slade he would be removed from the contest if he did not choose a different topic.
NY1 reports that after winning the class event, Slade was getting ready to deliver the speech for a schoolwide competition with the help of his mother and teacher. Here’s an excerpt from the speech:
“Like President Obama, I believe that all people should have the right to marry whoever they want,” Slade says in the poignant speech, which he delivered in full on NY1. He also speaks about his own experiences with a lesbian couple, who are friends with his mother.
“In conclusion, I hope that everyone understands how important it is to respect everyone for who they are,” he says. “I believe that same-sex marriage should be accepted worldwide, and that parents and teachers should start to discuss these issues without shame to their children.”
You can hear this entire, amazing speech by clicking here. Kameron Slade’s mother has raised quite a child!
As Think Progress points out, in addition to the fact that young people can easily learn about this issue from the President of the United States, many are bound to encounter same-sex families among their friends and classmates. To censor such topics is an attempt to erase gay and lesbian people from communities entirely.
Numerous studies have found that schools are safer for LGBT students when curricula are LGBT-inclusive.
California passed an LGBT-inclusive education bill last year, and a study released last week confirms that not only did LGBT students feel safer, but they also performed better academically and felt more connected to the school, their teachers, and their future.
Slade should be applauded, not censored, for doing for his peers what his school community refuses to do. What kind of lesson is this teaching him?
What do you think?
Photo Credit: screenshot from Youtube video