Massachusetts 2nd-grade teacher reads class 'gay marriage' book; administrator backs her
LEXINGTON, Mass. (BP)--A Massachusetts second-grade teacher is being criticized for reading a book about "gay marriage" to her students, and conservatives say it is an example of what happens when a state redefines one of society's most important institutions.
The teacher at Joseph Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington, Mass., read to her class "King & King" -- a colorful 29-page children's book in which a prince searches for a wife, only in the end to choose another prince. The story ends with the two princes "marrying" and living "happily ever after." On the last page, the princes -- now kings -- even share a kiss.
Massachusetts remains the only state with legalized "gay marriage." The school superintendent is standing behind the teacher, saying the book is another way to teach the children diversity.
"We couldn't run a public school system if every parent who feels some topic is objectionable to them for moral or religious reasons decides their child should be removed," Lexington Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash told The Boston Globe. "Lexington is committed to teaching children about the world they live in, and in Massachusetts same-sex marriage is legal."
But some parents are outraged.
"My son is only 7 years old," Lexington parent Robin Wirthlin told the newspaper. "By presenting this kind of issue at such a young age, they're trying to indoctrinate our children. They're intentionally presenting this as a norm, and it's not a value that our family supports."
Joseph Estabrook School has about 450 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Kris Mineau, president of the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute, said the incident should serve as a wake-up call to those who are indifferent to "gay marriage" and believe it won't affect society.
"We have always maintained that the very first level of impact would be in the public school system, where children would be taught morals that are counter to the morals that parents want them to be taught," he told Baptist Press. "Taxpayer money should never be used to put children at odds with their parents.
"If I have children in my family, same-sex marriage immediately affects me."
Mineau said he has "some anecdotal evidence" that other Massachusetts schools are teaching children about "gay marriage," although the Lexington school, he said, has been at the top of the list. Early last year the same school was the source of another controversy after giving kindergarten students a "diversity book bag" that included a children's book titled "Who's In a Family," which features illustrations of homosexual parents.
"There is no doubt that the Lexington school officials have an agenda, and that agenda is to indoctrinate children into homosexuality and same-sex marriage," said Mineau, who is leading an effort to amend the state constitution and reverse the state's "gay marriage" law. "Needless to say, parents in Lexington are aroused over this issue, and they should be."
One conservative Massachusetts organization, the Parents Right Coalition, is fighting for a state bill that would allow parents to opt their children out of discussions over homosexuality.
For more information about the national debate over "gay marriage," visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage