Harvey Milk

I’m a Social Liberal, BUT…

Harvey MilkI don’t care about a person’s religious affiliations or lack thereof (as long as they are not trying to force anyone else to live by them). I don’t care about a person’s race or ethnicity, and they can’t really force that on other people. I don’t care about a person’s national origin, eye color, body type, sexual orientation, where they choose to live or shop or hang out—none of which really can be forced on other people. All in all I think people have a right to “their own business,” and as long as they aren’t hurting others or forcing people to be other than they are, none of other people’s business much matters to me.

However

In the news here in California, an elementary school decided to send their second grade students on a field trip throughout the historic areas of San Francisco: Chinatown, the Castro District, and the Mission District. If the news reports can be believed, always a big if, the only way for parents to avoid their child going on the field trip was to keep them home from school.

Some parents felt the field trip was not age appropriate for their child, that their child was not ready for a discussion about what it means to be gay. Right or wrong, they believe that conversations about homosexuality require a discussion about sexuality that their child was not ready to have. That small number of parents kept their child home. But, naturally, because the other children all went, these parents felt forced into conversations with their child that they were not ready to have, for any number of reasons I’m sure.

When I was a school principal, students and their parents were always given better choices than simply go on the field trip or stay home.

Now, I must state that as an educator, I have rarely worked with elementary aged children, and when I did, those encounters were very limited. So I don’t begin to understand children at this age educationally, psychologically, or developmentally. I would imagine there to be a diverse range in all categories.

I do believe I have a good read on adults and human nature. I just have an abiding hunch that when adults are forced into conversations with their child, conversations which they do not feel ready to have for whatever reasons, those conversations go less well than they otherwise could have gone. Would these conversations be better than no conversations at all?  I just don’t know.

So, I’m curious, what’s your take on this?  Here’s a poll to survey your opinions.

[polldaddy poll=4874039]