5th grader’s winning pro-marriage equality speech banned by NY school
A elementary school principal at PS 195 in Queens, New York City has barred a fifth-grade student from delivering a speech about marriage equality to the rest of the school even though he won a class competition.
Same sex marriage is legal in New York, but principal Beryl Bailey told Kameron Slade’s mother that the topic was not appropriate for a school speech. The boy was given the choice of writing another speech or sitting out of the contest.
“For him to be denied the right to voice his opinion really upsets me,” the mother told NY1.
Kameron Slade explained why he was disappointed when he got the news.
“I was really looking forward to it,” Kameron remarked. “I thought that this was a real good winning speech for tomorrow.”
“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.”
In his speech, the student says he supports marriage equality and calls for tolerance from others.
“Like President Obama, I believe that all people should have the right to marry whoever they want,” Kameron insists, speaking of his mother’s gay friends. “They seem happy and best of all, they seem to love each other.”
The school’s website indicated that “Democracy Speeches” were being delivered by grades 1-5 on Friday.
For his part, the Kameron said he was preparing a new speech about animal cruelty.
“Public schools, like all institutions of learning, are supposed to teach facts and relevant topics,” The New Civil Rights Movement’s David Badash observed. “Schools need to recognize that for students to learn about equality, they have to start teaching it.”
Watch Kameron Slade’s entire marriage equality speech via NY1, broadcast June 15, 2012.