Freedom of Speech? School Temporarily Bans 10 Year Old Kameron Slade’s Same Sex Marriage Speech
Kameron Slade won a class speech competition and that allowed him to be part of the school wide speech competition at P.S. 195 in Queens, NY. Instead of taking on a topic that many other students would probably pick, 10 year old Cameron decided on something else: same sex marriage. Kameron, along with his mother and teacher, worked diligently on the speech so that he would be prepared for last Friday’s competition.
He didn’t get to do the speech because just two days before, the principal told Kameron’s unidentified mother that he needed to change the topic or be removed from the contest. Although Kameron changed the topic (he spoke on animal cruelty) and subsequently lost the speech contest, his opinions on same sex marriage conversations as it pertains to children apparently remained the same:
“There is no point in really trying to hide it because us children, we are going to figure it out some time now or later.”
When news fthis story broke on NY1, there was immediate outrage from gay and lesbian advocates and caused Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to speak on what was happening. Walcott said the principal, also unnamed, felt she needed to connect with the parent community first because of the nature of the topic. A final decision was made on Friday that Kameron would be allowed to deliver the speech at an assembly at the school on Monday. If any parents have problem with their child hearing the speech, they’re encouraged to contact the principal.
Interesting indeed. There would likely be some children in the audience who would might still be sheltered from knowing about same sex relationships and marriage so to find out from a fellow student might be a bit much. On the other hand, children today learn a lot about social happenings while being in school so it’s possible that it would have been easier to understand coming from a classmate.
Do you think the principal made the correct decision? Would you have been upset if a speech like that was delivered in front of your child? What is a good age to talk to your children aboutgay and lesbian relationships?