ACLU: San Diego-Area School Censors Student’s Harvey Milk Report

A San Diego-area sixth-grader's report on slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk was not welcomed by the school's principal, the L.A. Times reports:

Milk "Instead, the principal sent letters to parents giving them the
option of not allowing their child to listen to the presentation by
classmate Natalie Jones. Officials cited the district policy requiring
that parents be notified before any classroom instruction about sex,
AIDS or 'family life.' About half the class received permission and listened to the report,
which was given during lunch hour rather than regular classroom time
like other students' reports, the ACLU said…The ACLU of San Diego and Imperial counties asserts that officials
misinterpreted the district's policy on sex education and, in the
process, violated Natalie's free speech rights. The group has given the
Ramona Unified School District five days to respond or face a possible

Said Jones' mother: “This whole thing is unbelievable – first my daughter got called into
the principal’s office as if she were in some kind of trouble, and then
they treated her presentation like it was something icky. Harvey
Milk was an elected official in this state and an important person in
history. To say my daughter’s presentation is ‘sex education’ because
Harvey Milk happened to be gay is completely wrong.”

The Mt. Woodson Elementary School student reportedly learned of Milk after seeing the Gus van Sant-directed film.

California School Bans Sixth Grader's Presentation on Harvey Milk [aclu


  1. Matt says

    The mother’s comment says it perfectly! How much longer must we be insulted by this stupidity? What can we possibly do to get people to see that this is a double standard?

  2. CJ says

    I can not believe they treated that girls report as if it was cancerous. Unbelievable! Her mother should so no matter what their response as eyes need to be opened to the blatant inequalities. Treating school children in such a way, it’s unreal.

  3. says

    The principal is probably getting marching orders from the school board. That’s why it’s important that the gay community and our allies be educated on the candidates and issues and vote in every election, not just every four years. Most school boards are elected, and it’s Christian activists who get their own elected to school boards.

  4. Jim says

    This is outrageous! Does the principal also require “permission slips” for a report on Susan B. Anthony because she was a woman, or Martin Luther King because he was black? This is absurd! So many people and institutions in this country are completely “ass backwards”!

  5. woodroad34 says

    Let’s see…hmmm…San Diego… where firefighters were traumitized by being forced to represent their department in a Gay Pride Parade…home to military posts…home of Carrie Prebitch (and her lesbian mom)…yep–it figures they’d do something stupid like this. Too much sun, too much in-breeding, too much conservative bubble. I seeee nuttink, I heeear nuttink, I knoooooowww nuttink.

  6. CK says

    What a disgusting way to treat a child who did legitimate work on a totally above board subject. That principal should be FIRED… NOW! That level of ignorance from a PRINCIPAL is unforgivable… his pupil has more brainpower than he does!

  7. sharksfansd says


    I have been in San Diego for almost 12 years now after moving from Northern California. Completely agree that it is conservative in some regard, but the City of San Diego has been gaining in “blue” the last few years. San Diego County is another story. Also, after Prop 8 passed San Diego had one of the largest protests of any city in the country. So, it is not all that bad here.

  8. barabas7 says

    To continue with Jim’s comments, and the statement by Jones’ mother… “…require ‘permission slips’ for reports on [insert name here] because he/she was straight” and “To say my daughter’s presentation is ‘sex education’ because [insert name here] happened to be straight is completely wrong.”