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School Relents: Fifth Grader To Deliver Previously-Canceled Speech Supporting Marriage Equality

Slade

At PS 195, in the Rosedale neighborhood of Queens, New York, 5th grader Kameron Slade did not deliver a speech supporting marriage equality in a school-wide speech contest on Friday. He did not deliver that speech even though he had written it, and even though he had previously won a qualifying in-class speech contest and been told he could speak to the school-wide assembly on any subject he wished. From NY1:

Kameron's mother said he was told to choose any topic, so he chose same-sex marriage. But on Wednesday, the principal said he should write another speech or be removed from the contest.

"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," Kameron said.

Kameron's speech calls for acceptance and tolerance. It describes his mother's explanation of the issue and his impression of his mother's friends who are gay.

"They seemed happy," he said. "Best of all, they seemed to love each other. The only difference was that there were two moms instead of a mother and a father."

"It’s on the news," his mother said. "It’s a part our lives now. They need to open up. The New York City Department of Education need to open up."

And open up they have. After the story of Slade's speech-that-wasn't broke late last week, notices were sent to the parents of PS 195 informing them that Slade would deliver his speech in a "special assembly" on Monday. Hear the student discuss his brush with censorship here.

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Comments

  1. There should be a Nobel Prize for Motherhood and Kameron's mother should be the first recipient.

    Posted by: Demian | Jun 16, 2012 1:53:40 PM


  2. The principal: ""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,"

    No, of course not. The last thing we want to do at a school is have people learn about topics. And if people have a different opinion on something, such as religion or evolution or history, then we just avoid it altogether. It's what makes our schools great!

    Posted by: Randy | Jun 16, 2012 2:06:35 PM


  3. Marriage equality is the law of the land in NY. Why shouldn't the students in NY schools learn about it?

    Posted by: Tim NC | Jun 16, 2012 2:38:07 PM


  4. I LOVE THIS....TOTALLY LOVE IT! BRILLIANT CHILD!!! BUT FUNNY..........IF HE WERE SAYING SOMETHING AGAINST EQUALITY.....IT WOULD BE 60 MESSAGES SAYING " HOW BLACK PEOPLE ARE AGAINST GAYS" ETC............

    Posted by: Shannon | Jun 16, 2012 3:11:14 PM


  5. The little guy Kameron is awesome. But 2 things about the end result leave a bad taste in my mouth. First - will the NYC school chancellor and the principal get a free pass after kowtowing to the homophobia of some parents? And - why did this mother permit her 10 year old son to become a celebrity, but refuse to permit her face to be shown in the NY1 interview? Just sayin'

    Posted by: DrMikey | Jun 16, 2012 3:27:29 PM


  6. “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.”--Winston Churchill.

    Posted by: Scott Wooledge | Jun 16, 2012 4:12:14 PM


  7. @DRMIKEY

    The mother may just be a private person and simply chose not to appear on the news. This family didn't ask for this. The boy simply did his school assignment and then was denied the ability to present it to the assembly.

    She probably also doesn't want to add to the idea that many bigots have that "oh the parents must have put him up to this"..."they are indoctrinating him", etc.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Jun 16, 2012 6:11:00 PM


  8. SHANNON, YOU SAID IT!!!

    EXACTLY RIGHT.

    Posted by: redball | Jun 16, 2012 6:41:35 PM


  9. Brave little guy! Is it possible to simply be warmed & encouraged by this 10 year old rather than criticize the Mom? Jeez! If she chooses not to have her face on TV, why question her decision?

    Posted by: Barbara | Jun 16, 2012 7:20:44 PM


  10. Meh. I like Caiden Cowger better.

    Posted by: Avenger | Jun 16, 2012 9:27:03 PM


  11. I already know that when I see the video of this kid giving his speech I'm going to get misty.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 16, 2012 10:27:10 PM


  12. Good for them for turning around. It is hard foor little kiids to be allowed to speak and express themselves, people always want to shut them up. ESPECIALLY little kids of color.

    Posted by: Munro | Jun 17, 2012 8:18:52 AM


  13. If only all people were as smart as this 5th Grade Student.

    Posted by: Dave | Jun 17, 2012 11:45:24 AM


  14. Except that parents were allowed to opt their children out of this special assembly for Kameron to read his essay today, so the school is still getting away with unconstitutional censorship.

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 18, 2012 10:50:53 AM


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