Washington Post- After a third-grader tearfully recounted how another boy had called him “gay” during gym class, teacher Omar Currie chose to raise the issue during story time by reading his students a fable about a prince who falls in love with another prince, ending with a happily-ever-after royal wedding.
That decision in April ignited a public outcry from some parents in the rural hamlet of Efland, North Carolina, resulting in Currie’s resignation this week from a job he loved. The assistant principal who loaned Currie her copy of “King & King” has also resigned, and outraged parents are pressuring administrators at the Orange County Schools to ban the book.
“When I read the story, the reaction of parents didn’t come into my mind,” Currie, 25, said Tuesday. “In that moment, it just seemed natural to me to read the book and have a conversation about treating people with respect. My focus then was on the child, and helping the child.”
Currie knows firsthand what it is like to be bullied. Growing up gay and black in a small town in the eastern part of the state, his memories of middle school are of being a frequent target for teasing and slurs.
I think, as a society, we have to decide if we are all-in on this sexual openness thing. If we truly are then I really don't see the problem with a school teacher reading a couple of kids a book that happens to feature homosexuality. It's not like he read them the gay version of '50 Shades Of Gray'. He read them a book about a couple of feminine princes that like to skip around the castle holding hands and sharing fashion advice. And it was in response to a kid crying about being called gay. If kids as young as third grade are spewing hateful slander then they might as well have a point of reference as to what they are talking about. In my eyes, this teacher did everything right...besides getting a teaching job in North Carolina.
You had me, Omar. I was with you until I saw where it was that you taught, I really was. How about a little bit of geographical awareness dude? You can't be telling 3rd graders down South about man on man sexual deviancy. Yeah, I know it's 2015 and we are supposed to be progressive, but once you get passed the Mason-Dixon line you have to start treating it like the time machine that it is. Come on man, as you know they still haven't fully embraced that whole 'black people have equal rights' thing that we instituted decades ago. Maybe wait until 2030 until we address a new demographic of people that are different from them. They are a little bit slower if you haven't noticed. Shit, the wait time at an Arby's in North Carolina would have you thinking you actually went out to a sit down dinner, we can't expect them to keep up with social trends. The North may have won the war, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a bunch of bitter old, stubborn losers in the South. How about we work on eliminating the presence of the confederate flag before we go reading books about kings becoming queens?