A Parent’s Defense of And Tango Makes Three

In a very strong letter to the Des Moines Register, parent Wendy Sontag defends keeping And Tango Makes Three in the Ankeny Public School libraries.

She writes:

Like the Russells, I consider myself a “values-conscious Christian parent.” However it is clear that the Russells do not speak for me. My two bright, caring daughters began their academic careers at East Elementary. We loved East and I am delighted to know that “And Tango Makes Three” is available in its library. I would never purport to decide that there are books in the East library that should not be available

“And Tango Makes Three” is no exception. This book seems to really be a story about adoption. Nowhere in the book is the word “homosexuality” even used, so I take issue with the argument that the book is not age appropriate.

Regardless, there are students of all ages who attend Ankeny schools and have same-sex parents. I’d like to ensure that there are books in our school libraries that reflect those children’s life experiences as they are. As a Christian, who am I to determine that those children’s needs are less important, or that their family configuration is somehow less loving or less “right” than my own? And as a public citizen, it’s not fair for me to decide which books other people’s children get to have access to, especially in a public school library.

My husband and I attended the recent school board meeting in which this book challenge was presented. We were extremely impressed with the seriousness and efficiency with which the board went about their business.

I wish for (our elected public officials) to continue their efforts to address the important issues, like school facility improvement and development of academic rigor, that face our schools. Banning a book is an unwelcome distraction.

– Wendy Sontag, Ankeny

Another letter to the editor from a Karen L. Regal, an educator.

NCAC’s letter to the board can be read here.

Article from the Iowa Independent.

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