Natalie Jones, a sixth grade student at Mt. Woodson Elementary School, CA was censored earlier this month after her principal and superintendent failed to apply Ramona United School District’s policy reasonably and professionally. Natalie was told she would only be allowed to give her independent research project class presentation on Harvey Milk during lunchtime recess and then only to students who had parental permission. She was not permitted to present in class along with the rest of her fellow classmates.
Ramona United School District cited its “Family Life/Sex Education” policy, which states
Parents/guardians shall be notified in writing about any instruction in which human reproductive organs and their functions, processes, or sexually transmitted diseases are described, illustrated, or discussed.
This is an obvious case of school officials sexualizing a student’s presentation. Young Natalie’s presentation on the life and career of Harvey Milk included none of the three listed criteria above. What is scandalous here is not Natalie’s presentation or materials (which received a 49 out of a total 50 points when graded by her teacher), but the attitude of school officials who treat the mere mention of any gay person as too controversial for their schools.
As I write this, the ACLU is gearing up file a lawsuit on Natalie and her mother’s behalf unless Mt. Woodson Elementary School issue a formal apology, offer Natalie the opportunity to properly present her hard work, and finally, re-examine and clarify the “Family Life/Sex Education” section of their policy.