Hot off the presses from Dana at Mombian: School Board Upholds Ban on Film Depicting Same-Sex Families. (I posted an All Points Bulletin about this broo-haha over the prizewinning documentary That’s A Family way back in February.)
Our plan, which indeed we’re moving forward with, is:
1. Likely litigation, based on a violation of the state’s Law Against Discrimination, among other grounds
2. The formation of a local organization, United Families of Evesham, to go block by block to educate parents about the film and to work to increase tolerance of all groups of people
3. An Open Public Records Act request, which our friends at the ACLU of New Jersey filed on Thursday. We want to see the behind the scenes deliberations of this tortured vote.
The school board voted to overturn the recommendation of the very committe they appointed (professional educators, social workers, etc.) quite openly because a sizeable minority of homophobic local parents got the better of them:
What was fascinating about the 7 to 1 vote against is that a majority of the school board had no problem with the film or showing it to kids.
They admitted flat-out that it was political. They cited a poll they took in which 51 percent of parents favored the film and 49 percent opposed, and that was enough for them, the school board, to keep the film banned.
Most telling was that the lawyer for the school board, sitting on the dias with all the school board members, as well as one of the school board members himself who voted among the majority to ban the film, told the crowd they saw litigation coming and that the legal grounds for the continued ban might not be so clear.
I says, everyone run, do not walk, to your local Women’s Educational Media website (the distributors of the film), buy your very own copy of That’s A Family, and host as many home showings as you can. Then organize to get your school to buy it and include it in their social studies curriculum. Eventually school districts from coast to coast will have screened it — all but that one woeful one in Evesham, NJ, where they’ll hang their heads in shame upon discovering that the kids there score lowest in the nation on S.A.T. questions including the words “family” and “diversity.”