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This probably makes me a hypocrite

Yesterday while at the park with J and another third grader and her mom, the third grade friend of J announced that their social studies teacher "said something inappropriate in class." I am pretty sure I stopped breathing for a few seconds, worried about what this teacher could have said. This girl went on to explain that their teacher talked about how the Republican party (except the girl did not call it that) does not believe in gay marriage. I first corrected the name of the party (I honestly cannot remember what she thought it was called), and both the mom and I agreed that the comment was not appropriate. Then my kid asks, "What is gay marriage?" My all-too-typical (in situations like these) reply: "I'll tell you later; don't worry about it."

Here is where the hypocrite part comes in (in case it was not going to be obvious): I have no problem with gay marriage. And I am perfectly willing to tell that to my daughter. But just not when she is eight. Because she does not yet understand "where a baby comes from." (She does, however, know where a baby exits from, which is why she has said on more than one occasion that she will never have a baby!)

But more to the point (or so I think), even though I am fine with gay marriage, my religion has a problem with it. And since my kid goes to a Catholic school, I just don't think the teacher should be talking about this. Is that asking too much? If I am bothered by what was said, I cannot imagine how parents who are against gay marriage are feeling. And I respect that viewpoint, even if I don't agree with it. Just as I respect tenets of other religions; who am I to judge?

So does feeling this way make me a hypocrite? Should I even be bothered by what the teacher said? Is it silly to keep this from my kid, when I don't have a problem with it (in other words, can one explain what it means to be gay without having to explain the facts of life)? I just don't know. But I would love to hear some other viewpoints.


LaLa said…
Facie-I think the topic was a little over the kids for their age, I don't think it matters so much that it was a Catholic school. But considering the Catholic stance on this subject I can see where you and other parents could be upset. All things considered I am surprised that a teacher WOULD think that was appropriate.
Facie said…
Thanks for commenting, LaLa. I had a feeling most people would stay away from this. My conservative friends and blog readers are no doubt shaking their heads at me and feeling disappointed whereas my liberal friends and blog readers probably find it sad that I am bothered by this or that I won't talk to my kid.

I am still irritated by the whole thing, but my ire has since been replaced by something else that I may or may not blog about (nothing political!).
Carpetbagger said…
I'm a liberal who thinks you should have the right to be bothered. Mind you, I'm not a parent, but it does seem a little sensitive for 8- and 9-year-olds.

Granted, it was a social studies class and this has been on the network news. But given that they don't have "the sex talk" with kids (or at least they didn't when I was in school) until 5th or 6th grade, this would seem like risky subject with most parents, especially religious parents.

I could see them teaching their belief that marriage is for a man and a woman. But to talk about what they consider to be sinful behavior seems a bit much for 3rd graders. Maybe he could teach them about Meth labs.
Facie said…
Bagger: I know back 30 years ago, when I was in 5th grade, a priest explained the facts of life in somewhat graphic detail. I don't think the kids get that today; it is more like "save yourself for marriage" but I am not entirely sure.

I am also not sure what I would have done had a 7th or 8th grader (ages that I consider more appropriate for the subject) brought up gay marriage when I was subbing for the SS class two months ago. I worry so much about what parents would say/offending someone. Clearly my kid's teacher does not share that fear.

Thanks for the meth lab laugh!

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