Last year, I wrote a guest post for the excellent blog Womanist Musings called “Leave the Kids Out of It,” about a brouhaha over gendered Halloween costumes. Now we’ve got another situation where kids are being dragged into adult morality wars.
The Girl Scout Cookie boycott, organized to protest the admission of a trans girl to a Colorado troop, was allegedly conceived by a fourteen-year-old girl, but my guess is that she’s getting her faulty information from somewhere above (and I don’t mean heaven – I mean an adult).
Although I believe that the Colorado girl eventually decided not to join the Scouts (who can blame her after all the negative publicity – she’s seven years old!), the morality police are not going to let the situation rest. They are calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies this year because, unlike the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts organization wants every child to have a chance to participate in scouting.
Pepper Ann Dances with Ignorance: Quality TV for an Indian Appropriator Near You [Native Appropriations]
I spotted this video on My Culture is Not a Trend last night, and had to share. Pepper Ann is/was(?) a cartoon on the Disney Channel, featuring a super awkward, kinda oblivious, but nearly always endearing main character, Pepper Ann. I had flashbacks to the theme song when I started watching this…Pepper Ann, Pepper Ann, she’s much too cool for 7th grade…no one’s greater than Pepper Ann! She’s her own biggest fan, Pepper Ann!…But I digress.
This quick episode (only 11 minutes! watch it!) features the exact same plot as Running Zack, the episode of Saved By the Bell when Zack discovers his “Indian” heritage, but this one is much more well done.
Welcoming the New Year [Discussing Diversity]
Before the school break, we held a screening of It’s Elementary:Talking about Gay Issues in School, with a great discussion afterwards. One of the points noted was that “diversity education” is often perceived as of use and of interest to only a small, subset group of individuals. While an important part of this work is providing safety for those who are socially vulnerable, in actuality, diversity education is about building life-long skills to negotiate community and conflict for everyone. Diversity education helps a child successfully answer the question, “How can I meet my needs without hurting other people?” To be successful adults, (and I mean successful in the sense of full spiritual liberation) our children need to be able to respect, communicate and work with people of different skin colors, different languages, and different economic backgrounds. The more information and skills we can encourage to help our children move beyond the constraints of their own viewpoint, the more successful they can be.
To continue the conversation, here is a link to an online booklet, Queer Youth Advice for Educators. You can read it online, print a PDF or order a hard copy. It is a collection of insights from LGBTQ youth about their educational experiences, and ways in which they felt supported or abandoned in the process. A compelling read.