Kids, what does “LGBT” mean?

April 24, 2011

Screen shot from Channel One's middle school program April 15, 2011.

This was not the top news story for the day. This story should never have been aired in middle schools without first alerting schools and parents. Channel One has given schools fair warning about previous news and feature stories that contained potentially controversial content, but they don’t do it anymore. Teachers and principals and students have no idea what Channel One’s on-air personalities will talk about next.

This story was aired in all secondary school classrooms that still have Channel One News.  Children just out of elementary school, saw the same report as high school seniors. That is somewhat insensitive. Channel One News has never taken into account the differences in development among their captive audience.

Teachers have no time to preview Channel One News and probably little time to discuss what is shown. How should a teacher deal with a classroom of seventh grade students who are asking what does “transgender” exactly mean?

Some, like Channel One, may argue that by the time a child enters middle school he or she should have at least a rudimentary understanding of the terms “gay” “lesbian” “bisexual” and “transgender.” But what Channel One News keeps forgetting is the local community knows best how to determine when and how schoolchildren formally learn about such things.

Bullying is a major concern for schools. This report was not just about bullying.  There’s more than a little social engineering going on here. Most schools have policies that deal with the bullying of ALL students, not just students based on their sexuality.  Channel One News is unintentionally or intentionally undermining the local control of public schools.

Because schools have no control over what Channel One News reports and advertises, schools have been dropping this classroom TV show like a hot potato. Between 2003 and mid-2010, Channel One has had a net loss of 11 schools per week, year in and year out.

Any surprise?

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