march of the dumbasses


Tomorrow is a book fair at my son's school and I will be going to pick up some gifts. One of the books I hope to find there is And Tango Makes Three. This lovely true story, however, won't be on the shopping list for some people in Shiloh, IL. You see, they're trying to get it banned from the school library:

SHILOH, Ill. - A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents who worry about the book's availability to children — and the reluctance of school administrators to restrict access to it.

The concerns are the latest involving "And Tango Makes Three," the illustrated children's book based on a true story of two male penguins in New York City's Central Park Zoo that adopted a fertilized egg and raised the chick as their own.

Complaining about the book's homosexual undertones, some parents of Shiloh Elementary School students believe the book — available to be checked out of the school's library in this 11,000-resident town 20 miles east of St. Louis — tackles topics their children aren't ready to handle.


Ummmm, bullshit. Kids are perfectly able to "handle" the fact that there are different kinds of families. These parents apparently believe that saying to a child "some families have two daddies" means they have to say "Mr. Smith likes to deep throat the other Mr. Smith's giant cock". Which, of course, isn't true. I've had the "there are all kinds of families" conversation with my kids and not once did sex come up. Love, of course, did. But the people who object to books such as Tango can't comprehend that.

Anyway, the school district Superintendant thinks these parents can go pound sand:

For now, "And Tango Makes Three" will stay put, said school district Superintendent Jennifer Filyaw, though a panel she appointed suggested the book be moved and require parental permission to be checked out. The district's attorney said moving it might be construed as censorship.

Filyaw considers the book "adorable" and age appropriate, written for children ages 4 to 8.

"My feeling is that a library is to serve an entire population," she said. "It means you represent different families in a society — different religions, different beliefs."


Rock on, Ms.Filyaw. And boo to that panel. Tango has "raised concern" at a school in Missouri as well. The librarian decided to call two zoos and a university's zoology department to check on penguin behavior to see how much fact or fiction the story holds. She got confirmation that it's a common occurance so she moved it to the nonfiction section so "no one would be blindsided by it".

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