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Uncomfortable with school's choice of novel
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amother




Natural


Post  Tue, Oct 08 2019, 4:10 pm
Hear what everyone is saying, on both sides. While I respect the idea of using it to have conversations with your daughter on the Torah’s view etc, not sure how old/mature your daughter is. Although gender identity issues have become standard conversation in the secular world, the details of s-xuality and gender identity are generally speaking way over a small child’s head.
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amother




Orange


Post  Tue, Oct 08 2019, 5:01 pm
My first cousin is transgender. My kids know all about it and we try to understand their feelings. What is the title of this book? Is it appropriate for young children? (I don't like books that talk about relations for my young kids)
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 12:39 pm
Please remember that gender identity, zexual behavior, and orientation are all VERY different things.

You can discuss one without discussing any of the others.
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DrMom




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 1:20 pm
I think there is only so much you can expect in terms of accommodation from a non-Jewish secular school.

They're not going to change the curriculum to suit your tastes, and now all if these issues are hit topics and schools are ramming specific points if view down students' throats.

If you like this school, you should probably advise her to lay low and parrot the viewpoint the school espouses in order to get good grades, and teach her your own perspective at home.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 2:19 pm
Honestly if the school is pushing this book as mandatory reading, I'm sure they're teaching about this type of stuff, giving classes, etc on these topics in school. I'm sure her classmates talk about it.

So I don't see why getting the book removed for your DD's sake would really make a difference.
I agree with everyone else here that this will open a conversation on the topic that you can set on your terms, and talk about the correct way to view these people.
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nylon




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 8:36 pm
Because it's a private school, your avenues are fairly limited. This is independent of what I think of the book, or teaching it. Private schools tend to be already tuned in to what their parents want. They also don't have an obligation to accommodate you religiously--they can, but it's not like public school where if you're Orthodox Jewish or JW, they have to assign something else. There are more conservative private schools and more liberal ones.

The only way this would be effective is to ask that the book be changed for the entire class, unless you want to have your child pulled from that class. And they would miss the educational experience of discussing a novel with the class.

I agree that if this school is assigning books like this (I'm curious which one too) in 6th grade that other LGBTQ topics are likely to come up elsewhere.
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urban gypsy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 9:29 pm
I clicked on this thread title fully primed for maximum snark (I expected someone annoyed by a book assigned in a BY English class) but I was dismayed and sympathetic to OP.

So many well reasoned and helpful responses. I agree with all of you, both in favour of and against the book. My personal opinion is that 6th grade is way too young for this type of assigned material and I’m sorry you are having to deal with this situation at such an early age.

I did recently order a book for my third grader (something involving mermaids and dragons) and was annoyed that it was about lesbian mermaids which had not been hinted at anywhere in the description.

OP, if you are willing to PM would you please send me the name of the book? And please come back to update us with whatever you decide. Wishing your daughter lots of success in her studies!
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Rubber Ducky




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 10:06 pm
What is the name of the lesbian mermaid book?
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sequoia




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 10:16 pm
“If you shut your eyes, and are a lucky one...”

I always thought Barrie’s mermaids were kind of as-xual.
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SixOfWands




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 10:22 pm
sequoia wrote:
“If you shut your eyes, and are a lucky one...”

I always thought Barrie’s mermaids were kind of as-xual.


I tried to google the book for the person who asked —I’m too out of it still to be actually productive — and learned that lesbian mermaids is a thing these days. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.
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sequoia




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 10:47 pm
SixOfWands wrote:
I tried to google the book for the person who asked —I’m too out of it still to be actually productive — and learned that lesbian mermaids is a thing these days. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.


Or sinks it and pulls you down into the depths where you drown.

When I was a kid I read a Russian translation/retelling of the Scottish folktale “The Mermaid and Unfaithful Andrew.” She was the saltiest, most vengeful chick ever. Tied him up in an underwater cave so he wouldn’t talk to human girls. The last line was, “Now you’re mine... FOREVER!”
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urban gypsy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Oct 09 2019, 11:00 pm
sequoia wrote:
Or sinks it and pulls you down into the depths where you drown.

When I was a kid I read a Russian translation/retelling of the Scottish folktale “The Mermaid and Unfaithful Andrew.” She was the saltiest, most vengeful chick ever. Tied him up in an underwater cave so he wouldn’t talk to human girls. The last line was, “Now you’re mine... FOREVER!”


Lol @ saltiest !!!!! Yes selkies are terrifying beasts not to be trifled with!
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Fox




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 10 2019, 3:58 am
Lesbian mermaids? I guess that's the complementary genre to gay werewolves. I was recently tasked with co-writing a distinctly G-rated short story detailing an adventure of a snow leopard who happens to be gay (stop smirking, Urban Gypsy!), but the other lady and I had never thought to market it to 6th grade classrooms. And based on the reports here, I'm afraid it would be entirely too tame (no pun intended) for the mass 11-year-old audience.
_______________________

I have no better suggestions, OP, than the ones already suggested. Each path has downsides.

Just for the record, there are tons of gay, lesbian, and transgender people who are passionately opposed to this kind of exposure for children. They believe that s-xual identities and roles are -- get this for a radical idea -- only properly discussed in any detail with older teenagers and adults. They even believe that children can be loved and supported in their various individual differences without prematurely attaching labels to them.

Sadly, they don't have an organized voice because they're too busy defending themselves from attacks by more agenda-driven LGBT people. It would be wonderful if they could eventually stand up to this kind of thing and make the obvious argument that it's possible to teach children to be kind and loving toward others without an intimate discussion of anyone's gender presentation or bed partner.
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Fox




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 10 2019, 4:07 am
urban gypsy wrote:
Lol @ saltiest !!!!! Yes selkies are terrifying beasts not to be trifled with!

Sequoia knows every terrifying Russian fairy tale, folk story, and urban legend. And the ones that aren't Russian in origin seem more terrifying when rendered into Russian. Movies, too!

Not to bring politics into it, but if President Trump really is being manipulated by Putin, I don't think it's through the typical means of bribery or blackmail. Rather, I think Putin is emailing him terrifying Russian fairy tales on a regular basis, possible including Russian narration to enhance the effect. Now that explanation would make sense! Smile
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