Can an anti-bullying message ever be a bad thing?
Guess so. Especially when we’re living in a time when someone like Rick Santorum can be a presidential hopeful.
So yeah, a disgusting anti-bullying message. At least, that’s what a civic group from British Columbia called Burnaby Parents’ Voice says.
They’re all hot and bothered over the fact that a bunch of third through seventh graders in the Burnaby school system put on baggy pink t-shirts with the word “acceptance” across the front and danced to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way to show their acceptance of gays and lesbians.
As Yahoo! Shine reports, the group is challenging the “legality and the educational purpose of posting students’ images on the Internet, as well as the appropriateness of Lady Gaga as a learning resource in public schools.”
To give you a little context here, Parents’ Voice was in the news last spring for its opposition to a school policy that was enacted to protect gay, lesbian, and transgendered students from bullying.
The kids made the video for Pink Shirt Day in Canada. It’s an event that was started in 2007 after some students bullied a ninth grade boy and called him “homosexual” for wearing a pink shirt. The next day two seniors handed out 50 pink t-shirts for classmates to wear to show their acceptance. The idea spread over the internet and in 2009 British Columbia officially named the last Wednesday in February Anti-Bullying Day.
“Will this project reduce bullying? Not likely,” said Parent’s Voice member Gordon World in a press release. “They claim this sends a ‘positive social message’ of acceptance of self and others. Not for overweight kids, anorexic kids, or those who don’t dance well. Not those who resist their school’s promotion of Lady Gaga’s ‘sex sells’ worldview.”
Actually, a look at the lyrics of Gaga’s song show this, “”Whether life’s disabilities/Left you outcast, bullied or teased/Rejoice and love yourself today/’Cause baby, you were born this way”.
That’s a pretty encompassing message of acceptance, no?
Whatever. I can’t imagine what parents this nutcase group called Burnaby Parents’ Voice think they’re speaking for. As Yahoo! Shine reports, parents were well informed of the anti-bullying video and only about four families chose to opt out.
The kids involved in the project did not watch Lady Gaga’s video of her hit song; they just used the song to create their own dance. A local music and dance teacher pointed out that using a popular song made the project more engaging for students, and that they were “thrilled” to see their video, which was posted on YouTube on Feb. 27.
Regardless of how the students feel, the Parent’s Choice has asked Minister of Education to ban Burnaby schools’ Pink Shirt Day project and remove it from the Internet. As of March 1, the video is still up. You can watch it below.
The horror! What hooligans! How can we as a forward-thinking society allow our children to be a part of this kind of thing, right?
Dear God, I can’t believe this is even an issue, but, like I said, in an era where a Michelle Bachman or a Rick Santorum can garner follower, nothing surprises me anymore.