Let's imagine that, at a school diversity meeting, a black parent came to talk to children about the experience of being black in a mostly white society. Let's imagine further that a white parent had angrily responded that she hadn't had adequate warning to "process the details, prepare children for the program, or request alternatives for children not developmentally ready" to meet and have a frank discussion with an actual black person. Having trouble imagining it? Me too!
Amazingly, we saw that very scenario played out in last week's Minuteman, except that instead of "black" we saw "lesbian" and instead of "white" we saw "straight".
Obviously, tolerance is not being taught effectively in every home: how can we teach tolerance while isolating our children from the people we ask them to be tolerant of? The fact that such fears still exist about people who differ from the rest of us only in the gender of their partners makes the importance of such diversity programs abundantly clear.Jon Dreyer