Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hey, Where's Her Hand?!

Good on the BBC. Despite 25 official and many online complaints, they are going about their business with kids' TV host Cerrie Burnell.

The silliness is uncannily like our Mad Dad's protests and court cases. For both the Beeb and Lexington schools, it seems some parents just won't or can't talk with their kids about the real world. They want the outside to lie down, be quiet and stay hidden.

In Burnell's case, her sin was not being in a legal same-sex marriage. Rather, she was born without a right wrist or hand.

Personable, bright and nice looking, she has had a long time to be comfortable with her disability. She's been a professional actress as well as BBC presenter. She says kids come to her on the street and ask.
"I would always take the time to explain to a child. All they want is an explanation. They want to know 'What's that?' and 'What's happened?' and 'Why are you different?' And then they will move on."
A minority of parents are not that cool though. Some "expressed concern that Ms Burnell's appearance was 'scaring' children. One father said he feared it would give his daughter nightmares and a mother said her two-year-old girl could not watch because she thought the presenter had been hurt."

So there we are back in Lexington. One pair, then a second, claiming that early-reader books were forcing, forcing they say, them to mention to their kids that same-sex marriage was legal in this state. They might even have to say that some classmates came from homes headed by two fathers or two mothers.

This is not hypothetical to me. I have three children and have faced many decision points of what to tell them about what when. I have a bit of advice for the Lexington and British parents — tell your kids simply and straight about realities they will encounter. It is ignorance, not knowledge, that breeds fear and confusion.

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