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School district apologizes for gay-marriage video

  • Associated Press
  • May 14, 2014 - 9:55 AM

JANESVILLE, Wis. — The Janesville School District superintendent apologized this week after high school students were shown a video in which children react to same-sex marriage proposals, saying the video was biased in favor of gay marriage.

Superintendent Karen Schulte said Tuesday the district needs to show all sides when discussing controversial issues and that the 16-minute video — shown April 11 as part of a national anti-bullying day — failed to provide sufficient balance.

The video "certainly didn't show support for the other side," she told The Janesville Gazette.

Craig High School's Gay-Straight Alliance showed "Kids React to Gay Marriage," in which children react to the proposals and share their thoughts on related issues such as gay-marriage bans.

The video provides information about the history and status of gay marriage in the United States, as well as discrimination and hate crimes.

The club's advisers and principal Alison Bjoin approved the video for students to view, but Schulte said she watched the video later and found it biased. Schulte told the Wisconsin State Journal that the Janesville School Board ordered her to issue a public apology.

Her apology came after a school board member contacted the district office about two parents and a grandparent who complained to the principal about the video.

"I found the video to be inappropriate and propaganda laden in addition to the left-wing political view," grandparent Jo Yungerman wrote to the principal. The State Journal acquired a copy of the April 17 letter.

Board member Bill Sodemann said the district erred in showing the video, and that he would also object to showing a video that supported keeping marriage between one man and one woman if it failed to offer a balanced perspective.

"We can't use the schools to promote political agendas," he said.

© 2014 Star Tribune