Sunday, April 25, 2010

We saw from my last blog how, according to Newsround, birds can look for a girlfriend or even be in love with petrol pumps and pedalos. Yet if they're a same-sex couple like the two albatross mums in New Zealand, Newsround's journalists don't characterise them as in love with each other.

The Government's guidance to schools on combatting homophobia Stand Up For Us (pdf) begins with a quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu: ‘Everyone is an insider, there are no outsiders – whatever their beliefs, whatever their colour, gender or sexuality’

American culture, sport and politics are amongst the topics Newsround likes to cover. But there is a downside to American culture - and those stories don't make it on to Newsround. Like the school proms, where kids have been excluded for no other reason than wanting to partner with the 'wrong' person.

Cynthia Stewart said "All I want is to be able to be myself and go to my prom with the person I love, just like any other student wants to do." Eventually the school relented. But there have been others in similar situations.

Constance McMillen was banned from her school prom and sought advice and assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union. While at the ACLU she thanked her supporters -

Later on Itawamba County Agricultural High School appeared to have relented. But then, a few days later, Constance discovered she'd been tricked. The school and all her community had conspired to organise two proms - one for outsiders and one for insiders - and not told outsiders about the deception. This excellent blog explains the situation.

Last week Ricky Boleto reported for Newsround from Northern Ireland.

Reem Hasaballah was born in the Sudan. Reem and her family went to Northern Ireland four years ago as refugees from the war. But when she went to school in Belfast people were really bad towards her because she was black and they were white. It was like them telling her "you don't belong here - get out." Reem didn't just do nothing. She went to politicians and is campaigning to get racism stamped out. Reem wasn't happy being treated as an outsider - as she says "I'd just like to see everyone equal - that's the only thing."

No comments: