Gay Penguin Book Shakes Up Illinois School
Friday, November 17, 2006
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SHILOH, Ill. ? A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents who worry about the book’s availability to children ? and the reluctance of school administrators to restrict access to it.
The concerns are the latest involving “And Tango Makes Three,” the illustrated children’s book based on a true story of two male penguins in New York City’s Central Park Zoo that adopted a fertilized egg and raised the chick as their own.
Complaining about the book’s homosexual undertones, some parents of Shiloh Elementary School students believe the book ? available to be checked out of the school’s library in this 11,000-resident town 20 miles east of St. Louis ? tackles topics their children aren’t ready to handle.
Their request: Move the book to the library’s regular shelves and restrict it to a section for mature issues, perhaps even requiring parental permission before a child can check it out.
For now, “And Tango Makes Three” will stay put, said school district Superintendent Jennifer Filyaw, though a panel she appointed suggested the book be moved and require parental permission to be checked out. The district’s attorney said moving it might be construed as censorship."