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February 14, 2005

Parents Protest Exchange of Same-Sex Valentines

Vd_heart_thumbA group of parents in a southern Illinois town is protesting the exchange of Valentine's Day cards between students of the same sex. The parents warn that students who give Valentines to their same sex peers are undermining the sanctity of the February celebration.

Parents decry 'heartless' attack on traditional family values

By Cole Walters, Education Correspondent

Vd_packMT VERNON, IL—Christopher Biggins has been working on his Valentine's Day cards since last week. The 6-year-old, who attends the Buford Elementary School in this southern Illinois town, hand addressed 23 envelopes—12 to the girls in his class, 11 to the boys—and signed his name to cards bearing messages like "you're cool," "I like you," and "let's be friends."

But then Christopher's family got word that some parents here are planning a Valentine's Day protest. Their issue: the exchange of Valentines between students of the same sex. Giving cards and candy to their same sex peers, say the parents, constitutes an attack on traditional family values and undermines the sanctity of the February 14 celebration.

One boy, one girl
"We couldn't believe it when we got the news," says Christopher's mother, Elise Biggins, who works part-time as a bookkeeper in nearby Marion. "These are first graders. How can it undermine someone else's Valentine's Day to have them giving each other cards?"

The Bigginses decided that rather than risk attracting the ire of the protesting parents, Christopher wouldn't hand out any Valentines this year. "We gave him a choice between only giving Valentines to the girls or not handing out any and he decided to give it a pass this year," says Elise Biggins. "Can you blame him?"

No same sex VD

Vd_criticsMary Ann Boone is one of the organizers of the Valentine's Day protest. She said that she had never really thought about just how offensive it is that girls and boys often exchange Valentine's with their same sex peers—until this year. "It just hit me all of a sudden that this is something that really undermines traditional family values," says Boone. While Boone's daughter Rebecca, who attends third grade at Buford Elementary, will be bringing Valentine's cards to school today, she will be distributing them only to the boys in her class.

To make their point, Boone, along with 15 like-minded friends and neighbors, plans to spend much of today demonstrating in front of Buford Elementary, a 1940's era brick school building on the west side of Mt. Vernon. Armed with signs that read "have a heart," "respect family values," and "no same sex VD," the parents are hoping that they can win over the hearts and minds of the students who go to school here—before it's too late.

"This is how it starts, with one little girl giving another little girl a Valentine," says Boone. "But before you know it, you've got serious problems."

A tarnished celebration
Boone's friend Michelle Nardullis says that she was originally planning to sit out the protest, as she has no children of her own. But she changed her mind, says Nardullis, after she realized what the exchange of same sex Valentines meant to her own celebration of the annual tribute to cupid.

"This is one of the biggest days of the year for me, second only to my wedding anniversary," says Nardullis. "I'm expecting at least a dozen roses, maybe even a piece of jewelry. What does it say about my Valentine's Day when school kids of the same sex are giving each other cards?"

Can this holiday be saved?
Vd_nobemine_1Officials at the elementary school say that they're now considering banning all future celebrations of Valentine's Day in the classroom in order to avoid offending parents to whom the exchange of same sex Valentines is offensive.

"We've already eliminated peanuts from the school cafeteria to accommodate children with food allergies," says Assistant Principal Cathy McGovern, noting that the Mt. Vernon school board will soon consider a measure banning cupcakes and cookies in an effort to combat obesity in the schools.

"Valentine's Day is a nice tradition," says McGovern. "But we don't want to end up undermining our families just so kids can give each other cards." 

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Comments

What utter, stupid bullshit! These idiots are seeking to preserve the "sanctity" of the holiday. Since when is valentine's Day a religious holiday? It's a day made up by Madison Avenue and candy and flower companies. It's not a real holiday. These dmmies are taking something that's purely innocent among elemntary school children and projecting their own hang-ups, perversions and biases upon it.

Posted by: West_Grand_Baby | Feb 14, 2006 1:35:57 AM

Outrageous - I hope the school defends its right to promote free love against this aggressive heterosexuality. It seems like the parents want to groom their children for the hetero lifestyle.

I say VD for all orientations!

Posted by: JohnKerry | Jul 4, 2005 3:55:54 PM

This sounds about right for the folks in So. IL worried about an holiday and young kids giving cards to the same sex. Why dont you people in IL get a life. SpinDentist you got the right Idea, maybe her mother is a whore


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Posted by: lobinos | May 16, 2005 6:51:21 PM

Calm down, people. Take a look around the site. It is completely satirical.

Posted by: NK | Feb 28, 2005 3:18:58 PM

STUPID STUPID STUPID. Innocence is being taken away from these children. Children have exchanged cards with chidren of the same sex for years and years without any damaging effects on "traditional family values". I know I did when I was a child and it didn't harm my values what-so-ever.

Posted by: Penny | Feb 24, 2005 9:15:53 AM

"...the parents are hoping that they can win over the hearts and minds of the students who go to school here—before it's too late."
WTF?!
First of all, too late for WHAT? These parents are only training their children that a loving exchange between two same-sexes is wrong. I'm hetero and all, but it's ridiculous to take away a party from 6-year-olds.
Second, my memories of "V Day" are mainly of making the best cards for my closest friends--boy or girl. We were required, in my classes, to give cards to everyone, not just the people you liked. If that were the case I probably would not have gotten many cards. The warmest ones were always from my friends who were girls as well. And the cards from the boys were often crossed out. I recall one that specifically said "Disregard the card"... from a boy. Yeah, receiving cards from boys only is a great esteem boost for a 6-year-old girl. Better than allowing your kids to make a sexual connection with signing a piece of cardboard with cartoons and colors.
F*ck, y'all, seriously.

Posted by: CB | Feb 21, 2005 6:46:29 PM

"To make their point, Boone, along with 15 like-minded friends and neighbors, plans to spend much of today demonstrating in front of Buford Elementary, a 1940's era brick school building on the west side of Mt. Vernon. Armed with signs that read "have a heart," "respect family values," and "no same sex VD," the parents are hoping that they can win over the hearts and minds of the students who go to school here—before it's too late."

____________________________

Before it's TOO LATE? Too late for what? These children might grow up to be bisexual serial killers!? This sounds to me like it's a joke, or hoax, and can be found on the Urban Legends Reference pages. I hope so, because if it's not, the mom who rallied this, has some serious issues of her own, but I doubt that it all started with Valentines Day.

Posted by: Jane | Feb 21, 2005 12:30:22 AM

What a bunch of whining crybabies. I guess you could consider me a homophobic, because I am truly against homosexuality. I believe it is against my Christian morals. However, I don't feel that kids giving other kids Valentines cards, especially at that age, is giving them wrong ideas. I think it is teaching them to love one another !!!

Posted by: Glen | Feb 19, 2005 11:36:17 PM

I am a Christian....I give my best friend a Valentines Card every year...always have...always will. What is the most important part of being a Christian...LOVE...read ICorinthians 13....Lets not turn loving our friends and family into something sexual and wrong. Read your Bible

Posted by: Cindy | Feb 18, 2005 10:28:15 AM

Giving valentines in elementary grades was about how many cards you received and how many friends you could say you had and most of your friends were of the same gender. I could totally understand why the little boy in the story opted out altogether. Why would he want to give cards only to icky girls with cooties and not his real buds???

Orwelian P.C. idiocity!!!!!

Posted by: Denice | Feb 17, 2005 1:34:00 PM

Wow.

Unless the kids are giving the cards AND THEN BOINKING, I see no room for this objection.

Of all the...

Posted by: Scix | Feb 17, 2005 5:47:44 AM

This story seems to me to be obviously a spoof. There are some folks crazy enough to mount such a protest, but most of them are living in institutions. BTW, most of the "history" people are citing for Valentines Day is folklore.

Posted by: Isaac Bonewits | Feb 16, 2005 9:14:09 PM


Lets' remember to [love one another]& that we're all created equal,,,That's what I was always taught..I gave valentines to all my classmates in gradeschool, Jr. High school & High School,,I am now 65 years [old-young]and I still give to both sexes,I'll keep on also..My kids gave to both sexes too..Can't see a thing wrong with that..What the hell is this world coming to anyway??!!!!???

Posted by: P-nut Clarke | Feb 16, 2005 8:40:16 AM


Lets' remember to [love one another]& that we're all created equal,,,That's what I was always taught..I gave valentines to all my classmates in gradeschool, Jr. High school & High School,,I am now 65 years [old-young]and I still give to both sexes,I'll keep on also..My kids gave to both sexes too..Can't see a thing wrong with that..What the hell is this world coming to anyway??!!!!???

Posted by: P-nut Clarke | Feb 16, 2005 7:59:37 AM

This sounds about right for the folks in So. IL worried about an holiday and young kids giving cards to the same sex. Why dont you people in IL get a life. SpinDentist you got the right Idea, maybe her mother is a whore

Posted by: RKM | Feb 16, 2005 7:14:49 AM

wow what a bunch of homophobic assholes valentines day is about love. . .so get off ur ignorant right wing conservative bitch ass platform. ok and get educated while your at it

Posted by: jess | Feb 15, 2005 9:49:30 PM

....OK... some parents should just step back. First off, it's a freaking HALLMARK holiday

In the way back when, it was a festival of Juno, the queen of the Goddesses. It was the day before Lupricalia(sp), an ancient pagan rite of passage for young men, where young women's names were placed in a jar, and drawn by young men. Those young girls would serve as boy's sexual partner for the following year.

The church didn't want to celebrate a Pagan festival, so they sought out a saint, Aka Valentine, who was beheaded in 270 AD for marrying soldiers, since it was forbidden by roman law (You see, married men made poor soldiers)

The first valentine card was derrived from St.Valentine's good bye message to his jailer's daughter, whom he had fallen in love with. He signed his farewell message "From your Valentine".

Now this day is over commercialized as a "day of love", and a way for card stores to pad their bottom line.

I can understand persons not wanting to celebrate a Pagan holiday, but to say that we'll be causing "trouble" by having boys give boys valentines or Girls/Girls, is silly! Frankly it's preposterous. Here are parents foisting sexual feelings on innocent 1st graders.

I guess what I'm saying is this. "There's nothing wrong with kids giving other kids valentines day cards, boys or girls... It's all innocent."

Posted by: Luna | Feb 15, 2005 6:54:01 PM

GAH!!!! The idiocy makes my head hurt.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 15, 2005 6:05:28 PM

it would be nce if the teachers and parents of our young students behaved in a more adult fashion than the childern they are supposed to instructing and guiding to adulthood!

Posted by: William Spears | Feb 15, 2005 5:51:50 PM

This is hillarious. It is a joke, right?

Posted by: Nate | Feb 15, 2005 3:34:00 PM

Sorry Tiffany!

John! You ignorant slut!

Thanks Lisa!

Posted by: Michael White | Feb 15, 2005 12:51:05 PM

Michael...Just so you know, I think you called the wrong person an idiot,lol! The names of people who posted are under the post...not above. Not trying to be a pain...just pointing that out.

Posted by: Lisa Emrick | Feb 15, 2005 12:41:48 PM

Tiffani you're an idiot.

Are you saying that man/womankind are just ANIMALS here to procreate? That man/man or woman/woman love is SO WRONG?

Well throw out your birth control pills. Don't have sex outside of marriage! No oral or anal sex for you!

You must set a good example and lie in the missionary position the REST of your LIFE

Posted by: michael white | Feb 15, 2005 12:13:08 PM

My butt itches!

Posted by: Dick Dumen | Feb 15, 2005 12:09:57 PM

Kids aren't sexual at six years old unless their parents teach them to be. They just want the candy and as many cards as they can get. They want to play and have fun. How exactly does a parent teach a six year old child that saying-- "You're cool." "I like you." "Let's be friends." --is nasty? They're still laughing at the word,"pooh-pooh." Teaching sexuality to a six year old is what borders on perversion...be careful of your fears.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 15, 2005 11:04:55 AM

I've read that the St. Valentine that this holiday is named for was a Roman who was imprisoned for refusing to give up Christianity in the 3rd Century AD. It is said that he would pluck the heart shaped leaves from some plant that grew outside the window of his cell. He would use some small sharp pointed object to prick messages of faith and friendship onto the leaves and send them via messengers to the persons to whom they were directed. He was later martyred for his faith and left such a note to his jailer's daughter, who had become his friend during his imprisonment, signed "From Your Valentine".

I don't know when Valentine's Day was hijacked for romance rather than for love but it seems to me that messages of friendship could be of far greater value to our society than messages of romance. As a society we are tearing each other apart over whatever "hate" we happen to harbor in our hearts. Perhaps we should promote friendship and harmony instead.

Posted by: John Mealey | Feb 15, 2005 9:58:37 AM

This whole thing is just an example of how one or two people can pervert the use of political correctness to cross the line. Valentines day has been celebrated at elementary schools in the same way, for as long I can remember...and I'm old! An elementary school child should NOT have to draw a line between genders when handing out Valentines! Bulk Valentine cards are created with the idea that 'children' will receive them...not boy children, or girl children...but CHILDREN! They preach inclusiveness, yet in this case they want to exclude? Do they really think a 8 yr old boy is thinking about an intimate relationship when they give Power Rangers valentines to ANY of their classmates, male OR female? If that's the case...maybe valentines should be halted alltogether! I mean...boy to girl, isn't this 'subtly' encouraging love relationships between heterosexuals at far too young an age? This whole thing is WAY beyond ridiculous. What next? Boys can't read Little House on the Prarie or Mary Poppins because they're 'girl books'? Talk about sending the wrong message! This is just extremist B.S. I do NOT want someone to teach my child that equality is wrong! I gave and received valentines to and from both genders when I was in school, and I wasn't damaged by it in any way. Promoting perversion? Honey, if a valentine has the power to 'turn' someone gay, I'll eat my truck!

Posted by: Lisa Emrick | Feb 15, 2005 12:49:57 AM

Ok, then, next year let's not let them give cards to people of a different race or religion or what ever. This is just stupid! Heaven forbid we raise our children to be respectful of other people. I am not saying like or hate, I am saying RESPECT! It is events like this that lead to wars and discrimination and VIOLENCE! That is what we really need people! MORE VIOLENCE!!!!
Plus, these kids are to young to understand sexual attraction, and ON TOP OF THAT, people don't "turn" gay or straight. Getting a valentine card saying "Your Cool" from a same-sex class mate is not going to make them ANYTHING! These parent's are a bunch of foolish lunatics that are not fit to raise children period.

Posted by: Raymous | Feb 14, 2005 10:20:33 PM

I wasn't thinking about it when I wished the receptionist at my company a happy valentine's day. Now I wish I hadn't! I think she is married at least!!!

Posted by: Tiffani | Feb 14, 2005 7:45:48 PM

I find it creepy... Little boys walking up to other little boys and giving a red construction paper heart with the words "You're Cool" on it. When I was a kid if you did that to another boy you would have got the living hell beat out of you.

I'm not homophobic, but I think that certain social taboos are in place for a reason. Why would it be "right" for boys and girls to like each other? Because that is what eventually leads to procreation and the reason that we are here in the first place.

There is a difference between boys and girls. There always has been, there always will be (no matter how hard we try to deny it.)

Posted by: John | Feb 14, 2005 4:16:48 PM

This is a bad attempt at satire.

Better luck next time.

Posted by: Susan Nunes | Feb 14, 2005 3:42:49 PM

I don't get it - these parents are 'protecting' their first-grader kids by sexualizing their activities at an inordinately early age?

When I was a kid we always gave valentine cards to everybody in our classes because it wasn't polite to leave anybody out. We were far too young to see it as a sexual overture. It really was about being friends - or at least getting along with others amicably in a social setting.

People just get stupider and stupider...

Posted by: Pam Blocker | Feb 14, 2005 3:01:03 PM

I suppose the next thing we should do is get a little rough with boys and girls playing on same sex sports teams. I've heard they even have to shower together sometimes.

Posted by: SpinDentist | Feb 14, 2005 1:23:54 PM

I find it funny that Mrs. Boone has a problem with her daughter being branded a lesbian for giving valentines to the girls in her class, but didn't consider that her daughter could be branded a whore for giving valentines to "every" boy in her class.

Posted by: spike | Feb 14, 2005 1:19:12 PM

this article needs to be checked out. j.l.buford school in mt.vernon is a 4/5th grade center and was built in the late 70's. the asst principal is not tho women they quoted. this article is ancient or the wrong town.

Posted by: kimmc | Feb 14, 2005 12:33:25 PM

Why should any school promote perversion? If some leftist parents say its o.k. to encourage sodomy through same-sex valentining, let them do it outside of school. They wouldn't tolerate Christian themed cards of any kind, but if its to subtly encourage innocent litte children to get on the path to damnation early, then by golly the Marxist, Godless publik school educrats are all for it.

Posted by: Rodlaw | Feb 14, 2005 12:30:12 PM

Can anyone confirm the authenticity of this before I start sending letters? Is there an actual Swift reporter, was this off the wire service? Thanks! Barbara

Posted by: Barbara Price | Feb 14, 2005 11:24:37 AM

When it comes to Homophobia:
"You have to be taught
Before it's too late
Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
To hate all the people
Your relatives hate.
You have to be carefully taught,
You have to be carefully taught."
~ South Pacific ~

Posted by: Bryan Brandi | Feb 14, 2005 10:42:56 AM

This is satire, right? Please?

Posted by: Nate Kettle | Feb 14, 2005 10:39:13 AM

Unbelievable. Valentine's Day is about love, of any kind. What are they trying to teach their children? People can love others of the same sex without it meaning anything "wrong". I have a 4 year old son who is not in school yet but would not have a problem with him giving Valentines to boys in his class. Are these mother's homophobic? "Love thy neighbor" Does this mean I can't wish my mom a Happy Valentine's Day, or my step daughters?

Posted by: Mealnie Lyons | Feb 14, 2005 10:26:27 AM

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