It's been a whirlwind week for New York City student Kameron Slade. The fifth-grader won a class contest in speech making. As reported by Think Progress, he was slated to participate in a school wide competition. However, the school principal told Slade if he didn't pick a different topic, he would not be allowed to speak. The youngster's essay was centered on LGBT families and gay marriage.
'Like President Obama, I believe that all people should have the right to marry whoever they want,' Slade wrote. 'Marriage is about love, support, and commitment. So who are we to judge? If we judge people like this, this is a form of prejudice.'
Yesterday (15 June) Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced Slade will be allowed to give his speech. The contest will be held on 18 June.
'This young man has the right to give a speech,' Walcott said as reported by the news site DNAinfo.
The head of the city's public schools noted the district and Slade's school, PS 195, would inform school parents of the possible volatile nature of the speech. Walcott added the principal's original decision was based more on the perceived sensitive nature of the content and the age of the students.
'It's something that the principal felt she needed to do more due diligence with her parent community because of the topic of the speech itself,' Walcott said. 'This extra day will give her the ability to reach out to those parents to make them aware of the content of the speech because we're talking about an elementary school.'