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CALL TO ACTION: Fremont Bans 'Angels in America' HELP SEND A BOOK!

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EugLoven
Broadway Legend
joined:4/23/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/23/05
UPDATE: The School Board of the Fremont Unified School District voted to not include "Angels in America" on its AP English Reading List because of its use of primarily gay characters.

http://www.fremont.k12.ca.us/domain/14

LATEST UPDATE BELOW
(Sorry for the back-and-forth... such is politics)
Updated On: 3/11/11 at 01:04 AM
EugLoven Profile Photo
EugLoven
Broadway Legend
joined:4/23/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/23/05

CALL TO ACTION: Fremont Bans

#2
Posted: 3/10/11 at 5:53pm
As it stands currently, "Angels in America" was voted to be kept off of the English AP reading list by the Fremont School Board on Wednesday March 9

IF this ends-up being a total and complete ban, based on anti-gay sentiments, I will be spear-heading a campaign to send copies of "Angels in America" to EVERY senior English high-school classroom in Fremont.

This can be VERY easy to do and I would LOVE any help from anyone on here who feels like doing a good deed.

Here's some information on Fremont:

Largest suburb in the Bay Area metropolis
4th-most populace city in the Bay Area metropolis

Population approx 218,000
37.7% White
3.1% Black
46.2% Asian-American
15.9% Indian
15.4% Latino/Hispanic

Fremont has 5 high schools, 1 continuation high school, 5 junior-high schools and 29 elementary schools. Plus Ohlone Community College and the School for the Deaf and Blind

Leans politically Democratic

Special notes: Large deaf community
Largest community of Afghans outside Afghanistan
Home to Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi, "Kite Runner" author Khaled Hosseini, and rapper MC Hammer
Historic Niles District where many of Charlie Chaplin and Bronco Billy silent-movies were filmed
Mission San Jose (one of the historic missions lining California coast)
450 acre Central Park
Miles of Wetlands and Wildlife Reservations


Updated On: 3/11/11 at 05:53 PM
EugLoven Profile Photo
EugLoven
Broadway Legend
joined:4/23/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/23/05
(edited) update below
Updated On: 3/11/11 at 06:37 PM
PiraguaGuy2
Broadway Legend
joined:10/10/08
Broadway Legend | Joined: 10/10/08
...Woooooooooooow.
Formerly SirNotAppearing - Joined 3/08
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rosscoe(au)
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/20/05
So really you jumped on a soapbox without knowing all the details?
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
EugLoven Profile Photo
EugLoven
Broadway Legend
joined:4/23/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/23/05
@rosscoe(au): No. I was responding to an email I received from the Northern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union... who contacted all its members with a call to action earlier this week. Their report was that the Fremont School Board was voting to ban the book from AP "required reading" based on its primary gay characters.

My teacher who attended the Board meeting last night said that the vote was more an issue of quorum, even though dozens of people attended to state their opinion on the reading (most were in-favor of having it on the list and surprised it would even be considered to be banned).

When I emailed members of the Board, they thanked me for my letter and expressed that they, too, were in favor of having the book be allowed on the list (one even replied that "Knowledge is power and ignorance is fear.")

Somewhere between the lines, people did (and/or still do) believe that the issue of gay themes plays a part.
Updated On: 3/11/11 at 08:06 PM
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/28/05
I always looked at Angels in America as being more on the college level. High school students can be awfully immature and mean spirited when discussing the issues that the play presents. I am not saying that it shouldn't be included on high school reading list, I just don't think it is something I would choose to teach to a bunch of ignorant high schoolers.
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/10/09
'I always looked at Angels in America as being more on the college level.'

Which is why it's being considered for AP English.
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EugLoven
Broadway Legend
joined:4/23/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/23/05
LATEST UPDATE:

Got off the phone with one of the members of the Textbook Adoption Committee and she laid it all out for me:

This was straight up b*ll$h!t. The Board's use of the excuse "bad vote based on technicality" was the safe way to beat around the bush. They were lobbied to keep it from the reading list because, point-blank, it is a story about gays.

Sadly, counselors/librarians (specifically) who supported the reading material to begin-with are now shying away from defending it because their jobs are on the chopping-block in a devastating up-coming piece of legislation.

There is a growing religious right within Fremont, ever since the spiral of Prop.8, that latch onto any sort of curriculum based on LGBT education. It was this team of parents (and even some Board members) that subscribed to the anti-gay position, but curtailed their argument to: "The play can be offensive to religious children because of its portrayal of a Mormon couple."

Therefore: Following the vote, ALL of the books recommended for the reading list were approved EXCEPT for "Angels in America."

But the fact of the matter is these kids KNOW what lesbian/gay issues look like!!! It's not a secret. They share their locker-rooms and hallways and class-rooms with fellow LGBT students. They watch the news. Hell, they watch GLEE! They're not idiots.

And "Angels in America" was recommended as Eng12 AP reading... a college prep class! Currently on the Eng12 AP reading list are challenging novels like "The Plague" (Camus), "No Exit" (Sartre) and "The Homecoming" (Pinter) and "Hamlet" (Shakespeare)... NO CUP OF TEA! These are SMART kids!

So, I'm going back to the barricades!

I VOW TO GET COPIES OF THIS BOOK INTO EVERY ENG-12 HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM IN FREMONT!

And I could use your help!

STEP 1: Buy a new or used (good condition) copy of "Angels in America" both Part 1 and Part 2.

STEP 2: When you get the books, choose 1 of the 6 high schools from list here http://www.fremont.k12.ca.us/domain/5

STEP 3: Mail the book to the high school's main address but label it "ATTN: English Department Chair" (this will make sure it gets into the right hands)

STEP 4: Include a letter detailing your motivation for sending the gift! Encourage the teacher to have the copy in their Eng-12 classroom as supplemental material & recommendation to any student who wants to read it!
Updated On: 3/12/11 at 08:16 PM
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EugLoven
Broadway Legend
joined:4/23/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/23/05
WOW! PEOPLE ARE ALREADY MOBILIZING!
I've already got about a dozen books on their way to the schools!

If you decide to pitch-in, leave a comment on this thread saying which school you sent a book to (so we don't get too much over-lap... spread the love)

I've also reached-out to book stores, theatre companies and publishing companies to see if they want to pitch-in!
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EugLoven
Broadway Legend
joined:4/23/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/23/05
FACEBOOK EVENT HERE:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=200578793294056

Please spread the word within your circle of friends.

It's a very easy and very kind way to share the magic and power of critical thought through theatre!