Student Gets to Deliver Pro-Marriage Equality Speech

Student Gets to Deliver Pro-Marriage Equality Speech

New York City fifth-grader Kameron Slade will be allowed to deliver his speech about marriage equality to a special assembly of students in his grade Monday, school officials say.

He was prohibited from giving the speech, which was deemed the best in his class, in a school-wide competition at P.S. 195 in Queens last Friday and instead did one about preventing animal cruelty. The school’s principal had called same-sex marriage an inappropriate topic for the school contest. The city’s Department of Education had promised he could make the original speech, encouraging acceptance of gay couples, in a different venue, which New York’s CBS affiliate now reports will be a special assembly of fifth-graders.

“This extra day will give [principal Beryl Bailey] 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,” schools chancellor Derek Walcott told the TV station. “She wants to be responsible in making sure that people have a clear understanding of what the speech is about.”

New York City Council member Daniel Dromm called the separate venue discriminatory, but Slade’s mother told the station, “I’m really pleased with that compromise. I’m really glad that the DOE has taken time to pay attention.”

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