Apparently a couple of Oscars under the belt aren't enough to secure a film's place in the classroom, even one without the kind of hardcore violence most children in North America are barraged with on a daily basis.
Yes, a substitute teacher in Chicago dared to expose elementary children to the gay cowboy love story, Brokeback Mountain (warning: the embedded video below is Brokeback to the Future, and should only offend Steven Spielberg), and is now facing a lawsuit by one child's grandparents of no less than $500,000.
I remember the shock and horror when I plunked down my siblings and their entourage of little ones down for a “little something different” the year Hedwig and the Angry Inch came out on DVD. As the homosexual love-elements of the story fermented, my dear siblings snatched up child after child and B-lined for the safety of my (heteronormative?) basement. It seems the world is not quite ready for children to face the hard truth that queer love indeed exists. And I thought we would all end up singing the Hedwig songs together…
Back in Chicago, it seems that a 12 year-old has suffered psychological damage from seeing two men in a love story. And while the film does have some curse words and one scene that could be described as sexually explicit, I'd venture to guess that the cumulative psychological distress suffered by every tweeny in America at the hands of the evil Olson Twins wouldn't bear such plentiful fruit as half a million.
Planet Out weighs in on the girl, the movie and the lawsuit:
Was she exposed to Tarantino gore-fest or a terrifying chapter in the Hannibal Lecter series? Not quite: Alongside her classmates, she watched the gay cowboy movie “Brokeback Mountain.”
The girl and her grandparents, Kenneth and LaVerne Richardson, are seeking roughly $500,000 in damages under the suit filed Friday against the Chicago Board of Education and others.
Understandably, the disclosed sum has provoked widespread debate between those who view the grandparents as opportunistic money-grabbers and others who feel that no money could heal the mental wound caused by forced exposure to a queer love story.
Anyone interested in launching a class action against the Olson Twins, please contact me.