A guest author’s visit to a Georgia elementary school was canceled after he refused to stop using the word “gay” while speaking to children.
Marc Tyler Nobleman visited schools in north Georgia to discuss his book, “Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.”
Nobleman ran afoul of a Georgia school’s strict rules by telling fifth-graders that comic book writer and Batman co-creator, Bill Finger’s son was gay.
Nobleman said the principals of two elementary schools in Forsyth County, Georgia told him to stick to “appropriate” material and leave out the detail that Finger’s son was gay.
When he refused to stop using the word “gay,” his remaining presentations at a third Georgia school were canceled, the New York Times reported.
Nobleman said that after he spoke with children at Sharon Elementary School on Aug. 21, the school’s principal passed him a note during his second presentation, asking him to “only share the appropriate parts of the story.”
After the presentation, the school’s principal, Brian Nelson, emailed parents to apologize for what their children had heard.
“This is not subject matter that we were aware that he was including nor content that we have approved for our students,” Nelson wrote. He added that “action was taken to ensure that this was not included in Mr. Nobleman’s subsequent speeches.”
The next day, Nobleman was approached by a principal at a second elementary school in Forsyth County, who asked him not to use the word “gay” in his discussions with children.
He complied with the principal’s request, but he later said he had felt “trapped.”
In defiance, Nobleman uttered the word “gay” while speaking to children at a third elementary school in the district, FOX 5 Atlanta reports.
He said he told the school’s principal and the district’s chief spokeswoman, Jennifer Caracciolo that his use of the word “gay” was “In the best interest of these kids.”
Ms. Caracciolo canceled Nobleman’s remaining presentations at the school, saying, “what Mr. Nobleman shared was a topic that was not appropriate to meet our state standards” for elementary school children.
Ms. Caracciolo reminded the district’s principals that all instructional resources, including guest speakers, must be “thoroughly vetted” before they’re allowed to speak to children.
Nobleman later expressed his frustration about his visits to Georgia schools.
He said the school district’s decision went against his conscience, in part, because “the point” of hosting a visiting author is “to give kids something that maybe they’re not getting in their community.”
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