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Source: Article by Beth Warren from the TENNESSEAN, a state paper for Tennessee. More information on the conference described below can be obtained from:

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A film has been produced to train teachers of grade 1 through 8 classes on how to teach tolerance to their students. The movie was directed by Debra Chasnoff, an Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker from San Francisco. She said: "We made this film to help open up the dialogue in this country about whether and how we should be addressing this issue in elementary classrooms ... and to counter mass information and hysteria of the Religious Right." She feels that violence against gays and lesbians, and the high suicide rate among homosexuals are reasons why tolerance should be taught in the schools. The movie shows class discussions about homosexuality in classrooms in several states. First graders read Heather has Two Mommies, while students in Grade 8 discussed same-sex marriage. The movie is being actively discussed among North American educators.

It was first shown in the American Southeast at an Atlanta GA gay and lesbian film festival. Its will be screened again on 1997-FEB-15 at the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). The 6th Annual Southeastern Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual College Conference, called "And Liberty For All, will arrange a viewing for legislators, school board members, teachers and other educators.

Michael Grantham, member of MTSU's Lambda Association of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students, faculty and staff said: "It's a hot-button issue. I can hear it now: 'Oh, they want to teach homosexuality to elementary students'...Tolerance - not homosexuality - is the key issue."

Scott Link, president of MTSU's Baptist Student Union, was undecided about the movie. He said: "It's an interesting dilemma...On one hand, if you don't discuss it, you might have someone who thinks it's OK to take a baseball bat to someone who is different...But you have to be very careful that you don't cross the line and say we're going to accept this as a viable, alternative lifestyle."

[We have a hunch that the religious right will be distressed at this movie for two reasons: it teaches tolerance of gays and lesbians, and also disseminates accurate information about sexual orientation. Their program of hatred against homosexuality can only be sustained if it is accompanied with misinformation.]

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