Chasnoff: VanderSloot’s Defense Mischaracterizes “It’s Elementary”

Academy-award winning documentary filmmaker, Debra Chasnoff,  has posted her thoughts on Frank VanderSloot’s 1999  billboard campaign.

In his response to Glenn Greenwald’s article VanderSloot wrote,”I offended some members of the gay community in 1999 when I contributed to a group that was objecting to Idaho tax dollars being used to air a program called “It’s Elementary.” The program was designed to promote the concept of gay marriage to first-, second-, and third-graders. Many local and national organizations felt children of that age were far too young to be indoctrinated in that debate and they felt using tax dollars to accomplish it was also inappropriate. I agreed.”

On Thursday, Chasnoff responded in the comment section on the Local News 8 website…..

“Fourteen years after my film, “It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School” aired in Idaho Mr. VanderSloot is STILL mischaracterizing it. The point of this documentary is not and never was to “promote the concept of gay marriage to first, second and third graders.” The point of the film was to show that all children are affected by anti-gay prejudice and that all adults, especially those who work with children, have a responsibility and the ability to address that bias in age-appropriate, respectful ways,” writes the filmmaker.

Chasnof goes on, “…Mr. VanderSloot was indeed quite responsible for whipping up fears that our film was advocating indoctrinating children rather than the truth – that the film was advocating that ALL adults step up and take action to protect children by preventing violence and harassment connected to anti-gay bullying. I don’t care how many gay friends you have Mr.VanderSloot. The harm you caused during the months before “It’s Elementary” aired was extensive. Your campaign created a cloud of confusion that led many people in Idaho to fear and resist curricula which addresses ignorance about LGBT people.”

You can read the full comment, watch the news story featuring independent journalist Jody May-Chang and read Frank VanderSloot’s full response to the Greenwald article HERE.

Chasnoff released a sequel to “It’s Elementary” in 2007.  “It’s STILL Elementary” details the controversy surrounding the original film and follows up with many of the teachers and students to see how lessons about LGBT people changed their lives.

You can find out more about the film HERE.




One Response to Chasnoff: VanderSloot’s Defense Mischaracterizes “It’s Elementary”

  1. Pingback: Free Streaming of Chasnoff’s “Lets Get Real” part of “No-Name Calling Week” « The Idaho Agenda

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