First graders celebrate lesbian teacher's wedding

First graders at Creative Arts Charter School in San Francisco took a bus to City Hall to throw rose petals and blow bubbles on their newly married teacher and her bride.

A parent organized the noon field trip; two children in the class stayed at school because their parents opted out.

“It really is what we call a teachable moment,” (interim director Liz) Jaroflow said, noting the historic significance of same-sex marriage and related civil rights issues.

Proponents of Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage, said the trip was “indoctrination.”

I think it was sweet.

San Francisco kids aren’t shocked by the notion of same-sex relationships.

“She’s a really nice teacher. She’s the best,” said 6-year-old Chava Novogrodsky-Godt, wearing a “No on 8” button on her shirt. “I want her to have a good wedding.”

Chava’s mothers said they are getting married in two weeks.

When my daughter’s kindergarten teacher married her boyfriend over the winter break, nobody thought it was improper for the kids to know about it. When her fourth-grade teacher married his boyfriend during the winter break, he dodged questions about why he’d started wearing a ring. His mother visited to the class and said she was happy he’d married. He felt the need to hush her up. (My daughter had it all figured out and explained it to me.)

Update: The California Teachers Association has donated $1 million to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8. Why should teachers’ union dues go to defend gay marriage? Or oppose it, for that matter.

About Joanne


  1. I saw the video and noted that the word “love” was used three times. That was enough to make me celebrate. I think it’s wonderful that we have finally shaken off the yoke of Judaeo-Christian tradition and decided to strike a new path where only love matters. I mean you can’t go wrong as long as love is there. As a matter of fact I’m looking forward to the destruction of all taboos, norms, prohibitions, restrictions and what-have-you so that an individual’s happiness and acceptance finally becomes the summum bonum of existence, regardless of the good, the true, the beautiful, or even children for that matter. Do I get an “Amen?”

  2. Cardinal Fang says:

    BadaBing, I wouldn’t want to hew so closely to Judeo-Christian tradition if I were you. I may be an atheist, but I’ve read the bible. There are a lot of guys with lots of wives there. Is that the Judeo-Christian tradition you’re referring to? Polygamy?

  3. Cardinal Fang says:

    I went back and read the article. Joanne is right. It’s sweet: the two beautiful brides and the cute giggling kids throwing rose petals. I know that conservatives object, but frankly, I just don’t get it.

  4. Cardinal Fang, I’m a conservative and I object to you saying all conservatives object. I think this is more of a generational than a left-right issue. Now, I also believe the California Supreme Court’s legal reasoning construing the state constitution was laughably ridiculous, but once the voters approve it (and they will), gay marriage will have a legitimacy no court could ever grant.

  5. Cardinal Fang says:

    Dave J, I’m sorry that I implied all conservatives object to gay marriages. My conservative friends wonder what all the fuss is about and think conservatives ought to worry about more important issues. But clearly some conservatives are deeply concerned that gay marriage will… well, actually, I don’t fully understand what terrible things gay marriage is supposed to do, but something bad is bound to happen now that two women can fall in love, and get married.

  6. It’s perfectly ordinary for a teacher to invite students to a wedding. It’s not quite so ordinary to turn it into a school-funded field trip. I don’t see why the teacher didn’t just invite the students and let them attend; she seems to have turned her wedding and her students into a political event. Not cool IMO.

  7. Actually, dangermom, I don’t think it was a school-funded field trip. It was organized by a parent and the transportation was a MUNI bus. The wisdom of taking a bunch of first graders on MUNI notwithstanding, I don’t think the trip was outside professional bounds. (Just to clarify, I’d oppose a school-funded trip to a straight teacher’s wedding, too.)

  8. Puuuleeeaze!! If this had been a public school, instead of the conservative golden child charter school, people on here would be livid.

    But since it’s a charter then suddenly all the conservatives are understanding and think it’s educational?

  9. Personally, I don’t care if this was a heterosexual ceremony performed by the Pope himself… I don’t see where the true educational value is in this trip. I don’t buy the whole “life experience” tripe.

    The students may have taken a MUNI bus, but as the teacher herself said the trip had to be academically justified and the students should have been in school… it was school-authorized field trip.

    I don’t care about the students’ presence at the ceremony… I think it is a great and supportive gesture by the parents, but it should not have been done on the school’s dime.

  10. dangermom says:

    Quincy, if it was during school time, then it was on the school’s dime, even if the parents arranged it. I really don’t get why a teacher would schedule her wedding in the middle of a school day unless she was planning on turning it into a political event and bringing the students in as props. Most teachers plan their weddings for vacations, for obvious reasons.

  11. So what academic subject did the field trip address? I guess that would be social engineering…

    I don’t care who marries who in the US, but to turn the wedding into an indoctrination of the children smacks of ulterior motives.

    I sure didn’t plan my wedding that way…

  12. If the teacher had held her ceremony during non-school hours and her students attended, that would be simply a matter of parental judgment. I might still question its appropriateness for such young kids, but obviously this is one of those “hot-button” issues about which there is much disagreement.

    The problem is that this trip took place during the time the taxpayers of California are paying Creative Arts Charter to educate these kids.

    I looked up the data on the Creative Arts Charter to see if the school is doing such a wonderful job that it can afford to waste time on non-academic pursuits such as this field trip. Here’s what I found:

    Percent of students scoring Proficient or Above in Math: 28.6%
    Percent of students scoring Proficient or Above in Language Arts: 56.8%
    Ranking of this school compared to others in the state with similar demographics: bottom 10%

    Seems to me the administration needs to spend a bit more time teaching its students academic basics and a bit less time on indoctrination…

  13. Cardinal Fang says:

    The article says the trip was organized as a surprise for the teacher, who was getting married at City Hall. So the teacher had nothing to do with any “indoctrination.” She was planning a quiet ceremony at City Hall, and she had a charming surprise when the kids showed up with rose petals.

  14. If the ballot measure passes by a slim margin, these folks may not be so popular among their peers. There’s just enough time for news coverage of the event to find its way into a campaign ad, alongside Mayor “whether you like it or not” Newsom. I’m glad it’s not an issue I feel close to.

    “Is that the Judeo-Christian tradition you’re referring to? Polygamy?

    Why not? I don’t have a problem with it, only with the excess to which it is frequently taken. Maybe the rule should be “any three adults.” If nothing else it would allow the flexibility to even out imbalances in the marriage market, even if only a small number of people partake.

  15. I’m not criticizing the teacher, but the administrator(s) who approved the trip. The correct response to the field trip request should’ve been to deny it based on the grounds that it was a social occasion rather than something with a legitimate academic purpose. Would the school have approved a field trip during the school day to watch a Catholic student receive his/her First Holy Communion? I highly doubt it…

  16. It’s not just “conservatives” who aren’t impressed with gay marriage. My lifetime-union-member dad, and his wife, are very against it.

    I agree that there’s probably more of a generational divide than an ideological one.

  17. Andy Freeman says:

    Are those kids up to standard?

    If not, did the school do the trip because it has given up on those students or because some things are more important than the education that we’re paying for them to get?

  18. Cardinal, I think I understand what a “legitimate concern” of some people opposing gay marriage is, although I found it hard to get a clear statement. And before anyone flames me for repeating it, I do NOT agree with it.

    What I finally got from listening to anti-gay-marriage pundits, and talking to the few people that I actually know that oppose it, is that the concern is that gay marriage will a large pool of people with new agendas to an institution that grew up as a mechanism for protecting and nurturing children, and that this will weaken the institution.

    Even if the “agendas” of gay couples were that different from straight ones, and I don’t see any real difference among the gay couples that I know, this ship sailed a long time ago.

  19. Bill Leonard says:

    A key question raised in JJ’s last paragraph has gone unremarked thus far: What, indeed, is a teacher’s union, or any union, for that matter, doing in donating $1 million of its members’ dues money to any campaign for or against homosexual marriage?


  20. The CTA clearly has an agenda other than providing the best academic instruction for the students taught by its members. This surprises you?

  21. It’s a teacher’s union. You have to ask?

  22. Cardinal Fang says:

    I understand why some people might think that we shouldn’t waste students’ time at a social occasion, but it’s mean-spirited to call a wedding an indoctrination. When my son was the ring-bearer at my brother’s wedding, no one told me I was indoctrinating him; the guests just talked about how happy they were for my brother and his new wife, and how cute his little nieces and nephews were.

    C’mon, you guys, these two women were getting married. The kids like their teacher, and they wanted to celebrate. Of course they did! Weddings are happy occasions!

  23. Jay said, “So what academic subject did the field trip address? I guess that would be social engineering…”

    Uh, other than political correctness and indoctrination, is there any other subject in the typical school nowadays?

  24. I may be an atheist, but I’ve read the bible. There are a lot of guys with lots of wives there.

    You may have read it, but you didn’t understand it. Much of the Old Testament is history, and there is a historical context one has to keep in mind when reading the Pentateuch and other historical documents. Yeah, a lot of guys did have lots of wives, but it was Israel’s way of taking care of widows and orphans and other women unable to care for themselves. In short, it was ancient Middle-Eastern welfare. Brothers were expected to take in a brother’s wife in the event of that brother’s death. War was prevalent and there were more females than males. There was no welfare bureaucracy, no tort lawyers and no feminists at the time, so men were expected to step up and protect the weak among them.

    I’ve said it before, but we are a nation that despises children. Flushing babies down sinks is celebrated in some quarters of this nation, particularly in blue states, because a woman’s selfish choice trumps nascent human life. Although the abortion rate has been declining since the late 1970’s, we still perform over a million abortions per year in this country. Divorce, separation, and single parenthood have also wreaked havoc on this country’s children, and if you teach, you know what I mean. Or maybe it’s just unique to me that the most troubled, most challenged kids in my classes happen to come from broken homes and single parent families in which a teenaged mother gave birth to a child that subsequently grew up without a father.

    Now add to that chaos the fact that marriage, the institution that forms and upholds for society the cultural and social values and symbols related to procreation, has now been hijacked by self-serving same-sex couples and their deluded or self-righteous supporters, and you have the continued disintegration of the basic unit of any civilization, the family. The crux of my argument here is that being raised by a same-sex couple is not in the best interests of the child and, in fact, is deleterious to his psychosocial development and general upbringing.

    I think it’s a tragedy that innocent children are now being indoctrinated to accept same-sex marriage as being on an equal level with heterosexual marriage. They’re not. Same-sex marriage is counterfeit marriage. It doesn’t matter how people feel about it or gush over it or use the word “love.” It’s wrong to anoint it with legitimacy.

  25. Margo/Mom says:


    I think that the research, such as it is, on children raised by homosexuals leads in another direction. The national pediatricians professional group has published conclusions on this as it affects their practice as well. (Actually, now that I think about it–how come there are no similar professional groups of teachers that examine research and publish practice recommendations based on their findings?)

    I agree with you that children get short shrift in this country–although in my experience, and it’s pretty long and wide-ranging, I have never met anyone who celebrates over flushing babies down sinks. I am far more concerned with the attitudes that lead to detrimental social policies. The attitudes that say “you should have thought of that before you had children (or had intercourse)” and regard children as some kind of punishment for bad acts. The Hebrews at least had a welfare system that provided for the care of all children–even those with one parent.

    I am fortunate that my single parenthood has been my choice, at a point in my life when I had some economic and employment security–and that not much has rocked our boat since (at least that we couldn’t overcome)–and my children were lifted up from family/non-family situations that were less stable and healthy. But I have always known how few paychecks we stand from disaster–and how little regard there is in our society for the lives of children. We don’t grant parental leave–as a policy. We don’t ensure access to quality pre-school/child care. We have made progress in health care for children–but it’s still vulnerable to budgetary decisions. We don’t even think about ensuring that all children can grow up in a safe and healthy neighborhood. And our schools are of uneven quality–with the very best opportunities going to those who have the most.

  26. Margo/Mom:

    I think you and I are talking about two totally different things. As a liberal you are animated by government programs and policies. I laud you for rescuing kids from bad situations (if I read you right), but I am far more concerned with individual values and behavior, which is infinitely more important than Ted Kennedy’s latest attempt to legislate health care. The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people. -Ashanti

  27. It may be sweet and people may be OK with it but arranging for the kids to leave school is indoctrination.


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