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Kookaburra Song Loses the Word "Gay"

"An Australian primary school has removed the word “gay” from the children’s folk song “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.”

"Instructing students to sing “fun your life must be,” rather than the written “gay your life must be.”

Principal Garry Martin taught first grade students the song using an old tape. "It uses 'gay' and I just suggested to kids, 'Nowadays, that can mean different things, so let's just sing a fun old time,' " he said. "It was my decision to replace it. I guess that was hypersensitive of me."

But gay rights activists are taking offense, saying the principal is underestimating his students. I don't think that's a very good message for kids to have, particularly when they've been working really hard to bring in respect and diversity into schools," Crusader Hillis, from the LGBT activist group"

Okay, so what are your thoughts here?

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 5:42 PM on Sep. 2, 2010 in Parenting Debate

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I think its a good idea because everytime they'd sing GAY,they'd probably laugh and get disorderly. You know how kids are. They crack up if you say poop!

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 5:44 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

  • Seriously... I sing this song with my kids all the time and they love it... And NO I don't remove the word Gay. I find it ridiculous that anyone would find it necessary. Gay, like many other words, has more than one meaning. In this case, it's not in ANY way a negative word!

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 5:45 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

  • What next, will he rewrite all the old literature, poems, etc.? That's how kids learn- afterall they are in school. The word, like many others in our language, has more than one meaning for Heaven's sake. Don't try to re-write history.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:50 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

  • I taught my son from a very young age that gay had more than one meaning. His vocabulary is off the charts. He would have understood in Kindergarten what it meant, but, I also realize that there are some other kids that are never taught anything and wouldn't know and would cause a stir and their parents as well...All because they used the word. I know adults that don't realize it has more than one meaning. So...I can see changing it on that account. LOL If you catch my drift. Although, I believe in teaching and sharing and no censors for my kids.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 5:51 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

  • Gay means happy and I see nothing wrong with using it for what it was intended.

    Answer by shanlaree at 5:53 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

  • It's the same as certain words removed from Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn..whichever it was. Not getting to read "A Color Purple". All the "banned" from school crap.

    My son has read the Satanic Bible, The Necronimicon, Push/ name it. I think exposure with teaching is always best.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 5:53 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

  • I don't think it should have been changed, but at the same time I don't see the huge deal in the fact that it was.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 6:00 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

  • I can understand why it was changed, when dealing with kids it's often a put down to say "you're gay" or "that's gay" and even if the kids don't relate it to homosexual the word could have a very negative connotation in their minds. Besides, the recording of it that I use in my classroom is at least 10 years old and doesn't have the word "gay" in it. I think if he wouldn't have mentioned that fact that he was changing it he would have been fine.


    Answer by scout_mom at 7:59 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

  • Technically Homosexuality meant same sex relationships, Gay meant happy or joyful, and Fag meant cigarette. To many people took these words and try and use them as derogatory terms. Where as if one looks or pay attention to origins it has nothing to do with what they refer it to be. People need to chill and remove their heads from places that only waste should come out of.

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 9:01 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

  • My son's private school did this too. I find it odd. I prefer using the term gay but fun will be okay too. Crazy world to think that somehow a child might ask what gay means if you sing it in a song. So what? Gay is happy. Or I explained it means two things: happy or when two people who are the same gender love each other. My son is three and got it. No big deal. He doesn't walk around trying to point out who might be gay in either sense of the word. It is just a word. I find it sad when people are so homophoibic they need to change a children's song because it makes them, as an adult, uncomfortalble.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:01 PM on Sep. 2, 2010

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