Primary-aged school children in America have sat through a play about ‘gay penguins’ raising a chick.
The play is based on events told in a storybook, ‘And Tango Makes Three’, which is currently recommended for use in British primary schools.
But education officials in Austin, Texas, have stepped in to stop further performances of the play.
The production was written by a drama student, Emily Freeman, from the University of Texas.
She says the play is about different families, but education officials raised concerns about age-appropriateness.
Greg Goodman, the Director of Fine Arts at the Austin Independent School District (ISD), said: “The subject matter communicated in the play is a topic that Austin ISD believes should be examined by parents/guardians who will discuss with their elementary school age children at a time deemed appropriate by the parents/guardians”.
Emily Freeman, whose play is aimed at children aged six and over, says throughout the production, “the definition of family is extended beyond normative representations”.
She commented: “Family is an entire colony of penguins, a young girl and her single mom, a zookeeper and the animals he tends, and two male penguins and their adopted egg.”
The story is based on events at New York’s Central Park Zoo where staff treated a pair of male penguins as though they were sexual mates – even giving them an egg to look after which eventually hatched a chick named Tango.
Later however the pair stopped displaying pairing behaviour and one of the males paired with a female.
In Britain, ‘And Tango Makes Three’ is one of the books promoted by homosexual lobby group Stonewall in a teacher training pack for primary schools.
Other books include The Sissy Duckling and a story about two princes who fall in love and live happily ever after as King and King.
The Stonewall pack recommends using the pro-homosexual storybooks for reading in class and suggests getting primary schoolchildren to act out such books as school plays.
A head teacher is also shown in an accompanying DVD saying pupils should be taught to be resilient to the values of their parents and grandparents.