Don’t Teach My Kid To Be Accepting!

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress (Photo via Screen capture)

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino. (Photo via Screen capture)

A Forest Hills Public Schools’ elementary parent in Ada Township, Michigan wants to ban the anti-bullying book “Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress” because he opposes boys wearing dresses.

In the story, Morris is laughed at by his classmates, but eventually, he helps them to understand that he likes wearing the dress because it’s the same color as a tiger, the sun and his mom’s hair. The story aims to teach children acceptance and stop bullying.

The parent who has such a big problem is a 35-year-old Army veteran and fundamentalist Christian, Lee Markham. […] “What the heck is going on?” Markham said. “This book is not just talking about accepting another viewpoint, it’s promoting another life.”

“We’re talking about one way to live life, but what about the other way, y’know, sorry to say it, the normal way what’s the benefit of actually adhering to societal norms,” Markham said.

Amid the many positive reviews on Amazon, there was another very angry [Christian] parent, most upset by the ‘don’t bully’ and ‘it’s okay if people are different’ message of the book:

I seldom write reviews, but this book was read to my child in 3RD GRADE!!! Parents were not notified, and some teacher thought it was good since there is ONE child whose parents let him wear skirts to school. Teaching boys to ACCEPT this is WRONG!!! THIS BOOK IS AGAINST GOD!!! You parents who let their children ‘express’ their gender inappropriately at school should know better!!! Boys are boys, and should behave and dress as such. This is not tolerance, and this is not about bullying. This is a scathing indictment of the breakdown of American morality. We are literally celebrating perversion!!! You can bet there will be a lawsuit at our school.

Markham went on about how awful the book is:

“His First Amendment right to his freedom of religion wasn’t addressed at all and instead another way of life is just put right in front of him. I just wonder who’s gonna correct all the damage that was done,” Markham reiterated.

Superintendent Dan Behm stated that the book will not be taken off the shelves, even though a parent is upset. Good for you, Superintendent, and thank you.

Full story here.


  1. Siobhan says

    *adds ‘Furst Amendmunt!’ and ‘Feerdum of Religion!!’ to bigot bingo card*

  2. says

    1. Isn’t it telling how the very people who think that people are born male and female and nothing else and that those labels are inherent unchangeable qualities of a person are also the ones who think that the whole system will break down if a boy wears a dress?

    2. Somebody please inform those idiots that if Jesus had existed he would have worn a dress as would all their other biblical heroes.

  3. johnson catman says

    Siobhan @1:
    I think by now, we have a “coverall” bingo win, not just one line. The bigots have called out every imaginable entry.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    Is nobody else slightly weirded out by this book?

    Not by the message -- that’s all fine and good, and if it’s irritating fundamenalist Christians then heck, it’s doing something right. What slightly weirded me out was the title, because I’m now picturing a young (pre-stage-name-acquisition) Michael Caine in a dress… the colour… of a tangerine.

  5. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    One thing:

    His First Amendment right to his freedom of religion

    No. It’s not the child’s “rights” that are being violated. The child was not upset by this. Instead, you, the parent, were upset by this. It’s an attack on the parent’s “right” to keep the child ignorant. I wish I could channel Daniel Dennett better, because I love his position on this. Too many people wrongly believe that children are the property of their parents. Children are the wards of their parents, not their property. No parent has the right to keep a child ignorant, and society, as expressed through the government, has the “right” and the moral obligation to ensure that all children are raised to not be ignorant, such as through Dennett’s proposal of mandatory comparative religion courses for all children. The government has a duty to protect the right’s of the child to be informed in order to allow the child to make an informed decision, aka the right of self determination, the right that I value most of all.

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