Cyprus Mail

Donated book withdrawn after anti-gay complaints (updated)

hunters ass

A children’s book in school sparked controversy and homophobic comments on Tuesday, which eventually led to the withdrawal of the book.

The book was withdrawn after the mother of child at the kindergarten complained about images showing two cartoon drawings, which depicted two women hugging a child and two men hugging another child.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) about complaints regarding materials provided to kindergarten students, director of primary education at the education ministry Marios Stylianides confirmed that the book was indeed withdrawn following parents’ objections.

He added that the particular kindergarten received a donation of 50 books last year from the parents association.

It seems that among the 50 books was the one that sparked controversy,” he said.

“Back in September 2023, the kindergarten initiated a lending library programme for children to take some of the books home, meaning each child would take home a book for a few days to read with their parents.

“There was a reaction from a mother regarding this particular book, and the school withdrew it when these protests arose,” Stylianides explained.

He then reiterated that an investigation into the specific complaints was carried out.

It seems that the school did not thoroughly check the books to see if there was anything that could have been avoided,” Stylianides continued.

“They gave it out, and when there was a protest, they removed it.”

Stylianides explained that many schools purchase books to enhance their libraries, which encourages children to take books at home.

Leading the rally in homophobic comments about the pictures in the book, the hunters association, who brought the mother’s complaint to light, said “it is an insult to the traditional institution of the family.

We emphasise that we will show zero tolerance to such insidious attempts to psychologically degenerate our children.

“Such images can only bring about identity confusion and unresolved psychological issues for children, especially kindergarten children, which can affect them for the rest of their lives.”

This the second homophobic reaction about school materials in a month, with allegations surfacing last week that a theologian showed a religion class homophobic videos from a bishop in Greece.

The contentious video was shown during a religious education class. It was a lecture by bishop of Mesogaia Nikolaos discussing sexuality and procreation. He says that “two men can never unite”, and “heterosexuality is required for uniting” among other things that have to do with reproductive organs.

The education ministry then issued an apathetic reaction to the entire incident, saying only that the video presented the church’s position on the matter of procreation, and that different opinions need to be respected.

The ministry essentially echoed comments by House education committee head and Diko MP Pavlos Mylonas a day before, who called an independent MP that brought the issue to light a “fascist”.

“This fascist mentality of imposing the education of children by MPs or organised groups that do not respect the opposing viewpoint cannot continue,” he said in his letter to the education minister, condemning the complaint made by independent MP Alexandra Attalides.

He said that bishop was “scientifically explaining” the church’s position on marriage and adoption by gay couples.

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