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Fifth-Grader To Read Banned Speech In School Monday

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The department of education says a queens fifth grader will get to read his speech on same-sex marriage at school on Monday, a decision that came after the principal refused to let the boy read the speech today. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.

A letter sent to parents Friday confirms that 10-year-old Kameron Slade will be allowed to recite his speech on same sex marriage at a special assembly at PS 195 on Monday.

The decision came after Kameron was prevented from giving the speech at a school competition Friday because the school's principal believed it was an inappropriate topic for the school's speech contest.

Some parents believed the conversation was one best saved for adults. Kameron disagrees.

"There is no point in really trying to hide it because us children, we are going to figure it out some time now or later," he said.

Kameron's speech focused on acceptance and his experience with his mother's friends who are gay. His principal said he would be dropped from the contest if he didn't choose another topic. He spoke about animal cruelty Friday. He lost.

"The animal cruelty was sort of like global warming or something like that," he said. "Everyone (talks about that)."

The principal's decision sparked outrage among gay rights advocates, who wasted no time sounding off about the issue. The NYCLU called the principal's decision censorship.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott spoke about the decision Friday.

"The principal felt that she needed to do more due diligence with her parent community because of the topic of the speech itself," he said.

Daniel Dromm, a gay city councilman and former teacher, said keeping Kameron's original speech out of the contest was wrong.

"I don't believe separate but equal works," he said. "I think this is a topic that everybody should talk about. There is nothing inappropriate about this topic."

The school said parents who have concerns about Monday's assembly can call the principal.

The boy's mother, who doesn't want to be identified, said she is happy with the compromise.

"I'm really glad that the DOE has took the time to pay attention," she said. "I feel like progress is being made."

Kameron has been invited to speak before the City Council and at several gay pride events but he says he just wants to read his speech in school for now.

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