It’s Elementary is the first film of its kind to address anti-gay prejudice by providing adults with practical lessons on how to talk with kids about gay people. Hailed as “a model of intelligent directing,” It’s Elementary shows that children are eager and able to wrestle with stereotypes and absorb new facts about what it means to be gay or lesbian.
Since it aired on more than 100 public television stations in 1999, It’s Elementary has fueled a growing movement of educators and parents — gay and straight alike — who are committed to preventing pervasive homophobia and anti-gay violence. The film shows what happens when kids in kindergarten through eighth grade discuss lesbian- and gay-related topics in age-appropriate ways. Shot in six public and private schools, It’s Elementary models excellent teaching about family diversity, name-calling, stereotypes, community building and more.
It’s Elementary has won numerous awards, has been acquired by nearly 3,000 educational institutions, and has received widespread acclaim from educators, policymakers, parents and religious leaders. Not surprisingly, It’s Elementary has also been relentlessly condemned by the conservative right.
Since its release, the producers have run a remarkably successful grassroots distribution campaign, intended to make It’s Elementary accessible to every conceivable type of institution working with children today. Through this effort, the film has had an unprecedented impact, creating a tidal wave of activism and public dialogue about addressing lesbian and gay issues in school.
The accompanying 136-page It’s Elementary guide to community organizing, professional development, and K-8 curriculum is designed to serve as a clearinghouse of ideas and resources for using It’s Elementary to make change on many levels in the classroom, in schools of education, with school boards and within communities.
Part of The Respect For All Project
Running Time: 78 minutes, 37 minutes
- 78-minute full-length version
- 37-minute educator-training version
- It’s Still Elementary, the 2008 follow-up documentary
- Bonus features – deleted scenes and director’s interview
- 136-page It’s Elementary guide to community organizing, professional development, and K-8 curriculum
- Spanish and English subtitles