Teacher forced into retirement for showing archival queer-scare movie

Archivist Rick Prelinger sez, "Ken Simon, a high school teacher and coach for 47 years near Kansas City was retired early and ushered from the school after he showed showed Boys Beware, an infamous 1961 movie about homosexuality, to his class as a way of illuminating how attitudes toward gay and lesbian people have changed."

Many BB readers will know the work of Sid Davis, who was my friend and a supporter of Prelinger Archives until he died in 2006. Sid made educational films of the cautionary type about child safety, alcohol, drugs and "dangerous strangers." The world of his films is a brightly-sunlit Los Angeles filled with visible and invisible dangers. One of the most infamous titles that Sid gave me was Boys Beware, a 1961 film about the dangers of homosexuals that has entered the canon of "miseducation" and been viewed over a million times at Internet Archive and YouTube.

Ken Simon worked in the Raymore-Peculiar School District outside Kansas City. I support Mr. Simon's efforts to teach historical mistakes as well as triumphs and hope for his full reinstatement, and I believe Mr. and Mrs. Simon would very much appreciate our support as well.

Retiring Missouri teacher suspended after showing 1959 anti-gay 'Boys Beware' video to class [Nicole Hensley/NY Daily News]