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Narrowminded Parents Want One-Armed Host Of Children's TV Show Fired

02.23.2009 - One-armed presenter is scaring children, parents tell BBC

A presenter for the BBC-produced channel, CBeebies, has been the subject of a disturbingly large amount of hate mail recently. Parents claim that host Cerrie Burnell, who was born with one arm, should be fired because her disability could scare children.

BBC message boards have been filled with angry posts from parents wanting Ms. Burnell off the air.

Here are some of those angry posts:

"I didn't want to let my children watch the filler bits on The Bedtime Hour last night because I know it would have played on my eldest daughter's mind and possibly caused sleep problems. And yes, this is a serious post."

"Is it just me, or does anyone else think the new woman presenter on CBeebies may scare the kids because of her disability?"

"We are programmed to shun any deformity as a matter of survival. It is only with modern medicine and techniques that harmful diseases have been controlled and we no longer fear them. However the fear and revulsion is still with us and children are not developed enough to overcome their natural instincts."

On the flip side, one commenter named Norman had this to say:

"In twenty-four years of teaching elementary grade students here in the United States, with precisely the same congenital condition as Ms Burnell, I (and my employer) have yet to receive a single complaint or comment from a parent."

That's fantastic, Norman, but, sadly, if you were a teacher in the UK, your story would be quite different. Parents would call for your head simply because the way you were born causes them "fear" and "revulsion." Incidentally, those are two words we reserve for British cuisine (and women). Keep Ms. Burnell on the air, she's a source of information for child and parent alike.

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