above: Sia asked advocacy group Communication First to produce a short film to use before screenings of her film Music. She then decided against working with them. Communication First produced the short film anyway, and it is embedded above.
Gordon sixth graders who are following the backlash to Sia's new film, Music, are recognizing many of the people—and the issues—helping drive the conversation.
The Australian pop star has drawn condemnation for her film's depiction of nonspeaking autistic people, and for her failed attempt to collaborate with advocacy group Communication First.
Gordon's fifth grade met with leaders of Communication First last spring, as part of their yearlong study of the disability rights movement. It was the organization's first meeting with a school group, and representatives included Lisa Vallado, who is in Listen, the short film Communication First released today in response to Sia's film.
The fifth grade's study of disability rights is part of a schoolwide curriculum at Gordon that focuses on social justice and encourages students to think for themselves, to respect the perspectives and experiences of others, and to use their voices to advocate for positive change. The fifth grade team is currently arranging to bring Communication First back again this spring, and the story of the Sia film is sure to be on the agenda.