On Your Feedback

Posted by Din Heiman on

Recently, a 4th- and 5th-grade teacher at a local New York City elementary school communicated a wish to see a BrainPOP topic on the historic Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Rights movement. In the course of the conversations that ensued, we also heard a more general critique suggesting accomplishments and milestones of the LGBT community were not sufficiently represented in our content.

At BrainPOP, we receive a steady stream of requests for editorial changes as well as call-outs on occasional omissions and inevitable errors. Many of you have submitted such valuable feedback and can vouch for how seriously we take input and how responsive we are to it.

In this particular instance, after internal review, we acknowledged the insufficient coverage of gay rights and milestones, and shared with the school our plans for addressing the gap. We also reiterated our thanks to them for calling our attention to this.

For those of you who, like us, care deeply about the issue, please find below a copy of our editorial team’s internal correspondence, as forwarded to the school. Without a doubt, state and national standards will continue to evolve, and we’re committed to keeping our offerings current.

We’d like to underscore how much we appreciate that the Earth School cared enough about BrainPOP to hold us to the high expectations we set for ourselves.

As always, we invite you to contact us.


Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2016 2:05 PM

To: Din H.

Subject: LGBT Rights content

Hi Din,

Thanks for the feedback you conveyed from your call with the principal of P.S.364 yesterday. Regarding the publication of a topic on the LGBT Rights movement, we looked into the request last year when we received the first email from Earth School. As with any new topic request, that began with a standards search to determine what the requirements for such a topic are nationally. Generally speaking, we choose topics that satisfy standards in multiple states, across multiple grades within our target band of 3rd-8th grade.

After your email, I doubled-checked with our standards provider, and it seems that at present only four states, including New York, have specific standards around LGBT Rights. Every one of those standards is at the high school level. While there are high school classrooms that use BrainPOP, we do not create topics that are applicable only to those grades.

Per your suggestion, I also revisited the question of whether we missed opportunities to mention this and other important movements. I have asked the team to start the process of revising the Civil Rights movie to better highlight the connection between the historical movement of the 1960s and the activism it inspired in subsequent generations. This will naturally include the LGBT Rights movement.

We are also planning a new movie on the computer scientist Alan Turing, scheduled for 2016’s Hour of Code in December. While the standards underlying this topic have to do with STEM and the history of WWII, the movie will include a section on the injustice Mr. Turing endured as a result of his sexual orientation. We’re also adding Human Rights to the queue – which is another standards-related topic where social activism, equal rights, non- discrimination, and related freedoms are of course key.

Please thank the school for the feedback they provided.

Read the Findings of Our Standards Search

Watch Our Civil Rights Topic