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Long Beach : Filmstrips Will Be Shown

November 20, 1986

A pair of filmstrips that some parents believe promote witchcraft and occultism will be returned to use in the Long Beach Unified School District as of Dec. 18, according to school Supt. E. Tom Giugni. Giugni removed the strips--one promoting a children's mystery book called "The Headless Cupid" and another book called "A Banner in the Sky"--from use in September after a group of parents, many of them Christian, complained that the materials offended their religious values. In deciding to return the films to use, Giugni said he was following the advice of the district's legal adviser--Theodore A. Buckley--who argued in a legal brief that to permanently remove them would violate the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.

Giugni said he was delaying returning the strips to use until mid-December in order to give school officials time to meet with the offended parents to explain district procedures by which the parents can in the future preview school materials and have their children excused from the viewing or reading of those deemed objectionable.

An attorney for the Christian Civil Liberties Union, an Anaheim-based group that had threatened legal action against the district should the filmstrips be returned to use, said the group had not yet decided whether it would do so.

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