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Outsiders Draw Criticism

December 14, 1986

Regarding your story "Mahony Task Force Aids Clinic Protesters" (Times, Dec. 7), Culver City is an independent community with a reputation for a serious, responsible and reasonable use of the democratic process to deal with public issues.

We are angered when this process is disrupted by outsiders who wish to superimpose their beliefs and values on us.

Our Board of Education and health researchers from the UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health have been considering establishing a school-based health clinic for our middle school and high school students. Because this is a very important decision, our board has approached it in a calm and responsible fashion. Parents and students were surveyed to determine their interest in such a clinic, and to find out what kinds of services would be helpful. At the same time an advisory committee composed of UCLA researchers, parents and community members began meeting to review the survey results, get input from the rest of the community and make recommendations to the board.

On Tuesday, the committee will make its formal report. However, survey results and meetings clearly demonstrate that the majority of the community is in favor of the establishment of a clinic. The details of how the clinic will operate have not yet been decided.

Now a group of people, organized and orchestrated by outsiders, has attempted to disrupt this orderly democratic process. In a vituperative attempt to force their "Dark Ages" value system on our community, they have mounted a campaign of invectiveness and threats. Media attention has been focused on a single issue--teen-age sexuality.

Let us keep in mind that the proposed health clinic will help us address a variety of important issues: prevention of drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, stress and teen suicide. As parents and community members we are responsible for the continual improvement of the way of life in our community, for our children's benefit. We wish to demonstrate to our children that we are aware of all their needs, and that we are trying to find ways of doing something about them.

But, above and beyond the specifics of the clinic issue, we want to show our children that we can use the democratic process to make decisions. As a group of concerned adults, with varying backgrounds and points of view, we can communicate with one another, make necessary compromises and adjustments, and achieve something beneficial to our community without hysteria, power politics and hyper-emotionalism.


Culver City

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