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Students Get AIDS Seminar; TV Not Allowed : Mira Costa High Students Get AIDS Seminar; TV Not Allowed

May 14, 1987

Students at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach got to hear about AIDS this week, but not from the Torrance physician whose scheduled seminar on the subject last week was canceled by the school, which said it feared that a media event was in the making after a television station asked to cover the seminar.

Kathy Daniel, a registered nurse who works with AIDS patients at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, spent 45 minutes talking to 25 students in what was largely a question-and-answer session about the deadly acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Darlene Gorey, the crisis counselor at Mira Costa, said youngsters wanted to know about precautions against the spread of AIDS, including the use of condoms, where AIDS came from and the latest information on the search for a cure.

Mira Costa abruptly canceled an AIDS seminar by urologist Dr. Norman R. Zinner last week after a television news director, contacted by Zinner's public relations representative, called the school about covering the event.

Diane Clark, special education and health coordinator for the South Bay Union High School District, said it would make a "great big deal" out of an educational event. After one Zinner seminar was given at a Torrance high school, the Torrance Unified School District canceled three others scheduled for Torrance high schools, also blaming television.

School officials said the topic was not the issue, but Zinner--who said he wanted to do the AIDS seminars "for the kids" because teen-agers are at risk through drug use and sexual activities--speculated the cancellations may have been a "reflection of the anxiety about the subject."

Gorey said the students had parental permission to attend Daniel's talk, which was held during a voluntary "Teen Raps" session.

Although there was a reporter at the session, there were no television cameras, Gorey said. She said "the students might have closed up" if cameras were there.

Both districts said Zinner may be invited to talk about AIDS in the future.

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