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Harassment

January 22, 1988

The editorial ("Right Goal, Wrong Approach," Jan. 11) regarding the proposed banning of sexually explicit materials in the city's fire stations overly simplifies a complex and difficult situation. The assertion that banning sexually explicit materials from public buildings abridges the First Amendment rights of individuals to read such materials is specious. To be editorially (and logically) consistent, The Times should re-examine its policies regarding not accepting certain sexually explicit advertising.

Fire Commissioner Ann Reiss Lane has argued, correctly, that the magazines, posters and videos in question help to create an environment that increases the risk of sexual harassment. The resistance to women in the Fire Department is far more pervasive than "a few people who have trouble changing with the times."

Perhaps we're missing the fundamental question. What benefit do the taxpayers derive from the time spent by their employees viewing sexually explicit materials at work?

FRED HURTADO

President

United Paramedics of Los Angeles

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