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Schools and Gays: Where Should Line Be Drawn?

February 05, 1989

On behalf of conservative parents and others in our district, we would like to express sincere thanks for Supt. John Nicoll's wise decision to ban homosexual speakers in the classroom. We realize that he has been getting some bad press of late, but we would like to assure him that hundreds of parents and community members applaud his decision.

The criticisms leveled against Nicoll and those who support his action reflect a basic misunderstanding of the issues at stake in this matter. There are many aspects of the gay speaker issue that could be questioned, not the least of which being the prudence of fostering among students an appreciation of homosexuality when homosexual sodomy is primarily responsible for the spread of AIDS in the United States, and 91% of the AIDS cases in California are homosexual/bisexual.

Aside from this and other considerations, the bottom line is this:

* The public schools are supported by taxpayers.

* Taxpayers are divided on this controversial issue, with a large percentage objecting to homosexual speakers and to the idea that homosexuality is genetically inherent.

* School administrators have the responsibility to respect the sentiments of the entire citizenry of their district by refraining from taking a biased approach on controversial issues.

Thus, to allow avowed homosexuals (who assert dogmatically that theirs is not a chosen life style but a predetermined one) to speak to students in a public institution supported by public funds is to betray the trust of those who, in good faith, support the schools with their tax dollars, and who ask only that the values they espouse not be undermined at their expense.

The assertion has been made that to prohibit homosexuals from addressing public school classes is to engage in "censorship" and violation of the homosexuals' right to "freedom of speech." This contention is entirely fallacious. Are we expected to swing wide the doors to the classroom and permit anyone to address the students who wishes to do so?

If this flawed premise were followed to its logical conclusion, school administrators and teachers would be forced to permit advocates of white supremacy, child pornography, satanism and any other purported "alternative life style" or viewpoint to speak to students.

We do not deny that homosexuals have the legal right to practice homosexuality. Nor do we deny that spokespersons for homosexual groups have the right to speak to audiences about their life style. But we do object to the use of the public schools as a forum for proponents of potentially destructive philosophies with which a large number of taxpayers disagree. To demand this is to disrespect the rights of taxpayers and to misunderstand what is the proper function of the public schools--academics.

Thank you again, Supt. Nicoll, for your response to the community. It is our sincere hope that the misguided efforts of some to reverse your decision on this issue will fail.

MR. and MRS. DUANE WIPPERMAN

Costa Mesa

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