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Schools and Gays: Where Should Line Be Drawn?

February 05, 1989

In reference to the decision made by Newport Mesa High School Supt. John Nicoll banning homosexual speakers from appearing in a Corona del Mar High psychology class, I want to "thank" him for launching the educational system back to the Dark Ages.

Is not the essence of formal learning the process of inquiry--the most valuable being from primary resources?

In this information age--where virtually no member of our fortunate community is insulated from the mass media and their persistent news coverage of and entertainment themes on homosexuality, AIDS, condom use, premarital sex, teen-age and unwed pregnancy, abortion, venereal disease, sadomasochism, rape perversion, snuff films (and what else can I cover)--it appears to me that this "censorship" on reality is doing great disservice to our very aware and intellectually curious children. I don't blame my daughter for being incensed at a loss of opportunity.

The very juxtaposition of two front-page stories illustrates my point: Nicoll bans homosexual speakers, and companion of Laguna's mayor dies of AIDS. What limited perceptions can be drawn by the uneducated and underinformed merely from these two sensationalistic references?

The arguments proffered by a vocal group of minority parents against speakers in Michael Marino's controlled, elective environment reflect an ignorance of conditions and, it seems to me, an insecurity that their children may learn countering points of view. I adamantly do not share their concerns.

First, one of their protestations rejected discussion of a perceived trend. What trend--openness in our society or the growth of homosexuality? Openness equates to information. And information is power and the ability to make better decisions. The growth of homosexuality? Research over the years has shown that homosexuality is a constant within our society. Population figures belie the claim that it will ever become the preferred behavior.

As to the cause of homosexuality (learned or genetic), those arguments can be intellectually guided within Marino's classroom and answered best by those who should know: active homosexuals and perhaps psychiatrists who work with them.

This rather long dissertation is not a statement in favor of homosexuality, but one in support of reality, knowledge, access to unbiased information and effective teaching.

For those few parents who reject this kind of exposure, I'll be pleased to rent a Bambi video for their children while our other children enrich themselves about the world around them.

RICHARD V. SIMON

Newport Beach

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