Responses of Sunday Abraham to GLAA 2002 Questionnaire
for DC Board of Education Candidates
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1. Do you recognize the right of our public school students to organize clubs to promote lesbian and gay civil rights, to combat homophobic violence and prejudice, and to provide socializing opportunities for lesbian and gay youth?
I recognize the right of public school students to organize clubs that reflect their interests. I will not promote (i.e., give special privileges to) specific clubs that are (in my opinion) deleterious to any students.
2. Do you recognize the right of students to bring dates of the same sex to school proms and other official public school social functions?
Is NOT the sanctioning of same sex dates to school proms and other public school functions actually the promoting of an alternate life style? According to the book Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church's Moral Debate authored by Stanton L. JONES and Mark A. YARHOUSE, it is yet to be proven whether homosexuality is genetically, environmentally, or socially influenced. If homosexuality is socially influenced, the sanctioning of homosexual behavior would lead to an increase of this behavior. Please note: when my daughter was researching the causes of alcoholism in '87, she learned that genetics, environment, and socialization were all contributory factors to this debilitating social issue. Is there a possibility that these are also the roots of homosexuality?
3. Will you oppose efforts to restrict or censor books or other materials in our public school libraries that discuss homosexuality in a positive and supportive manner?
I will support the inclusion of books or other materials that discuss homosexuality in a positive supportive manner in the public libraries, along with materials of the opposing viewpoint; I do NOT support efforts to place these books in school libraries. I believe the public school should be a vocational training environment vice a political platform or a hunting ground for sexual predators, either homosexual or heterosexual.
4. Do you support the efforts of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to provide gay positive books to DCPS school libraries?
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) should work to provide gay positive books to our public libraries vice our public schools. Please note: "Experience of sexual abuse as a child more than tripled the likelihood of later reporting homosexual orientation" according to Edward O. LAUMANN, John H. GAGNON, Robert T. MICHAEL, and Stuart MICHAELS in their book The Social Organization of Sexuality Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 344.
5. Do you favor training programs for professional development of teachers, counselors, and other school system staff, such as those offered by the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), to help these professionals to nurture positive identity formation for lesbian and gay students?
Are members of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) implying that teachers of ALL subject areas must nurture a positive identity formation for their lesbian and gay students by advancing these concepts in each subject study area? A teacher's primary purpose is to educate his/her pupils in his/her realm of study.
6. From time to time, D.C. public school teachers have invited openly gay men and women to speak in their classes and to answer students' questions about homosexuality. Do you support the right of our teachers to continue inviting such speakers?
Your statement is vague; it does not answer the questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. You expect me to respond positively without complete information.
7. Do you support the condom availability program established in 1992, and operated by the Department of Health, in our public schools?
In April '92 I wrote the article entitled '..."AMERICA responds to AIDS" Does
"Safe" Sex Exist?
'With the advent of sex education within the learning institutions across America the concept of "safe" sex has developed. But does "safe" sex in fact exist?
The world-wide AIDS epidemic has multiplied the advocates of "safe" sex. One means of practicing "safe" sex is through the use of condoms. The young adults of the sixties can attest to the failure record of condoms; their children are the adults of today coping with the sexual mores of the present.
The condom has been touted as the "safe" sex vehicle. The condom has a nineteen percent failure rate; this is a ration of 1:5. You could possibly equate condom "safe" sex with playing Russian Roulette except that there are six bullet chambers in a revolver; thus the ratio is 1:6. Russian Roulette is safer than "safe" sex!' One possible condom failure: a 20 year sentence (unless adoption or abortion is chosen); the other possible failure: an AIDs death sentence!
The pervasive availability of condoms in our schools is the government's sanctioning of an act (that many religious faiths teach is immoral behavior outside of marriage); individuals who choose to participate in sexual activities should subsidize their own hobbies instead of the American taxpayer. I, reiterate my previously state position, I believe the public school should be a vocational training environment vice a Political platform or a hunting ground for sexual predators, either homosexual or heterosexual.
8. The DC Department of Health recently received a federal grant of $750,000 to fund abstinence only education programs which will teach that condoms are unreliable and should not be used as barriers to disease or as birth control. Will you work to create a comprehensive sex education program in the DC Public Schools that promotes the use of birth control and especially condoms as an effective means of preventing disease and pregnancy?
This question is a reiteration of the ideas presented in question 7 above; therefore, you know my position.
9. Will you work to create a comprehensive sex education program in the DC Public Schools that teaches homosexuality is part of the normal range of human sexuality?
According to WEBSTER's the term normal means conforming to the standard; abnormal means away from the standard. School Board Members do NOT create education programs; School Board Members vote on the inclusion/exclusion of programs prepared by educational professionals.
10. The DC Human Rights Act prohibits the District from conferring any "benefit" or "advantage" to any group not fully in compliance with the DC Human Rights Act. Currently DCPS provides recruiting opportunities, school programs, and direct sponsorship of scout troops despite the finding of the DC Human Rights Commission that the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policy against gay people is illegal. Will you work to end the special benefits that the Boy Scouts receive and require that they be treated as any other outside group?
Individuals who organize a specific group set an agenda of standards for participation; the boy scouts' organization lists a moral standard. Those people who cannot meet these (moral) standards are free to organize their own program with their own agenda. Even though I would not expect to be eligible for admission/acceptance into the organization of BLACKS IN GOVERNMENT, I do not object to their government support.
11. Do you oppose legislation or initiative that would authorize organized prayers in our public schools and that would thereby encourage the harassment of students and teachers who decline to participate?
Our 'Founding Fathers' advised us repeatedly on (what would happen if we as a nation failed to adhere to) the value of daily prayer and Bible reading; today prayer and the Bible have been replaced by condoms and metal detectors. Do you fail to recognize that our schools have become a 'NO MAN'S LAND' due to the absence of prayer and the Bible?
12. Recent federal court rulings and DC law recognize that harassment against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students is illegal with the school system liable if harassment continues. Do you support the recently adopted DCPS policy designed to stop harassment and sexual harassment?
I support efforts to curb harassment against ALL students -- not just harassment against a vocal minority. Are you suggesting the School Board focus primarily on the discomfort of an openly "gay" individual over the bullying of a shy person?
13. In past searches for new Superintendents of D.C. public schools, the School Board invited representatives of GLAA to serve on its community advisory board and to suggest questions for the finalists. Will you ensure that a GLAA representative is included among those allowed to monitor the Board's interviews with finalists in future Superintendent searches?
According to the LAUMANN study (as noted previously), "...2% of men and 0.9% of wen identified themselves as homosexual, and an additional 0.8% of men and 0.5% of women identified themselves as bisexual." This equates to 4.2% of the general population. I will support the inclusion of all minority groups your size or larger in searches for D.C. Superintendents.
14. Do you oppose the congressional imposition of a voucher program for private and sectarian schools in the District?
I have proposed a Federal 'adjustment-to-income' program (via annual income tax forms) instead of vouchers because I support education. If parents do NOT feel that the public schools can/will educate their children, I believe in the relocation of these children to schools that will educate them. But, I have found as a whole that, any program the government initiates tends to favor the 'privileged' regardless of race, color, or creed vice the qualified 'under-privileged'!
Your record is part of your rating. Please list any actions that you have taken that may help illustrate your record on behalf of lesbians and gay men.
I have spent my life serving others regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation. Since I have not asked individuals if they were "gay" before assisting them, I cannot give you a short list of such actions. A listing of ALL of the services I have performed would be neither short nor complete; I don't itemize my daily activities.