2002 Questionnaire for DC Board of Education Candidates
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
7. Do you support the condom availability program established in 1992, and operated by the Department of Health, in our public schools?
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?
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?
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?
11. Do you oppose legislation or initiatives that would authorize organized prayers in our public schools and that would thereby encourage the harassment of students and teachers who decline to participate?
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?
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?
14. Do you oppose the Congressional imposition of a voucher program for private and sectarian schools in the District?
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.
Your answers should be typed on separate paper rather than on this form. You must sign your name on each answer sheet to indicate your personal commitment to your answers. Please return this questionnaire by Friday, October 4 to GLAA, Attn: Bob Summersgill/President, P.O. Box 75265, Washington, D.C. 20013. FAX submissions to 301-946-5189 are acceptable, but not recommended. In addition to your signed hard copy, please submit an electronic copy (emailed or on IBM-format diskette, in any major word processor or text format) for loading on GLAA's web site.