- The Washington Times - Monday, July 22, 2002

A battle is shaping up between homosexual activists who want to collect and donate gay-themed books to Fairfax County high schools and family groups that say there are already too many of those kinds of books in the school libraries.
"We are obviously opposed to homosexual books in our schools," said Peter LaBarbera, senior policy analyst for the Culture and Family Institute.
"There are hundreds of [such] books already in the school," Mr. LaBarbera said, including "Rainbow Boys," which is about a 29-year-old man cheating on his female lover to have anal intercourse with a young boy.
Rhonda Buckner, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in Metropolitan Washington, D.C., confirmed the group is planning a book drive to put more books about homosexuals on school library shelves.
Mychele B. Brickner, an at-large school board member who is opposed to PFLAG's books, said, "Some of our high schools and middle schools already have pro-homosexual books."
She said there are about 80 books in the schools, and they are "very pro-homosexual in nature and some are very explicit."
Ms. Buckner said opposition to the effort is premature because a book collection for Fairfax high schools would probably be held in the fall.
Paul Regnier, spokesman for the school district, confirmed that schools Superintendent Daniel A. Domenech, who was away from his office last week, has met with Ms. Buckner and other members of PFLAG.
"He welcomed us, but it was a far cry from approval [for the book drive]," Ms. Buckner said.
Mr. Regnier said the meeting was only a discussion.
It did not suggest approval by the school system for the book drive, he said.
Library books are chosen to assist students with their studies and live up to the state's Standards of Learning.
Additional books from outside sources are welcome, but must be submitted through normal channels for review.
Mr. Domenech has said submitted books should promote a safe environment, free from harassment.
School officials said homosexual students have reported incidents of cafeteria food being thrown at them and being harassed in restrooms.
And some teachers did not intervene in the incidents for fear of losing their jobs, Ms. Buckner said.
She emphasized that the books PFLAG expects to collect will help students adjust and adapt to their orientation.
"We're certainly not going to put sexually explicit books in the schools," she said.
Mr. LaBarbera disagreed.
"I'll bet you that the parents have no idea about the books gay activists are putting on their Web sites," he said. "It's very perverted stuff. It is what we regard as very dangerous.
"We are concerned when school libraries are full of pro-homo books and there are few of the other books about wholesome, normal life," Mr. LaBarbera said.
"Appropriate authorities will look at the books," Ms. Buckner said, even before they are collected and approved for distribution in the schools.
Ms. Buckner said that schools in Arlington County and the District have had similar book drives, and that nothing harmful has happened to students in those schools.


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