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Houston Voice, No. 1207, December 12, 2003
File 006
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Houston Voice, No. 1207, December 12, 2003 - File 006. 2003-12-12. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 10, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2489/show/2465.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2003-12-12). Houston Voice, No. 1207, December 12, 2003 - File 006. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2489/show/2465

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1207, December 12, 2003 - File 006, 2003-12-12, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 10, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2489/show/2465.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1207, December 12, 2003
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date December 12, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 006
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com DECEMBER 12, 2003 national news La. school punishes boy for saying 'gay' ACLU vows lawsuit if demands aren't met 'to correct harm' By CHRISTOPHER SEELY LAFAYETTE, La. — A 7-year-old boy arrived home from school last month with a disciplinary note because he told another student that his mom is gay while waiting in line for recess. "I sed bad wurds," wrote Marcus McLaurin, a second-grader at Ernest Gallet Elementary School in the Lafayette Parish School District in Louisiana, on a "Student Behavior Contract" dated Nov. 11. McLaurin wrote on the contract that he should have "kept his mouf shut." McLaurin's teacher clarified the "bad word" in her writings on the contract, which was obtained by Southern Voice. "He explained to another child that you are gay and what being gay means," said the teacher. The day of the incident, McLaurin's mother received a phone call from the school's assistant principal warning her that her son said something inappropriate, said Sharon Huff, McLaurin's mother. "That [phone call] was nothing compared to the shock I felt when my little boy came home and told me that his teacher had told him his family is a dirty word," Huff said. Two days after the note and phone call, McLaurin was forced to attend a school behavioral clinic and restricted from explaining his gay family to other students, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing McLaurin's family and sent a letter Dec. 1 to Ernest Gallet Elementary School. At press deadline, the Lafayette Parish School Board was scheduled to meet Dec. 11 to hear the results of an investigation being led by Lafayette Superintendent James Easton into the ACLU's allegations, said Justine W Sutley, public relations director for the Lafayette school system. Easton has said that McLaurin did not receive punishment because he said the word "gay" but because the boy disrupted the class. "The superintendent has said the discipline has been for talking in or disrupting class," Sutley said. "He has also said that other documents exist that we are not privy to." But in addition to the note Huff's son brought home on the day of the incident, a separate behavior report from McLaurin's teacher also criticized him for explaining what being gay meant. "Marcus decided to explain to another child in his group that his mom is gay" the When Marcus McLaurin, 7 returned home from school last month with a disciplinary note, mother Sharon Huff (left) and her partner, Heather Manley, were shocked to find out he was punished for saying 'gay.' (Photo by Chris Hampton) teacher wrote. "He told the other child that gay is when a girl likes a girl. This kind of discussion is not acceptable in my room. I feel that parents should explain things of this nature to their children in their own way" The school board will likely determine whether to meet demands made by the ACLU on behalf of the boy and his mother, Sutley said. If litigation is to be avoided, the school board must make a "satisfactory response" in its Dec. 11 meeting, said Ken Choe. an attorney with the ACLU Lesbian & Gay Rights Project who is handling the case. "We are looking for the school to ensure that Marcus can speak about his family, just like any other student can speak about his or her families," Choe said. The elementary school also must expunge McLaurin's disciplinary records and apologize to McLaurin and his mother. Choe said. "What Marcus and his family are asking for is minimal." he said. "They did not want us to file a lawsuit off the bat for money or disciplinary action against school employees. We've only asked that the school acknowledge that there was an error in judgment that had serious consequences." If the ACLU decides to file litigation, it would do so by claiming that the school violated constitutional rights to free expression and equal treatment, attorneys said. "In this case, the discrimination is clear. There is discrimination between heterosexual parents and gay parents," Choe said. HIV increases among gay, bisexual men New diagnoses up 17 percent over four-year period, CDC says By RYAN LEE Using the most comprehensive data to date, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recently announced HIV diagnoses rose by 5.1 percent between 1999 and 2002, including a 17 percent increase among gay and bisexual men. Some AIDS educators fear the increase among men who have sex with men may be the result of a cultural shift, with younger people being less afraid of the disease. "Unfortunately, the data is not surprising at all, as we continue to see an increase in the number of men who report homosexual activity as a mode a transmission," said Kim Anderson, executive director of AID Atlanta, a non-profit service provider. "We're faced with a generation of young people who did not see the walking dead." The data — published in the Nov. 28 issue of the CDC's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report — showed 102,590 people in 29 states were diagnosed with HIV between 1999 and 2002. Men represented 70.5 percent of new cases in the four-year period, with gay and bisexual activity representing nearly 60 percent of those transmissions, according to the CDC. In 1999, 9,988 new HIV diagnoses were among gay and bisexual men, compared to 11,686 in 2002. "People are a lot less anxious about HIV than they used to be," said Philippe Chiliade, medical director for the Whitman Walker Clinic, an HIV organization in Washington D.C. "I think some of it may be the result of peer pressure, in that if you see other gay men around you taking risks sexually, it's easier to copy the behavior of those around you." Younger men may not fully comprehend the magnitude of HIV, but Chiliade has seen an equal amount of risky sexual behavior reported by older, educated and wealthy men, he said. "I think what we are seeing now really tells us we need to do something more than just making people aware of how STDs are transmitted," he said. Starting in 1994, the CDC used 25 states — all of which required confidential reporting of persons with HIV — to track the progression of the disease throughout the country. In 1999, four more states met the confidential reporting requirements, and they are included in the newly released data, according to Carly Stanton, a CDC spokesperson. But not included in the 29-state surveillance are several states with large gay populations, including California, New York, Texas and Georgia. Those states' conflden- Exposure category for new HIV infections in 29 states, 1999-2002 Total new infections: 102,590 Source: Centers (or Disease Control & Preventicai tial reporting systems have not been in place long enough to produce accurate numbers, Stanton said. Georgia — the last state to adopt an HIV reporting system — begins collecting HTV diagnosis data at the beginning of 2004. Health advocates are eager to see the complete data, even if it reveals an even higher increase in HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men. "If we start seeing (remaining states] in CDC data, I'm pretty sure we're going to see those numbers rise," Chiliade said. T think from a public health standpoint it's important for the CDC to be aware of who's getting infected because at least that will help us target our prevention messages." Despite the 17 percent increase. Anderson and Chiliade said decades of HIV prevention efforts are having a positive impact. "If we had not been doing what we've been doing, it would have been worse,' Anderson said. "I think it's a call for us to be even more involved, and at different levels." Junior high school and high school students should be targeted by HIV prevention messages, including cutting-edge ways to get their attention, Anderson said. "We need to get access to greater dollars so we can market to younger people effectively," she said. "Just like the GAP markets, we need to market prevention education on the same level. "The best thing we can do right now is do advertisements on a bus shelter or on a postcard." she said. Chiliade agreed that safer sex messages should be delivered to school-aged children. "Teaching abstinence is a great tool, but for those who will be sexually active. we need to prepare them as well." he said.
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