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Stabroek News

LETTER OF THE DAY - Offensive section of textbook should be reworded
published: Tuesday | November 6, 2007

THE EDITOR, Sir:

As a former teacher, now involved in higher education administration, I wish to add my voice to the debate initiated by the text CSEC Home Economics and Beyond (Management) and am happy that the Ministry of Education has vehemently denied that this is a recommended text. The authors should reword the offensive section if they wish to have their book considered for use in Jamaican schools.

I support the position posited by Mrs. Ester Tyson, principal of Ardenne High School in The Sunday Gleaner of November 4, 2007, and would ask principals of all other schools in this our beloved country to shun any overt or covert mechanism being used to negatively influence the minds of our children and youth. I must express my extreme disappointment with the editorial which suggests that "The fears seem grounded in a belief that any idea or suggestion which is contrary to the majority views is likely to prove more influential."

If an idea, thought or position is presented as an acceptabl way of living or doing things there would be fewer barriers to young people wanting to adopt such an idea, thought or position; in this case, a homosexual lifestyle. (I refuse to use the word gay in this context which to me means happy).

Our children and young people are already bombarded with all kinds of negative (alternative) behaviours with which they are struggling to cope: early sexual activity, HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, crime and violence and the general breakdown in discipline and the moral fabric of our society. Let us not present them with a lifestyle which, in our society, is not the norm.

Abhorrent

Providing information to students that such a lifestyle exists is one thing, but any indication to suggest that homosexuals living together may be considered to be a family is abhorrent, and that is putting it mildly. Let me hasten to say that I do not regard myself as being homophobic (suggesting some mental illness) as there is the inclination to so label anyone who does not support homosexuality.

The point put forward by Mrs. Tyson that this is an aberration of nature is the way that these unions should be treated. My greatest alarm is that such unions should be allowed to adopt poor innocent children or have them through artificial insemination. Such children will certainly be confused as to definition of mother and father. Isn't there something wrong with that? The question I ask is one asked by Lou Rawls in one of his songs: "What's the matter with the world, has the world gone mad ...?"

I am, etc.,

D.M.O. MITCHELL

dmitchell@utech.edu.jm

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