Articles From the March 1994 Unification News
The Unpleasantness at the Board of Ed Who Will Save the Children? - The Raping of America's Children
by Clifford F.-Brooklyn, NY
Despite our victory here in Brooklyn at winning parental opt-out, which is the right of parents to opt their children out of receiving condoms in the New York City schools, the war is by no means over; in fact, the battle has only just begun, seeing that our education system is so far below the ideal anyway. To quote Rev. Kung, "Some people can fall into the trap of becoming complacent after winning a small victory. There is a long hard road ahead." I felt that the unity of brothers and sisters centered on God and True Parents and our district leaders, John and Christine Kung, gave us the energy and power to bring victory in this situation. I felt that our energy was affecting everyone present at the Board of Education meeting on Jan. 11, 1994, a meeting where members of the Board of Education would decide whether or not to give parents the opportunity to have a say in their children's sex education. The opt-out concession was jointly proposed by Chancellor Cortines and President Carol Gresser to appease the wrath of irate parents upset by the education system's obsession with condoms and sex education. As one mother so aptly put it, "Why don't you get back to what the hell you're supposed to be doing," which is, as we say in Brooklyn, "readin' and writin' and `rithmetic."
People could feel the unity between us even though we didn't all sit together. I sat beside one lady from an organization called "PROVE"- Parents for the Restoration Of Values in Education. I had never met her before, but when she found out that I was supporting parental opt- out we immediately became bosom buddies. It didn't even matter that I was a "Moonie". Her reaction was amazing. Each time someone from the Brooklyn center spoke, automatically she would ask me, "Do you know this person also? Is she with you?" She was somehow drawn to each one of us because of True Parents' light in us. One day described the whole situation of the School Board and sex education in New York as statutory rape. She compared it to the Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuoco case, and she said it probably wouldn't be long before someone brought a law suit against the Board of Education for the raping of America's children. She highlighted that many of these children who are being handed condoms are under the age of sexual consent. Just where is America going?
One thing that became blatantly obvious was that we need to make news briefs, preferably TV or video documentaries, highlighting the injustice that has been perpetrated against our children. We need a television station that will take a stand on the side of morality. We need to show the unfair attack and bias of the media against those who would dare to thwart the evil desires of a few misguided groups. We must utilize the popular media to bring True Parents' message to the world. The media blatantly ignored those who opposed condom distribution, even though these people by far outnumbered those who were for condom distribution. They repeatedly focused on the young gay and lesbian teenagers who vociferously opposed opt-out. I can see how urgent it is for us to gain dominion over the media in order to create a true love culture. I can see Father's vision and Hyo Jin Nim's vision for the role of the media in God's providence. Some media personnel even expressed their disappointment that so many people spoke against condom distribution-i.e., they didn't take a neutral position. I could hear them muttering angrily under their breath many times.
Some members from the Brooklyn center were filming the event. When the media people realized that they were supporting opt-out, they were quite irate-shocked that someone from the media would be supporting opt-out. After the Brooklyn camera person gave her speech, the press cameramen turned their backs on her, muttering loudly, "They just don't get it." One man standing to her right said loudly, "Genocide. People like you are like genocide." I think they even felt rather betrayed. It showed quite clearly where our media are at and what kind of people are controlling the media. However, this media person actually wished her luck in the end. If we could have just one television station, we could become the bastions of truth for this nation and the world. We could revolutionize news. We could be the ones breaking the god news and showing the plight of the few who would dare to uphold the truth.
One brother's speech so moved one member of the Board of Education that she came over and spoke to him after the meeting. She wanted to know what had changed him from being homosexual someone so concerned about morality. She asked, "What makes you so special?" He testified about Father's vision and works and she warmly embraced the ideas and said, "Visit me any time." He eventually had his picture taken with her, along with a few WFWP members plus one well-known politician who supported opt-out. The motion to permit parental opt-out was passed as a 5-to-2 vote majority in favor of adopting this scheme. Parents were elated. Even though some parents had earlier expressed the idea that it was unfair for them to be burdened with the paperwork involved in opt-out, what they said was those parents who want their children to have condoms should opt in! This motion however was not recognized by the Board.
One thing that Father spoke about before came through. He said if we do not take responsibility for the moral and ethical education of our children centered on God and True Parentism, they will in the future accuse us.
The validity of this statement rang through at this meeting when several young people, including one student who is a non-voting member of the Board, voiced their disappointment at the way parents have been avoiding their responsibility. One young lady clearly said parents don't know what is happening. They have not been attending the meetings. The general feeling from the young people was that they felt betrayed by their parents. They felt that if their parents had told them differently, they probably would have acted differently. They said that it was parents' responsibility to give moral guidance to their children, not the schools'. This might sound hypocritical since the schools are pushing their own brand of "morality"-which is sexual immorality! Because of the absence of parental involvement, these students felt justified in taking the responsibility to protect themselves by using condoms. They felt that there was nothing else that they could do, so for the more radical students, any form of parental involvement posed a threat to their condom haven. Some parents felt threatened by these statements, but I couldn't help sympathizing with these young people. It reminded me of an old statement. I hate to use this, but I must: "Spare the rod and spoil the child." And the rod doesn't mean a stick. What this means is: if we love our children, we will teach them right from wrong.
Another obvious thing was that teachers actually coach their students to go up and speak to support the demand for condoms in school. The question is: if they are aware that this device is not effective in HIV prevention, how can they then justify its use? How can they justify giving children this false sense of security? In my speech to the Board of Education, I recommended that there should at least be a government health warning on all condoms similar to that on cigarette packets. There were two moments of brightness when one young teenage boy and one young teenage girl spoke in favor of abstinence. It had so much power it was incredible. When the young teens from Act Up got up and said, "Give us condoms or we will die," it sounded a bit pathetic. But when these kinds boldly declared, "We abstain. This is the only 100% foolproof way of not catching AIDS," and asked the Board, "Why don't you tell the truth?" it really went home.
I was particularly appalled at the press's handling of Ninfa Segarra, a once apparently "liberal-minded" person who supported condoms in school, but did an about-turn when she read the actual curriculum that was to be used in our public schools. She felt that it wasn't fit for her children, so it wasn't fit for any children. She was once hailed by many major newspapers as a champion for liberalism, but once she did an about-face, she became a stick-in-the-mud in their eyes and became subject to media character assassination. We've all been down this road before.
Out of 100 speakers, there were approximately 12 student speakers. Out of the 88 parents, approximately four wanted free condom distribution. Many parents also requested total abolition of condom distribution in schools on the grounds of safety and morality. Most of this was largely ignored by the media. The more I observed the media personnel, the more obvious it became that most of them were extreme left-wing and gay-rights supporters. They mocked the parents and ministers, but leapt with enthusiasm at the student condom supporters as they spoke, afterwards rushing keenly to interview them. However, one media person did manage to approach the two teens who spoke in favor of abstinence. Having observed the media's whole attitude towards this issue over the past months, I can't help feeling appalled at their biased attitude and obvious contempt towards morality and ethics. Who will save our children?
We need to make TV programs involving kids who support abstinence. We've got to make it popular to abstain. The popular media does not support abstinence, or if they do they are not showing it. They are convinced that it is a religious thing. Well, it is not. It is a life thing. I will stick my neck out here and say that we should be spending more time developing our communicational abilities. This is a new age. This is the Completed Testament Age. It is the age of telecommunications. God desperately needs this medium. Again, I must reiterate that it is Father's vision and Hyo Jin Hyung Nim's vision that we use the popular culture to bring Satan to his knees. Let us go all out and support them and prepare for this future.
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