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May 14, 2010

Girl's High School basketball boycotter has controversial past

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Suzan Hebson_monster_397x224.jpg(Image: May 13, 2010: Boycotter Suzan Hebson, assistant superintendent of Highland Park, Ill., sits in her office - Fox News)

Susan Hebson, the school official and apparent gay activist who nixed a girls' high school basketball team's planned trip to Arizona, is no stranger to controversy. She once supported a controversial program that required ninth-graders to attend a "freshman advisory" class at which gay upperclassmen shared stories of their high school experiences:

... Parents who were unhappy with the class were even more outraged to learn that students who attended were asked to sign a statement promising not to tell others -- including their parents -- about what was said in class...
Parents who were unhappy with the class were even more outraged to learn that students who attended were asked to sign a statement promising not to tell others -- including their parents -- about what was said in class...

In 2007, when she was assistant superintendent for human resources in the district, Hebson made national news for supporting an initiative at Deerfield High School that required freshman students to participate in orientation panel discussions, one of which was led by members of the school's Straight and Gay Alliance Network. During the seminars, upperclassmen spoke to the ninth graders about a variety of topics affecting homosexual teens, including their own personal experiences -- and all students were required to sign confidentiality agreements swearing never to disclose what they heard.

Parents were not allowed to attend the panel discussions, leading some to call it an attempt to indoctrinate students into a homosexual lifestyle...

Their outrage grew as Hebson defended the program as a way to ease freshmen students' transition into their new school. "We have a great deal of pride in the program and don't feel we are overstepping any boundaries that [most] parents would feel are inappropriate," Hebson told the Chicago Tribune, adding that the orientation included talks on subjects other than homosexuality...

The parents formed a coalition and took out a full-page ad in their local newspaper blasting the mandatory program and its administrative backers and demanded that school officials rein in faculty who they said were promoting homosexuality.

The following year, Hebson was made principal of Deerfield High School, where she became embroiled in another controversy -- this time related to the inclusion of the play "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" in students' required reading material.

Parents were alarmed by the book's explicit content, which includes highly offensive racial slurs, vivid depictions of gay sex and a sexually explicit scene involving Mother Teresa.

Hauser's group took their complaints to the state attorney general's office, and school officials backed down, replacing "Angels in America" with another play.

As Steve Gilbert notes over at Sweetness & Light, how are mandatory panel discussion on the joys of homosexuality that is so controversial they are not even supposed to tell their parents somehow less a threat to kids than playing in a basketball tournament in Arizona?

Posted by Richard at May 14, 2010 10:28 AM



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