Klein Destined

Same old lies: I want to express my appreciation for your writing "Situational Ethics" [by Margaret Downing, February 20], about the Klein school district's foot-dragging attempt to ban a Gay Straight Alliance from their school. One thing I really like about your style of writing is that you manage to capture a prodigious amount of information and insight in only two pages.

For readers unaware of the situation, or who didn't gain much from the Chronicle's breezy treatment of it, this was a needed service. It is the best summary of the matter I have seen in any printed source in Houston.

Klein's administration, like so many others in Texas and more conservative districts, seems hell-bent on making sure it can allow yesterday's prejudices to survive to the next generation. The same lies from decades ago never die because parents and teachers seem adamant in the notion that if it's ignored it will simply cease to be a problem.

Some parents probably just don't want to be bothered, or they think the GSA will be a front for sex. Still others fashion themselves as defenders of morality, using goal-line stances like this to tell the world that God Is on Their Side.

What they fail to recognize in their callousness is that young people are scared and vulnerable and need support, and that without a group such as a GSA, such people can find themselves in dire straits.

I certainly hope that cases like this become more prevalent and publicized, because it seems this is the only way that change (in this matter) is going to come about. Please keep up the fine writing. In taking on this matter, you have done a kind service for gay students (who, we hope, will become healthy gay adults) in the Houston metro area, and for that I, again, thank you.

Name withheld by request

Majority rules: It became very obvious, quickly, that your column and opinion were one-sided on the Klein GSA club issue. I thought a writer (if you want to call it that), such as yourself, had the responsibility to report news as stories in an unbiased, factual manner. Throughout your column you conveyed opinions of others as fact and presented them as fact with little or no basis. With this kind of approach you are only fueling the issue and assisting in the fight to encourage the people that disagree with the GSA to get involved and fight further. For this I thank you for the column.

Once again, the opinion of a few tries to overpower the majority. If Marla Dukler was really concerned that these few students have a place to go, I believe she would have already set up a meeting place outside school to take care of their needs. Since we have not seen this "walk the talk," I believe this is just a form of sensationalism on her part and she deserves the harassment she is getting. Not because of her preference but because of her motive.

If you are a good writer, you now should give equal time to the other side and allow readers to make their own judgment, not be pushed to yours. I support Mr. Huff and the school board.

Jeff Hawkins

Forcing parents to talk: Sounds to me like Klein needs a gay-straight club for unstated reasons. I've heard the stories of teens who experimented with this behavior. It wasn't because they were even remotely gay, but because it was something to do, because their parents abdicated taking them to church or teaching what they felt was right or wrong -- those parents insisted that the children have the opportunity to make their own choices, unburdened by their parents' values.

But if this club gets formed, maybe those parents will have to talk to their children about difficult issues, teach them their moral values and show them how, in a diverse society, you treat people with fundamentally different sets of values from yours.

Looking at the violent polarization on serious social issues facing our country, I feel that today's adults never learned this lesson well. It'd be good if clubs like this help the children do better when they grow up: how to deal with people with opposing values without sacrificing your own.

C. Hinkle

Safety first: Thank you for your article about Klein ISD and Marla's efforts to start a GSA at her school. H.A.T.C.H. is an organization dedicated to empowering GLBTQ youth, ages 13 to 20, to become positive contributors to society by providing a safe social environment, offering role models and peer support.

H.A.T.C.H. was founded for just the reasons mentioned in the article, and is a safe place for GLBTQ youth to meet peers and receive support. We have helped youth and school professionals found GSAs in other schools and offer that assistance to any school.

Most of all, thank you to Marla for her courage in taking a leadership position in this issue, in an atmosphere that clearly has a long way to go in supporting all of its students in having a safe and happy school experience.

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