A Webster High School alumni writes a letter to the Democrat and Chronicle protesting the Rainbow Boys removal

Clipped from Democrat and Chronicle, 26 Aug 2006, Sat, Metro [First Edition], Page 15

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Gay-themed book should be on list

As a 1982 graduate of H.W. Schroeder (now Webster High School), I was dismayed to read that Webster Central School District has chosen to remove a book with a gay-themed gay-themed gay-themed story line, Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez, from its summer reading reading list for high school students. I trust and hope that at least one other book on the summer reading list deals with gay issues. issues. With the suicide attempt rate for gay teens approximately three times higher than that for straight teens (first documented in a 1989 study by Paul Gibson called “Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide” and confirmed by several subsequent studies), it is imperative that educators use whatever resources they can to help eliminate the stigmas around growing up gay.

In making the decision to pull the book, Ellen Agostinelli, Webster’s assistant superintendent superintendent for curriculum and instruction, says she is putting the “children’s interests first.” The removal of Rainbow Boys without replacing it with a similar gay-themed gay-themed gay-themed equivalent would not be putting any child’s interests first.

JAMES A. LOPATA
BOSTON
The writer is editor of In Newsweekly, a New England-based England-based England-based newspaper for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.