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February 02, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-02

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 2, 1993

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

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Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors


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Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, signed articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.


School board should actively stop AIDS ...

LAST WEEK, ON the one-year anniversary
of Patrice Maurer's arrest for trespassing
d illegally distributing condoms in Ann
Arborpublic schools, the Ann Arbor Commit-
tee for Defending Abortion Rights
(AACDAR), repeated the offense inherhonor.
In an effort to bring the issue of condom
distribution in public schools to the forefront,
this campus group entered Community and
Pioneer High Schools attempting to pass out,
free condoms. Receiving a warning, the group
left school property and resorted to throwing
prophylactics through the windows of depart-
ing cars, as well as handing them out to pedes-
AACDAR's actions were successful on
two accounts-they not only distributed over
600 condoms, but they were able to draw state-
wide attention to the Michigan law banning
the distribution of birth-control in public
schools. Some state legislators,including Rep.
Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor), are now consid-
ering introducing a bill that would lift the ban.
Allowing condoms into Michigan public
schools, as well as increasing sex and AIDS
education, will save lives.
The state-wide ban, which prohibits the
distribution of any birth control device in
public schools, was passed in 1977, ostensibly
to combat growing sexual activity in teenag-
However, as Rivers pointed out, this was
pre-AIDS and before the onslaught of sexu-
ally transmitted diseases. Condoms are no
longer merely considered birth control -
outside of abstinence, using condoms is the
safest approach to sex.

Opposition to allowing condoms in schools
stems from concemed parents who believe that
easy access to condoms will promote sexual
activity, and encourage students who are not
sexually active to begin. However, according
the National Institute of Health's 1991 report,
70 percent ofteenagers have already had sex by
the time they reach the age of 17. In addition, 80
percent of teens having sex do not use any form
of protection. The facts are clear students are
having sex and they are not being safe about it.
Ignonng the problem will not make it go
away. Schools need to take active steps in
educating students and preventing the spread of
sexually transmitted diseases - especially
Condoms need to be made available for
students. The embarrassment involved in pur-
chasing condoms often deters teens from using
them. Installing dispensers, or running school
resource centers where students can get
condoms, will minimize the effort involved in
pursuing safe-sex.
This, of course, will only work if it is
accompanied by education. Currently, the Re-
productive Health Curriculum Committee of
the Ann Arbor schools is reviewing sexual
education programs, and investigating ways to
improve them. Without an essential increase in
education, allowing condoms into public
schools may have little effect.
Once upon a time, parents didn't want their
children having sex for fear of unwanted preg-
nancies. Unfortunately, today the problem of
AIDS is far more frightening. While making
condoms available in public schools won't fix
the problem, it is a step in the right direction.

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Face reality: there are political prisoners


by cJackson
Ypsilanti resident
Granted, it is difficult to summarize four
different speeches in nine Daily column
inches. Yet the Daily reporter who covered
theJan. 20 speeches of several formerBlack
Panthers, really missed the point.
He put quotation marks around the phrase
"political prisoners," and described the
speakers' fight as one for "fair treatment."
As if there really aren't political prisoners in
the United States. As if it's just a matter of
minor complaints.
There are dozens of men and women in
U.S.jails and prisons for their political acts,
beliefs or associations. They are political
prisoners. These come in several varieties,
and people who recognize their existence
argue about who qualifies. Most, broadly
speaking, are of the left. (The far right also
has activists in prison for their political
acts.) Like Nelson Mandela before his re-
lease, most do not qualify as Amnesty Inter-
national "prisoners of conscience," because
they advocated or engaged in violent or
illegal acts.
Some are imprisoned for heinous things
that they did not do, having been framed
due to their politics. Two examples:
Geronimo ii Jaga (Pratt), the former Los
Angeles Black Panther leader, was con-
victed for a robbery and murder which took
place when the FBI knew that he was at a
Black Panther Party meeting 300 miles
Mark Curtis, a Trotskyist and
meatcutters' union activist, is imprisoned
for an alleged rape that allegedly took place
at the height of a labor struggle of which he
was a leader, even though the alleged
victim's story was improbable and there

was none of the physical evidence which
would have been present if he did what he
was accused of doing.
Some are imprisoned for their non-vio-
lent acts, such as Pete Dougherty, a Roman
Catholic priest doing time in Bay City for
stepping over an imaginary line at an Air
Force base to protest the presence of nuclear
weapons there. Others are in for violent
acts, such asLindaEvans, the formerMichi-
gan/Ohio traveling organizer for the Stu-
dents for a Democratic Society, who is
doing time for, among other things, aiding
in the bombing of the U.S. Capitol building
to protest the invasion of Grenada.
Most U.S. political prisoners are Black.
They include many former Black Panthers
who have been incarcerated for over 20
years. The most endangered African Ameri-
can political prisoner is former Black Pan-
ther and former president of the Philadel-
phia chapter of the National Association of
Black Journalists, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who
sits on Pennsylvania's death row.
Some are imprisoned for defending
themselves from racist violence. Norma
Jean Croy, a Shasta Indian, was present
when rural California police, shouting ra-
cial epithets, opened fire on alleged shop-
Her brother took a rifle and killed one of
the cops, but was acquitted on the basis of
self-defense. Norma Jean, who was tried
separately, and by all accounts killed no-
body, got a life sentence. Gary Tyler, a
Blackman, isin Louisiana's AngolaPrison,
having been locked up since he was a 17-
year-old high school student whose school
bus was attacked by a rock-throwing mob
of whites, one of whom was shot to death.
A number are behind bars for taking up
arms to end U.S. colonial domination of

their countries. These include a number of
Puerto Rican independence activists, many
of whom demand prisoner of war status
under the Geneva convention and appli-
cable U.N. resolutions. Four men accused
of murder in furtherance of their struggle of
Virgin Islands independence have been
imprisoned for many years. A number of
others are held in U.S. prisons for their acts
of anti-colonial solidarity, particularly for
smuggling arms to the Irish Republican
Leonard Peltier, an activist with the
American Indian Movement, may be our
country's best known political prisoner. He
is not the only Native American behind bars
for political actions or associations.
Several people are in military prisons
because they refused orders to fight in Op-
eration Desert Storm. Over 200 Haitians,
whohave beenjudged tohave well-founded
claims for refugee status, but who are in-
fected bytheHV virus,are being heldatthe
Guantanamo Bay Navy base.
Those who spoke at the Power Center
do not merely advocate better food and
living conditions for political prisoners.
They, and I, demand a general amnesty.
While this may seem like a utopian demand
in this "law and order" era,it'snot. Recently
GovernorEnglerreleased Michigan's long-
est-held political prisoner, former Black
Panther Ahmad Abdur-Rahman, after 21
years of imprisonment. In many of the
world's more repressive countries, it is nor-
mal for an election to be accompanied by an
amnesty for political prisoners, including
those who took up arms against the regime.
It's time for the Daily to drop the de-
rogatory quotation marks and face reality.
There are political prisoners in the United

.. permit free speech for student journalists

THE ANN ARBOR School Board voted
Wednesday to enact a three-point
policy that clamps down on the free-
dom of the press Ann Arbor high school
students used to know. The policy gives the
school principal and publication advisor the
right to final review of school-sponsored
publications, and limits the distribution of
non-school sponsored publications. Addi-
tionally, the policy holds the threat of puni-
tive action over the heads of student writers
who choose to print "unethical" material. It
also reinforces restrictions placed on student
use of school facilities for non-school spon-
sored activities, going so far as to require
them to obtain permission to advertise on
school grounds.
School board member Hayward
Richardson uses the excuse that school pub-
lications act as "teaching and learning ve-
hicles," to argue that "ultimate authority
should rest with the school and not with the
students." What this policy constitutes is
censorship. Although the school has had few
complaints regarding offensive material in
school-sponsored publications, the board
fears that it may have to answer such com-
plaints in the future.
"Teaching and learning vehicles," should
teach students how to think. But the school
board, by supporting this censorship, has
silenced student voices and halted student
pens. By imposing limits on students, the
school is failing in its responsibility to pro-
duce citizens who think freely, make edu-
cated decisions and can realize the results of

their efforts.
The student publications policy does not
prohibit non-school sponsored publications.
However, by restricting use of school facili-
ties and prohibiting fundraising and on-cam-
pus publicity forpublications, the school board
is effectively choking non-school sponsored
publications out of existence. Without exten-
sive economic resources for computers, sup-
plies and printing, (It cost Huron high school's
Independent Emory $600 to produce one
issue) it is impossible for students to put out
a quality newspaper.
The school board's paranoia could also
subject the school board to litigation. By
"protecting" students and parents from a wide
range of thoughts, each school accepts re-
sponsibility for everything printed in a stu-
dent publication. This could have dire conse-
quences for the district, which will have to
encourage advisors and principals to scruti-
nize publications with the care of a candidate
who will be held responsible for every word
in a prepared speech. Consequently, though
the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Hazelwood
School District vs. Kuhlmeier gives school
principals the right to review publications
before going to print, the board's decision to
exercise that right carries a tremendous legal
Students from the high school and univer-
sity levels have protested the school board's
decree. Hopefully, pressure will force its mem-
bers to rethink a policy which puts an end to
freedom of the press as previously enjoyed by
Ann Arbor public school students.



Student tests
Daily censors
To the Daily:
I understand that you pride
yourselves on your policy of
printing all of the letters that
you receive, regardless of how
offensive they might be. I was
wondering if you would print
this letter even if I wrote this:
Just curious.
Steven Levinson
LSA sophomore
Women can
make own
moral decisions
To the Daily:
Apparently it hasn't
occurred to Howard Scully
("Pro-choicers prevent
choice," 1/25/93) just how
little anybody cares what he
thinks about abortion. It is so
easy for him to dish out the
shame, never having to live
with child-bearing issues the
way women do.
It probably also hasn't
dawned on Mr. Scully that
women (the vast majority of
whom are pro-choice) might
actually have the mental and
spiritual capacity to make
their own moral decisions and
control their own lives. Even
under the least culturally
oppressive circumstances,
choosing to terminate one's
own fetus might already be
the most difficult decision for
a woman to make, regardless

To the Daily:
I applaud President Bill
Clinton's action in supporting
international population
control schemes. The
President's actions, however,
only scratch the surface of the
dilemma facing developing
nations. If the President is truly
committed to population
management, the United States
will have to address the issue
of international development
in its totality. Two of the main
areas which must be addressed
is environmental management
and the status of women.
The crises facing may
developing nations: political
instability, war, drought,
famine and overpopulation can
be, in part, attributed to the
global community's inappro-
priate use of natural resources.
The earth has the capacity to
sustain our population, if we
use resources in a responsible
fashion. To insure the survival
of the U.S. economy and the

growth of the world economy,
we must realize that economic
and social development is
inextricably linked to the
responsible exploitation and
preservation of the environ-
ment. President Clinton and
Vice President Al Gore must
assume leadership roles
restructuring the domestic and
international economy to
insure long-term economic
growth for citizens while
preserving the ecosystem
which supports the global
While addressing the
environmental needs of
society, the President must
address pressing human
needs, with particular
attention paid to the status of
women in the developing
world. Women in the develop-
ing world play an important
role in the economic and
social life of their nations. In
some parts, women account
for 90 percent of food and

goods produced which are
consumed by the private
household. Despite this,
women continue to be
oppressed, persecuted and
denied access because of their
gender. All the efforts of
development organizations
and developing world
governments to improve the
economic, status and plight of
women is addressed by the
international community. The
President cannot be deterred
from tackling this issue
because of supposed religious
and cultural "traditions" of
certain societies.
If the President is commit-
ted to preserving the United
States' leadership role in the
global community he will
expand U.S. foreign policy
initiatives to include sustain-
able economic developments
and the plight of women
throughout the world.
Trooper Sanders
LSA junior

Clinton must aid world's women


Detroit law prohibits begging,

kills speech

declaring the city street a quintessential
forum for exercising first amendment
rights, the City of Detroit recently decided to'
control both the content and presentation of
expression for the homeless. Holding signs
requesting donations from passers-by, or of-
feringto "workforfood" is one ofthe few ways
homeless individuals have been able exercise
free speech. However, recent enforcement of
an archaic city ordinance that prohibits beg-
ging on city streets eliminates this option. This
action directly threatens human rights and sets
a dangerous precedent that could lead to other
free speech restrictions.
In response to robberies committed by
people posing as beggars, Detroit Police Chief
tanley Knox recently announced he would
hein enfnorino the 1nno-standing law Pennle

consistent with other laws prohibiting farmore
dangerous crimes. Only the homeless person,
representing the most profound failure of our
social order, is singled out and eliminated from
the social consciousness. The ordinance en-
ables a threat posed by a few to prevent the
majority from engaging inlegitimate activities.
This ordinance unduly restricts the rights of
the homeless. It directly defies a multitude of
Supreme Court decisions declaring the street a
quintessential public forum where free speech
is held in the highest esteem.
Although subway begging rights were de-
nied in a recent New York Appellate Court
ruling - Young vs. New York Metropolitan
Transit Authority - the court primarily ob-
jected to the location of the begging, not to the
activity. The judges recognized the street as the
beet fornm fnr heainor nrntectedu nder the

'Language censors' offensive

An open letter to President
I am sure that your
attention was directed to a
recent editorial in the Wall
Street Journal entitled
"Language Censors."
The piece quotes Debbie
Meizlish as having been

was offended by the reference
to "Dave Stud," I wonder
what she thinks of the biblical
passage involving another
David: "Let there be sought
for my lord (David) a young
virgin and let her stand before
the king, and let her cherish
him, and let her in thy bosom,

a place of free expression and
inquiry. If a professor finds a
student has exceeded the
standard of acceptable good
tastes, criticism would be
appropriate. But, never
should one be censored or
threatened with legal action,
unless he has truly committed


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