A Newspaper's Double Standard
The League's newsletter reported that The Journal News editorialized against the Irish Christian Brothers' Iona College for refusing to publish an obscenity-laden student poem in the college's literary magazine. Reporter Caren Halbfiner made similar charges in a separate piece.
In a letter to the editor, the League noted the irony that Halbfiner described the offending passages as “sexually explicit” and one that includes “an expletive.” She did not quote the actual material, League President William Donohue wrote, “no doubt, because printing such language violates the policy of Gannett Newspapers, as it would most mainstream newspapers.”
Donohue concluded: “If newspapers have the right to maintain certain ethical standards in deciding what is printed in their names, why shouldn't Catholic colleges have the same right?”
Have Schools ‘Turned Back the Clock’ ?
“Schools and universities nationwide … are reexamining the definition of educational equity and the role of racial criteria in student admissions, while courts have been increasingly challenging and striking down racial preferences as unconstitutional,” Ferdinand wrote.
The reporter focused much of her story on the disappointment of the city's liberal establishment with both the national trend and the local application. The decision “set off alarm bells among those who fear the clock will be turned back on a quarter century of desegregation efforts that began with mandatory busing.”
But because only 16% of public school students are white, the change in policy is not expected to radically alter the racial makeup of Boston's 129 schools. “When the Boston Latin School was forced to drop race as a selection factor, the number of black and Hispanic students admitted to the school this year was only 2% less than the previous year — not the dramatic decrease predicted by some,” conceded Ferdinand.
The Post story did not include quotes from the white parents and students who threatened to file the discrimination suit, or from anyone who opposed the old Boston system of racial preferences. The only sources included in the story who were in any way positive about the change were those who explained the new policy as inevitable, and who maintain that it will not represent a major change.
“There are some concerns that we will go back to all-white and all-black neighborhoods,” said Tracey Lynch, a school committee spokeswoman. “But … given what the city and the schools already look like, it doesn't [seem] at all likely that we would go back to one-race schools.”
Abstinence Programs at Work
That's better than national statistics which show that more than 50% of the teen population in the United States engaged in sexual intercourse in 1990. Since that figure is almost a decade old, the Florida result may reflect an emerging trend for the entire nation.
The Herald reported that Florida schools emphasize abstinence in their sex education curricula and educators gave credit to churches and other community organizations for promoting the message.