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High school sexuality survey backfires

UPI News Service, 05/16/2006 

Two teachers at Port Washington (Wis.) High School let about 400 students respond to a "Heterosexual Questionnaire," outraging parents and school leaders.

Social studies teacher Sarah Olson and communications teacher Julie Gurdzinski opened class-period discussions about the questionnaire, which was distributed by Students for Unity, the school student organization leading the discussions.

Principal Duane Woelfel and Patty Ruth, president of the Port Washington-Saukville School Board did not authorize the survey, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Woelfel said he was unaware of the survey until receiving a call the next day from a parent who had a copy.

The survey was distributed prior to the national Day of Silence, an annual event organized by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. The purpose of the day, according to its Web site, is to prevent harassment of non-heterosexual students.

Woelfel said that the goal of attempting to eliminate harassment of those with "alternative lifestyles" is good, but the approach was wrong.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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