The 1980’s were supposed to be the conservative decade. Not in Fairfax County, Virginia. This past winter at Annandale High, the school’s students fought a battle over placing a $40 advertisement from a homosexual “youth group” in the school paper.

Offered by the “Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League” (SMYAL), which is based in Washington, D.C.’s Dupont Circle, the city’s cultural, recreational, and financial mecca for homosexuals, the ad “invites you [homosexual and lesbian students] to join our discussion group every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.” The ad also offered its “HELP” line, begging the question of what sort of help this group would like to offer and who the helpers are. One also might ask why suburban youngsters truly confused about their sexuality should hike to the middle of Washington, presumably without parental permission, for a skull session with SMYAL that would reinforce their confusion.

At Annandale High the main argument was between the paper’s editor, Margie Brown, who represented the majority of staff members, and Matt McGuire, who represented himself and one other student. In opposing the ad, Mr. McGuire wondered “what sort of position do we [the school and newspaper] want to have in the community,” noting: “The idea of being associated with gays and lesbians—it bothers me.” “I think we should put [the ad] in,” Miss Brown opined at the time. “If we’re told whose money to accept, then that’s censorship.”

Miss Brown’s remarks are pregnant with all sorts of political and cultural assumptions about the nature of our Constitution, our legal system, and morals and values themselves. The first is that homosexuals have some sort of “right” to publish propaganda in a public school newspaper and that the newspaper itself has a “right,” even an obligation, to publish any advertisement coming down the pike.

We can also gather that Miss Brown thinks some sort of politically objectionable bowdlerism is motivating the McGuires of this world, “censorship” being a moral crime comparable to murder and robbery. Apparently, Miss Brown doesn’t care about SMYAL’s invitation to reinforce behavior that not only violates sodomy laws, but also core American values. Miss Brown’s side, the one favoring homosexual recruitment, won in a landslide vote of the staff members: 19 for the ad, 2 against.

The question is why school kids like Miss Brown think defending heterosexuality and the traditional American family has become what some are calling a “hate crime.”

Fairfax County’s public school sexed program was once scheduled to include a lesson on “autoerotic asphyxia.” Thus does Fairfax County offer more than one instance of morally confused administrators and students run amok. It is a cardinal example of the danger of turning junior’s education over to the state.