tapes are definitely hazardous to yournhealth.nOne of the purchasers of thenHealth-Line series is Switchboard ofnMiami, Inc., which describes itself asn”a private, non-profit, multi-servicenagency” serving South Florida “sincen1968” by ofiFering “a 24-hour telephonencrisis counseling, suicide prevention,ninformation and referral hotline,nas well as counseling andnprevention programs.” The centerpiecenof this switchboard “counseling”nis the University of Wisconsin-nMadison tapes, purchased in Januaryn1990 for $1,800 by money donated bynthe Dade County United Way; then’ program was renamed “Link Line.”nThe Dade County school system, thennation’s fourth largest, has officiallynapproved the Health-Line tapes andnencouraged, through posters and informationncards, its teen and preteennstudents to call Link Line forn”healthy” views on sex, drugs, andnother subjects of keen interest. Thenlocal ABC television affiliate, WPLG,nis promoting Link Line, as is Bell­nSouth in its telephone books. .nSwitchboard of Miami proudlyncrows that nearly a half million free-ofchargenphone calls have already beennplaced to Link Line tapes. The DadenCounty School System has placednspeaker phones right in the classroomsnand, under teacher supervision, incorporatednthe tapes directly into the sexneducation and drug education curricula.nThe Florida Department of Healthnand Rehabilitative Services even contributesntaxpayer dollars to fund LinknLine’s operating costs.nGeorge McKinney, associate executivendirector of Switchboard of Miami,nis so impressed with what his UnitednWay- and state-funded agency has accomplishednthat he recently journeyednto a national gathering called the “Allirnance of Information Referral Systems”nto promote Link Line as a model fornschools and counseling service organizationsnaround the country. As a resultnof this sales pitch, Ann Whitaker,nR.N., program manager of Health-nLine at the University of Wisconsin-nMadison, reports that her office hasnbeen deluged with orders from aroundnthe country for the Link Line tapenpackage.nLeaving aside for a moment thenmoral worthiness of the tapes, then44/CHRONICLESnproblem with promoting and playingnLink Line in the schools is that thenmessages thereon just happen to violatenstate and federal laws. For example,nthe tape on “Alcohol & OthernDrugs” is “value-neutral” about illegalndrug use. Neutrality on this subjectnviolates United States Public Law 101-n226, passed by Congress and signedninto law by President Bush in 1989.nCalled the “Drug Free Schools Law,”nany public school system that receivesnfederal funds may lose all of thosenfederal funds if its drug educationncurriculum does not teach that drugnuse is illegal, harmful, and wrong.nContrast that federal statutory requirementnwith the Link Line claim that thenlegality of marijuana use “still remainsnto be answered.” The tape on “Alcoholn& Other Drugs” tells teens simplynnot to mix alcohol with other drugs.nNo message that buying alcohol undernthe age of 21 is illegal in every state innthe Union. Teens can’t legally drink,nperiod, but they won’t hear that onnLink Line. The tape on “crack”nsounds like a cross between a HeadnShop manual on how to consume thenstuff safely and a physician’s tome onnthe pharmaceutical effects of doing so.nNo urging not to use cocaine is anywherento be found.nThe Dade School Board, Switchboardnof Miami, United Way, andnUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison allnignored eight months of parent complaintsnabout these tapes and a passionatenplea to stop using the tapes fromnEdward McCarthy, Archbishop of Miami,nthe spiritual leader to 40 percentnof Dade’s residents. Only when I,nacting as legal counsel for a group ofnconcerned Dade County parents,nwrote the U.S. Department of Educationn(with a copy of the letter going tonthe school board) complaining aboutnthe drug tapes did the tape on marijuananget pulled. The school board,’ however,nhas refused to pull any of thenother drug tapes while it reviews themnfor content and — please note —nsubmits any revisions to the Universitynof Wisconsin-Madison for its final approval.nIn light of the non-response ofnthe Dade school system, of FloridanGovernor Chiles, and of FloridanHealth and Rehabilitative ServicesnSecretary Robert Williams, the UnitednStates Department of Educahon lastnJuly 17 issued a letter to the FloridannnDepartment of Education asking fornan explanation.nIn addition to tapes on “Health &nAbuse,” “Sexuality,” and “Birth Controln& Pregnancy,” there is even onenon masturbation. By simply dialingntoll-free and punching up tape #313nour children can learn that masturbationnis perfectly healthy, normal, andnnatural, and that the only thing younhave to do is stop feeling “guilty”nabout doing it. In fact, punch up any ofnthe tapes that deal with teenage sex,nand you will hear that such activity isnfine as long as the partners are carefulnand know the risks. Parents and religionnare portrayed as enemies and thensource of sexual “myths.”nAgain, as with the messages onndrugs, these tapes violate the law, specificallynFlorida Statutes 233.067 andn233.0672, which mandate:n… the schools are uniquelynsituated to effectively promotenthe establishment of soundnhealth habits among our youth,nincluding prevention ofnsubstance abuse and annawareness of the benefits ofnsexual abstinence and thenconsequences of teenagenpregnancy. . . . Each districtnschoolboard . . . shall . . . teachnabstinence from sexual activitynoutside of marriage as thenexpected standard for allnschool-age children whilenteaching the benefits ofnmonogamous heterosexualnmarriage : . . emphasize thatnabstinence from sexual activitynis a certain way to avoidnout-of-wedlock pregnancy,nsexually transmitted diseases,nincluding acquired immunendeficiency syndrome . . .nteach that each student hasnthe power to control personalnbehavior Curriculumnframeworks for AIDS educationnshall not interfere with the localndetermination of appropriatencurriculum which reflects localnvalues and concerns.nThe above is the law in Florida. Considernnow the following excerpt fromnthe tape on homosexuality:nWhatever you heard aboutn