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Hate in the Mail for Gay Would-Be High School Blood Donor

Ronnie Childers, the senior class president at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, California, has received at least 50 hate letters since complaining about the Red Cross' policy banning gays from giving blood during a blood drive at the school late last year.

HarborhighChilders complained about the rules, established by the Red Cross in the 80's when officials feared that blood samples could be contaminated with the AIDS virus, after being denied the opportunity to donate.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Some of the letters sent to Childers deride gay people as 'evil' or admonish him to 'think about it. Sex with the same sex is weird and sick' Some were sent from the area as evidenced by local postmarks." Said Childers: "There are a couple key phrases [like], 'I know where you go to school.' I think adults need to understand that letters like this are inappropriate."

The school stands behind Childers, with the principal saying the school will be lobbying lawmakers to get the outdated donation rules changed: "We're going to put together some kind of letter. And instead of sending it directly to the FDA, where it will get ignored, we're going to start hitting federal and state legislators. Because if the state Legislature also gets behind this then maybe they'll listen."

Gay student gets hate mail for activism [santa cruz sentinel]

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  1. Once again, we see some of America's finest demonstrate love and acceptance of their fellow man. Mexico City is looking better and better each day...

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 16, 2007 10:35:31 AM

  2. ...and you know these letters are from adults. The same parents whose kids probably attend this school and are most likely more socially aware and differing in view on this subject.

    Posted by: Derrick | Jan 16, 2007 10:41:10 AM

  3. Andy, it's "'80s", not "80's". ;)

    As for the hate-mail, it's not surprising. People go to any lengths to intimidate other people into silence. Remember the little girl who posted a video about stopping the war in Iraq? She received a TON of hate mail and she was only, what, 11 or 12?

    Posted by: Tread | Jan 16, 2007 12:18:09 PM

  4. It's nice to see the school are supporting him. Feels like that doesn't happen often these days.

    Posted by: EireKev | Jan 16, 2007 12:32:13 PM

  5. Bravo to this student and bravo for the school supporting him. This has been an outdated practice for far too long!

    Posted by: Scott | Jan 16, 2007 12:56:47 PM

  6. this is unacceptable discrimination! the red cross should only know how many gays contributed to it when Katrina hit New Orleans. Gays in this country should unite and realize that we have a great deal of wealth that all the heteros are getting from our pockets and we should only buy and sell to each other and let the rest of those bully right winged Christians see how much they need us!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: jake | Jan 16, 2007 1:03:42 PM

  7. Ah, yes. This kind of behavior--threatening letters and moral admonitions--really make it attractive to me to switch teams. Hah! As if that could happen. Perhaps a course in advertising and marketing would be in order. Or, better yet, a required trip to the local psychiatrist to tap into the reason for the letter writers' sociopathic and immature behavior. Apparently, they need schooling more than their children.

    BTW, "80's" is proper, not "80s" unless it's "1980s". This is according to Webster's II New College Dictionary 2005. Of course, it could depend on which style guide you use. But I guess I'm the only one nitpicking ;-)

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jan 16, 2007 2:30:26 PM

  8. ..not to further a moot point, but I had always been told by my editors that it's correctly '80s because there is no possession, but there is an abbreviation.

    Posted by: Derrick | Jan 16, 2007 3:13:35 PM

  9. Haters shouldn't be the only ones writing letters.

    Write to the principal, Nancy Tocchini; let her and Ronnie know that they are supported by people around the world. This could be the beginning of something big.

    Posted by: A | Jan 16, 2007 10:51:14 PM

  10. This is Santa Cruz, California we are talking about. Mainly a University town, way upper Middle Class residents, well educated. It's also known as the People's Republic of Santa makes Berekeley look like a Conservative training camp, it's so far left. I wonder where the letters come from, because seriously, there just isn't any kind of group or even many locals who are not Liberal there.
    But, I guess anything with the word **Gay** does seem to bring out the cockroaches.

    Posted by: Joshua | Jan 16, 2007 11:05:54 PM

  11. Well good luck with changing the rules with the FDA. In Britain the National Blood Service (part of our tax-payer funded, free-at-the-point-of-use National Health Service) also refuses to let gay men donate blood. Sadly I've only ever been fobbed off, and I've never heard any public figure in the UK stand up complain about this discriminatory policy (like your Mr Childers).

    Posted by: johnadams | Jan 17, 2007 5:44:36 AM

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