BOARD OF EDUCATION OF) Case No. 72-11364

Federal Building
Baltimore, Maryland
April 13, 1973

Testimony of
Doctor Reginald Spencer Lourie


Honorable Joseph H. Young


For the Plaintiff:
George H. Cohen
Michael H. Gottesman
Darryl J. Anderson
Rob Ross Hendrickson

For the Defendant:
Robert S. Bourbon
Alan I. Baron


THE CLERK: Would you please state your name for the record.

THE WITNESS: Reginald Spencer Laurie.



Q:Dr. Laurie, what is your position?

A:I am a pediatrician and child psychiatrist.

Q:A pediatrician and child psychiatrist, you say?


Q:How long have you been a pediatrician and child psychiatrist?

A:Since 1936.

Q:What current position do you hold?

A:I am Professor of Child Health and Development and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine. I am the Director of the Department of Psychiatry of the Children’s Hospital of the District of Columbia and Medical Director of the Hillcrest Children’s Center.

Q:What was that Hillcrest?

A:Hillcrest Children’s Center. Among other things, I am President and Chairman of the Joint Commission on the Mental Health of Children.

MR. BARON:Let me have this marked for identification. [Thereupon, Curriculum Vita of Dr. Laurie was marked as Defendants Exhibit No. 5 for identification.]


Q:Dr. Lourie, I show you Defendants’ Exhibit No, 5 for identification and ask you if you recognize that document, the attachment?

A:I do.

Q:What is that?

A:That is a Curriculum Vitae. That gives my background.

Q:And attached to that is what?

A:Is my bibliography of the interests and areas in which I have done work, published papers.

MR. BARON:Your Honor, it is my understanding that the Plaintiff will not contest Dr. Lourie’s expertise insofar as his right to testify here this morning, and I would submit this, Defendants’ Exhibit No. 5, in this connection.

THE COURT:Any questions on qualifications, gentlemen?

MR. GOTTESMAN:No, Your Honor. [Thereupon, Defendants’ Exhibit No. 5, heretofore marked for identification, was admitted in evidence.]


Q:Dr. Lourie, have you had an opportunity to acquaint yourself with the facts surrounding the case in which you are testifying?

A:I have.

Q:Well, what, in effect, have you been able to do in terms of finding out about the facts?

A:I have seen the affidavits of the Plaintiff. I have read his deposition, and I have been informed of the nature of the proceedings here by counsel.

Q:On the basis of your knowledge of the facts of the case, have you been able to form an opinion as to whether or not Mr. Acanfora ‘s presence in the eighth grade classroom at Parkland, under the facts presented here, presents any hazard to any of the children in his classroom? Have you been able to form such an opinion on that issue?

A:I have.

Q:I would now appreciate it if you would now state for the Court in your own words -- and I have provided a board with a sketch pad, if you think it is necessary -- as the basis for that opinion and what your opinion is, in fact.

A:I should begin with the basic idea that there is no implication in what my testimony will be that the homosexuality of the Plaintiff is an issue in terms of being qualified as a teacher, and that this chiefly is related to, in a sense, an advertised homosexual in a classroom setting in which the youngsters are in particularly sensitive and important stage of personality development.

To give some picture of what I mean by the latter, with Your Honor’s permission, I would like to use the pad to give you some picture of how we have reached this.

THE COURT:You may do so, but please let me ask you again to keep your voice up so that I can be sure to hear it, because once you get away from the microphone, I may have trouble hearing you.


[Thereupon, the witness left the witness stand and went to the sketch pad.]

THE WITNESS: To see this problem in terms of the pattern of human personality development, I think we have to picture how a youngster develops from the earliest stages of his life, in which we start with a baby and mother who are basically unrelated that is, the baby has no picture of being part of somebody and the next step, which is accomplished within the first five months, is that this baby becomes an integral part of the mother, at three to five months of age.

The next step is that the baby begins to emerge at the point it can walk, and at that point, we see anxiety about separation, which can be a factor in terms of personality development later.

The next step is that the baby -- skipping number of steps -- is able to see itself as a pretty independent individual, beginning at about two and a half and going on to three and a half years of age. And at that point, there is another series of anxieties where the baby or young child is concerned about body damage, preoccupied with it, and it becomes very much apart of the fears that we can expect at that age, especially fears related to what can happen to the body.

Now, the next step is that the child in the usual family -- and this is the stage that goes from.about three to six years of age -- the child begins to experiment with closeness with one parent or the other and tries to work out a pattern of closeness with the mother, and also tries to work out a pattern of closeness with the father, -- alternating in between and hopefully the child ends up being more closely attached to the parent of the opposite sex. Now, that doesn’t always happen and there are many variations in this theme so that the child can come out of this stage of development wanting to be more like the parent of the same sex, which has obvious implications in terms of homosexuality as a choice of sexual identity.

Now, the next step is when a child moves out of this, in a sense family triangle stage, is that it moves into a small community and at this point where the boys and girls up to now have been playing together and quite involved with each other, as they get; into the school-age period, six to twelve, girls to eleven, boys to thirteen, they separate into groups -- the boys with the boys -- the girls with the girls. And even though they are involved in ways with each other, they stay within the groups and the usual pattern is that the group of the boys won’t be involved with the group of the girls. Not that they aren’t. They very definitely are.

In fact, toward the end of this period, if you ask an eight, nine or ten year old boy if he has a girlfriend, he will say, sure, and he will tell you who it is. But, if you asked him, does she know -- no. The union rules are that you don’t go across the line.

Now, as the youngsters reach the end of this stage, anatomical changes begin to take place, and there is an increase in the hormone production, a pressure placed on the individual for an increased level of sexual response because of this sex hormone increase. Only, the lines are still blocking their reaching across out of their groups into the individuals of the opposite sex, and we are talking about the average youngster, not the exception.

Now, because there is a need to respond to these pressures, one of the things that normally happen is that you see youngsters becoming close to each other within their own groups and fore inseparable friendships. They talk to each other on the telephone regularly, sleeping over at each other’s houses, and this serves the purpose in one sense at one level, of being able to take care of this additional inner pressure for close personal contact.

With some youngsters, however, that is not enough, and there will be a need to actually carry out active sexual, physical, sexual activities, and since it is still too dangerous to go across the sexual lines, not infrequently, there will be interaction right within the group and there gets to be sex play on a homosexual basis, which I would like to emphasize is not an abnormal aspect of development. It is a transitional stage. At that point, we, in our offices, get anguished calls from teachers and principals and parents, pediatricians, and so on, about. children caught in sex play with each other with the great worry that there is homosexuality showing itself. This is a normal, stage.

Now, as we indicated earlier, there can he points, many points along the way, earlier -- in fact, there usually are -- that help a youngster decide which will be his preferred identity, sexually. Here is a point at which there is an opportunity for a change, and what we are indicating in terms of the propositions we are trying to establish that this is a very sensitive point in which youngsters are establishing their sexual identity. But this is a point where additional influences to keep a youngster thinking in the homosexual direction would be contraindicated.

In other words, what I am trying to indicate is that the youngster should be able to have a choice of how he will go in future directions as he develops further into adolescence. Identity crises are very much a part of the development of the young adolescent and here is one point at which there can be decision-making along those lines about whether to stay in this homosexual pattern or to move on from it.

When a model is available to youngsters in the middle of this kind of conflict, my point is, that it can be an influence in helping youngsters give up any further development or identity or patterning from there on, and the more interesting, the more exciting, the more effective a teacher you have at this age, the more likely you are to have youngsters who want to identify with that teacher, to use that teacher as a model.

As a part of this earlier stage, the family triangle, when the youngster decides to give up the battle, to abandon the triangle struggles that he has set up, and he decides the only way to get his mother all to himself or the girl having the father all to herself, is to be as much, the girl, like her mother or the boy, like his father, as possible, and then he can have somebody like his mother later. That is the basic idea. That is the first step outwards.

When they begin to move into the groups, move out of the home, into the school community and the neighborhood, they begin to realize that maybe their mother isn’t as smart as the teacher or isn’t as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. There are other models that become available to the child when it begins to look outside its family for models to follow.

Now, the same thing happens at the end of this stage, and, in other words, the youngsters are beginning to look anew at models that they can follow. From their earlier phase, a little boy begins to find out that, while, his father can’t play ball as well as Clemente, should we say, or he can’t ride a horse as well as Roy Rogers. Maybe I am identifying when I was most familiar with those characters, but he begins to look outward for models and teachers are very important models for them.

What I am indicating, in other words, is that as a model for youngsters in this key point in development, a well known homosexual can be a model that helps the youngster identify himself not only in terms of intellectual pursuits, but also in terms of personal and sexual directions, and with the basic idea that the youngster should have a freer choice.


Q:Dr. Lourie, let me ask you this: The youngsters whom you have referred to as possibly looking toward a homosexual teacher as a model to resolve the problem at this late stage at approximately twelve years old, could you be more specific as to which youngsters you are talking about. Are we talking about all children are most vulnerable or are we talking about some children? Can you distinguish between certain groups of children and a particular group who might be more susceptible? It that is your thesis? I am not clear on that.

A:Well, asI mentioned, and as has been well annotated by authorities such as John Money, at Johns Hopkins, there are many determinants in the early years that help a youngster make the decision way back here -- three and a half, five, six, and so on -- about what their identity will be in terms of sexual preference.

Q:Is the youngster who has made the decision either to be strongly heterosexual or form a strongly homosexual impulse likely to be influenced at the t twelve-year-old stage by a teacher model in terms of sexuality?

A:There are ways pointed out, with which we agree, and that is that the majority of youngsters come to this stage with a heterosexual orientation. Then, there is always a touch of homosexuality in almost every individual, because, as I mentioned in these first five years, there is a bisexual component. Now, most of the youngsters will come up with a fairly definitive decision about whether they are preferring heterosexual or homosexual approaches, in the way in which they will stress their sexual energies. There are some who are bisexual. There are some who are undecided, but, for all of them, we have to realize that the stage that comes after this, what we call the middle aged period of childhood, is a stage in which there is a re-working of all the elements of personality development. Now, some of them may have been so strongly established in these earlier years, that then isn’t much chance to rework them, when there are forces that keep them from being reworked, and those patterns will continue. That is one possibility, but for the vast majority of youngsters, no matter what they come with to the end of this school-age period, whatever they come with, there is the need to re-work. See, there are three essential periods in childhood and personality development.

The first go around is within the family, within the first five or six years. The second go around, the answers to these stages, get brought into the school-age period, when a child is reaching outside of home, and becomes, in a sense, a citizen of the neighborhood, and they take all the answers they found in this stage -- the first stage -- and rework them to see how they fit with what is expected in becoming a citizen of the neighborhood -- and the next step, which is adolescence -- there is another reworking period in which all of the answers from both these earlier stages are re-examined, reworked, and hopefully coming out with answers that will help that individual be an effectively functioning individual. There is an area where some of us differ with the concept that patterns are established so firmly in the first go around, the first years of life, that they cannot be modified.

Q:Are you familiar with Dr. Money’s thesis and hypothesis on this question?

A:Yes, I have been quite conversant with Dr. Money’s work as one of the editors of the year book. I think so highly of his articles that I see that they are abstracted each year; so, we are in touch with his thinking, but there is a point at which we can disagree, because we have seen the reworking process. As a matter of fact, in many ways, it is quite well known. The patterns at adolescence that are expectable, the wide swing, the contradictory kind of behavior are very much determined by the youngster trying to balance the old answers with the new answers and they go up and down with these answers. And one day, they will be giving you the shirt off their back and the next day, they will be as selfish as possible, and one day they will be completely abstinent and very stringent about diets and money, and so on, and the next hour or the next day and the next week, they will be going out and five banana splits a day, spending everything they have got. It is back and forth about rules. They will be very strict about rules and set up very strict rules for themselves, and then the next day or the next week, they will be breaking them all.

In terms of sexuality, they will be preoccupied with it and let the impulses take them where they will and then they clamp down. Instead of three dates a night or no dates for a week or a month, or for whatever, back and forth they go -- the old answers and the new answers -- and they are looking in these directions where you find the youngster with a set of answer that is too difficult from what, let’s say, the community or his family or his school would like him to achieve. They can’t make it. They can’t traverse that distance, and what we see then are confused youngsters, these identity confusions that have been so much popularized and are fairly common information, but what we see, clinically, when it is back to us, in terms of the struggles that the youngsters are going through, is depressions -- suicidal attempts or declarations -- inability to function because they are caught in between a sense of forces that are more important than what they are supposed to be producing in school. There is a whole variety of patterns of responses that show that they are not working out the answers that will keep them comfortable, and this is the period that follows this early adolescence and middle adolescence, essentially.

This is essentially the reason we see the kinds of confusion and the kinds of symptoms and the pain and struggles the youngsters go through. Even if it is only a relatively few of the youngsters who would be responding with a conflict struggle about homosexuality, that might be highlighted by a model that would be available to them every day, five days a week. We think more in preventive terms, if we can. The implication is that the teacher who is a homosexual couldn’t be teaching this eighth.grade class if the homosexuality was not a part of the way in which the youngsters were looking at him.

Q:Dr. Lourie, over the years, approximately how many adolescent children would you estimate you have treated, clinically?

A:Well, I have been involved in directing of the programs. I guess literally thousands.

Q:Are the children you are talking about –

THE COURT:Do you want to come back to the witness stand again, Doctor?

WITNESS: Yes, Your Honor. [Thereupon, the witness resumed the witness stand.]


Q:Are the children that you are referring to, both in terms of those you treated, clinically, and the children you are talking about in your sketch, are these children who have any particular physical abnormality in terms of development of their sexual organs or some malfunctions of their hormones, or something like that? Is that what you are talking about, or another group?

A:No, we are talking about essentially personality struggles that are going on that are not necessarily related to physical problems.

There are physical determinants, constitutional determinants that are involved in the earlier stages that we were talking about. Children born -- boys born with a low energy level -- who tend to be on the more passive side, who can’t compete when they begin to form groups in ways that can make theta part of a group. Then there are girls with lots of energy, who may decide that being a girl is not the ideal, they can be “tomboys.” They can compete with the boys and somehow that is cute in our culture.

The opposite in our culture is also true, that where you have more effeminate boys, boys who are not boyish, you have a lot of concern.

Q:Let me ask you this: In terms of the child who by virtue of earlier experience, that is the preschool experience, has a strong homosexual bent, that, if any, impact occurs in your opinion in terms of the time in which that bent. manifests itself relative to the model that he might attach himself’ to or try to emulate at the time he reaches ages twelve and thirteen.

A:Well, that varies with the life experience of the youngster. There are some inner-city youngsters who have been exposed to a variety of sexual experiences from the time they were able to perceive, who have been involved, or seduced or whatever in the early years,

This period in which they form groups doesn’t hold for those youngsters, and they will be carrying on an active homosexual-heterosexual, in a sense, bisexual, kind of activity, but at this point, in the usual cases, outside of the youngsters who have maintained an interest and an opportunity to carry on sexual activities until eleven or twelve., there isn’t the actual physical expression of doing something with the sexual energies. The more usual directions in which youngsters go is to vest that energy in other kinds of creative directions, more kinds of direct, physical expressions in the form of sports, and so on.

Creativity is something that we see at this point in terms of children beginning to write stories, poems. Thousands and thousands of diaries get set up at, this point in development, and mostly locked up someplace although not infrequently, they will leave the key around so somebody can know what is going on -- particularly if they themselves are worried about impulses getting out of control.

MR. BARON:Let me have this marked. [Thereupon report by Task Force on Homosexuality conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, was marked as Defendant Exhibit No. 6 for identification.]


Q:Dr. Lourie, let me show you Defendants’ Exhibit No. 6 for identification and ask you if you are familiar with that publication?

A:Yes, this is the report of the National Institute of Mental Health, Task Force on Homosexuality.

Q:In your opinion, is that recognized today as a piece of work by a serious body of social and medical scientists on the subject of homosexuality?

A:I think it represents the best available thinking about the problem that is currently available in this country .

MR. BARON:Your Honor, we would like to offer this into evidence as, I suppose it is the learned treatise exception to the hearsay rule.

MR. GOTTESMAN:We have no objection. We were going to offer it as well.

THE COURT:Very well. It will be admitted. [Thereupon, Defendants’ Exhibit No. 6, heretofore marked for identification, was admitted in evidence.]

MR. BARON:Witness with you.



Q:Dr. Lourie, if we could begin where you ended. You just described, as I understand it, the Task Force report as the best available thinking we have today about the subject of homosexuality.

A:Many peop1e would consider that so.

Q:The Task Force, did it not, made a recommendation with respect to the employment of’ homosexuals, did it not?

A:Yes, sir.

Q:And do you know what that recommendation was?


Q:Well, can you tell us what It was?

A:Homosexuality is no contraindication. This is in general terms. It is not word by word. Is no contraindication to employability and carrying out responsibilities, and so on, to give the gist of it, as I remember it.

Q:Do you agree with that recommendation?

A:Yes, except that with any generalization, you have to think in terms of specific situations in which there might be exceptions, and as I read it, some exceptions were mentioned in the recommendation.

Q:Now, the position of teacher is not, however, one of the exceptions that was mentioned, was it?

A:No, and I indicated at the beginning of my testimony that the position of teacher was not anything I was questioning. It was specifically teaching as an individual who has had considerable visibility as a homosexual, teaching at this point in a children’s life cycle.

Q:Incidentally, Dr. John Money, who was a member of that Task Force -- was he not?


Q:Were you a member of that Task Force?


Q:Now, do I correctly understand your testimony that but for this visibility that I believe you referred to earlier, the advertised homosexuality of Mr. Acanfora, you would have no objection to his being utilized as a teacher, even at the junior high school level?

A:I would think not, if he were an effective teacher.

Q:Well, I will ask you to assume, hypothetically, that he is, in fact, an effective teacher, and I gather on the basis of that hypothesis that but for this visibility or advertising, you feel there would be no basis for his removal from the classroom?


Q:Could it be said as a general matter that in your view, but for advertising or visibility, there should be no barriers to the employment of homosexuals as teachers at any age level, setting aside the fact that there may be particular individuals, whether homosexual or heterosexual, who have .problems -- assuming we are not dealing with someone like that.

A:As a general principle, I would agree with that.

Q:Now, the other side of what I understood to be your limitation was that at this particular point in children’s development, do you see any problem with the employment of the visible or advertised homosexual at grade levels other than the eighth grade, and, if so, at what grade levels?

A:Well, I would think in the early grades or the later grades, by the time youngsters have established their identity and their self-image in terms of sexual direction, this would be much less a hazard in terms of influencing youngsters in those decisions.

Q:Can you give us a fix on what other grade levels where you regard it as a significant hazard?

A:Well, in the ages between eleven and fourteen, I think you would have the greatest hazards from that point of view, where the youngsters are looking for models at that point. And if they have been in the middle of struggle about which direction they will go, an admired teacher can be the basis on which they do a lot of their thinking, their fantasizing.

The natural tendency of youngsters at this point, before they begin to be safe enough in their thinking and their feeling about sex to move in an active, direct action pattern about sex, is to fantasy and fantasy very often centers around the models that they would have available for them, and some of the fantasies can be very scary for them and also lead to anxiety and confusion.

Q:Now, since we have had these references to visibility -- considerable visibility, I believe were your words to describe Mr. Acanfora’s homosexuality -- I did want to get into the state your knowledge of the facts of this case.

You began by stating that you were acquainted with the facts of this case.


Q:You are aware, I gather, of the grade level at which Mr . Acanfora is teaching?


Q:That is what grade?

A:The eighth grade.

Q:Are you aware of the subject matter he is teaching?

A:Earth science.

Q:And that includes the subjects, as I understand it, of geology, astronomy and oceanography, is that your understanding?

A:Those are the components, as I understand it, and those things, these days, are currently very much on youngsters’ minds, since they have become very concerned and involved with the problems of the environment.

Q:Now, you do understand that the science he teaches does not include what Montgomery County calls life sciences -- biology or botany or those things in which sexuality or reproduction.might be discussed. Did you understand that to be true?

A:I understand that.

Q:Do you have an understanding as to how much of each day any given child spent with Mr. Acanfora?

A:Yes. It was one period a day, I gather.

Q:Do you have knowledge as to the length of that period?

A:Well, very much like the psychiatrist timetable – fifty-minute hour.

Q:And did you have knowledge as to the number of other male teachers that there were in the school at which Mr. Acanfora taught?

A:No. Only in a very general way. I have had some awareness that the majority of the teachers at the junior high school level were women.

Q:We have had some testimony yesterday that it was approximately fifty per cent male. Now, is that contrary to what you have been told?

A:Well, I was not informed along those lines.

Q:Did you have any understanding as to the number of male teachers to which a student in the eighth grade was likely to be exposed as a student during the normal school day?

A:Well, usually a physical education teacher is a male, and I would see no contraindication to his being a homosexual, if that were not in the awareness of the youngsters as they thought about him outside of just the area of teaching.

Q:Well,. I was asking, Doctor, not in terms of their all being homosexuals, but on the contrary, as them all being possible role models for the eighth grade students. Were you aware that the students at this school, they were likely to have at least, in their seven periods a day, at least two or three other male role models in addition to Mr. Acanfora.

MR. BARON:I would object. I don’t think that it has been proven. We go through the scheduling of a few children assuming you have got fourteen hundred children -- I don’t think that has been proven in any sense.

THE COURT:Overruled. Go ahead.


Q:Did you have an awareness of the fact that the students were exposed to several male teachers a day?

A:Well, I was not aware of that specifically, but I don’t think that would influence my thinking about the kind of model that Mr. Acanfora could provide for a specific group of youngsters.

Q:Well, if I can stop you there for a moment. I do want to come back to that specific group of youngsters and try to get them defined better so, if we can save that, we will.

Now, you have described the visibility and advertised status of Mr. Acanfora. Can you tell us what your understanding is of how he has gone public and what he is doing publicly? In other words, what is that advertised status that you have described?

A:Wel1, I was aware of three types of involvements that were made public, most of them initiated by him if I am not mistaken. He was president of the Homophyles Club on the campus at Penn State University .and instituted an action, as president, with the University authorities. It was one element of his visibility. The second came around his application for a license as a teacher in the State of Pennsylvania, and the third can when there was, in a sense, nationwide publicity at the point where there was a resolution of that action with the educational authorities in the State of Pennsylvania, with articles in the “Wall Street Journal” and the “New York ‘Times,” and such.

Q:So that if I understand it, then, the only visibility, as it were, that concerns you is simply the fact that Mr. Acanfora is a homosexual is a fact which is or could likely be known by the students in his classes. It is not what he is doing or what he is saying, or anything else. It is simply they know, as a fact, that Mr. Acanfora is a “homosexual”

A:It has gone public in that sense.

Q:Is it only in that sense that you are referring to it?

A:Yes, and from that point of view, I would suspect very strongly within the awareness of the students.

Q:Now, based on your knowledge and experience with adolescents who are at the age that would put them in the eighth grade, would this be likely to have been the first exposure they would have had to the concept that there are people who are homosexuals?

A:Most: likely not. It is a subject that is no longer taboo. It is the basis on which a whole range of materials on the media, various media, are available to youngsters, and they know very well even the slang by which homosexuals are characterized and so on. It is not a new concept to them by the time they are in the eighth grade.

Q:Now, you made reference to the media and I did want to explore that with you. Mr. Acanfora is unlikely to be the only model, the only homosexual, to whom these children are exposed,

is that not correct?

A:Yes, that is quite correct.

Q:There have been -- and I wonder if you have seen them -- some TV dramas in the last year or two which have portrayed homosexuality very sympathetically, have there not?


Q:And, indeed, have portrayed relationships between homosexual fathers and sons who are adolescents at the very age of the drama?

A:I wasn’t personally aware, but I have heard of those.

Q:And there has been a fairly -- almost a veritable deluge of talk shows, and so forth, in which “gay lib” advocates have appeared and literally advocated greater understanding for the better treatment of homosexuals, have there not?


Q:And many of these could be regarded as attractive individuals and attractive models by those who watch those programs?

A:Well, there is a great difference between what a youngster encounters on the media, or once removed and what is in his everyday living, breathing experience., as a person.

A:I will give you an opportunity to expound on that, but I want to exhaust my list of models first and then come back to why Mr. Acanfora is different

Q:There has also been, at least in the District of Columbia in recent years, a candidate for Congress who was the president of the Mattachine Society who ran on that ticket and received widespread news coverage during that period, was there not?

A:Yes, and I have talked to him.

Q:And there is a considerable volume of. literature, is there not, both factual and fiction, with which students at this age at least have access to. We don’t know whether they are reading them, which deal sometimes sympathetically and sometimes not with homosexuality. Is that not true?

A:That is true?

Q:Now, you do understand, do you not, that Mr. Acanfora made no reference to sexuality or to his homosexuality or anything like that in the classroom? You were aware of that fact, were you?

A:Yes, but I think we have to keep in mind that when we say homosexuality, we are talking about a very mixed group of phenomena in sexual terms. There is no one pattern of homosexuality, and you would then be putting the youngsters in a position of having their own fantasies or thoughts or earlier experiences projected on to this person who is with them for a part of each day. It is their idea of what is homosexuality, with no connection at all with what the teachers concept or pattern of homosexuality would be.

Q:Now, if I may, Doctor, I would like to focus now on defining what that group of children is and see if we can articulate some standards as to how to define them who are likely to be affected adversely by Mr. Acanfora in your view.

I gather you don’t suggest that the majority or even any very substantial number of Mr. Acanfora’s students are going to make a different life choice because they spend fifty minutes a day in his classroom who would not have made that life choice anyway, do you?

A:We are not talking about a substantial number at all. We are talking about a relatively few, and that, at the same time, is a concern.

Q:Well, when you say relatively few, can you give us --

MR. BARON:I think he was in the middle of finishing his answer.

MR. GOTTESMAN:Excuse me, Doctor.

THE COURT:Have you finished your answer, Doctor?


THE COURT:Have you finished your answer, Doctor?

THE WITNESS: Well, I could add an explanatory dimension. When we have inoculation programs on a preventive basis for millions of individuals when only a handful of individuals could be protected, we are preventing a relatively handful of contagious diseases that could be fatal or damaging.


Q:Can you give us some idea of how few this relatively few is we are talking about?

A:I don’t think we actually know. I am in a position only to give you a distorted picture, because we see only the individuals who have been hurt or who can’t find the proper answer. We don’t see the whole. I don’t think anybody has a complete picture of how many individuals are involved.

Q:Can you give us some picture or some biography of the kind of person we are talking about, in terms of his psychological makeup, his psychological health, as it were, when he enters Mr. Acanfora’s classroom and is going to be triggered in this entirely different life style by reason of it?

A:Well, let me give you a few examples, which wouldn ’t cover the whole range of problems or patterns.

Let’s say that during the time that we pictured the child was two and a half to three and a half years of age, preoccupied with hurt and damage, particularly to the body. His life experiences during that time can make him very worried that the genitals could be hurt and, therefore, they have to be protected from hurt, and there are some children who actually are hurt. When a youngster begins to show the first signs of masturbation, we have had parents who bring these youngsters in and have them circumcised, and, when you take a look at what happens, the youngsters are then convinced they have to worry about genital damage. I mean, particularly, in that stage when they are worried about body damage in general anyhow, and the decision can be made right then that a sexual life, when it is to be in the picture, must not involve the genitals. I mean, that is one such basis that we see. It is not the only one.

Q:I’m sorry, this is a decision that would have been made at age three and a half, if I understand your testimony?

A:We have seen youngsters where this decision was made -- that fear of damage -- particularly genital damage can follow an individual for the rest of his life, poorly handled.

Another side of the picture is the seduced youngster, and at the same time, the youngster who was seduced on a homosexual level by another child, an adolescent, an adult. We can also be quite sure in the majority of cases that the individual that did the seducing is only repeating what was done to him, but there is a mental operation called the “repetition compulsion.” And this seductive experience can, in a sense, imprint a pattern for sexual activity that will be the basis on which the youngster when he reaches puberty and adolescence, thinks in terms of that kind of sexual investment.

These are a couple of examples of the kinds of things youngsters bring to this stage that we are talking about.

Q:As I read your affidavit, you made reference at one point to those students who would be vu1nerable in your view, being those who had -- I am; quoting -- “extreme, emotional disturbances.”

Would it be fair to characterize this group whom you regard as vulnerable as those having extreme emotional disturbances when they enter adolescence?

A:Well, most likely that statement was too much of a generalization. It should be qualified in terms of emotional disturbances in relation to sexual identity.

Let me give you an example of the kind of emotional disturbance that we see, the basis for it. In a youngster who has had the die cast on one basis or another to think in homosexual directions, particularly with the youngster who hasn’t really completely made up his mind on a bisexual level of thinking or an undecided level of thinking. There is pressure all around him not to function in this direction. Even from his mother. Even homosexual mothers that we have worked with don’t want their boys to be homosexuals.

In other words, you see that kind of confusion, disparity in standards, identity directions that can be disparate, and we talked about youngsters trying to bridge sets of standards, and it is on that basis, when they can’t match them up, that we have the symptoms, that we have the emotional disturbances.

A great many -- and I can’t give you actual figures -- but this is a clinical judgment, a great many of those severe breakdowns, the psychotic youngsters, and most of the psychoses developed in adolescents have an element of this kind of sexual confusion, not infrequently related to homosexuality, as a basis for their having to resort to some extreme way of trying to make peace of the struggle internally.

Q:Now, if I understand it right, these are youngsters who have extreme emotional disturbances about their sexual development before they ever enter Mr. Acanfora’s classroom. These are the ones you are worried about, am I correct?

A:Not necessarily, because some of these emotional disturbances begin at the end of puberty.

Q:All right, let me restate it. There are people who would manifest these extreme emotional disturbances, even if they never had entered Mr. Acanfora’s classroom, whether they did it before or after?

A:I would think there would be both.

You have in any school population an expectable, what has been estimated, eight to ten per cent of children who have emotional disturbances, and if you combine the emotional disturbances with the vulnerability related to sexual identity, there has been a distortion. You have a vulnerable child which you have to look at in terms of not adding to his problems but hopefully modifying them.

Q:Now, Doctor, have you ever seen any studies or to your knowledge is there any data on the effect of homosexual teachers on students?

A:No, I haven’t, but I have personally known homosexual teachers and they have been very effective teachers and were no influence on the youngsters in terms of their identity, as long as the homosexuality was not as open and direct as we see in this case.

Q:Now, when you say open and direct, do you mean simply known to the students?

A:Yes, the publicized aspects of it;

Q:Have you seen any studies or data or anything else of the effect of homosexual teachers whose homosexuality is known to the students upon students?

A:No, I haven’t.

Q:Have you ever in your experience had a ease in which you can say that the child’s development was altered by virtue of having had a homosexual teacher whose homosexuality was known to the child?

A:Not -- specifically a teacher?


A:But other significant individuals that they had sporadic dealings with.

Q:How many such cases would you say that you encountered -- in the thousands -- as you described to us earlier?

A:Again, I would have to say we can’t generalize. It would be a relatively small segment, but we are talking, in this whole situation, about relatively small percentages of the total child population.

Q:Would you agree, Doctor, that there are emotionally disturbed children who will be adversely affected by heterosexual teachers, with specific reference to their sexuality and problems of sexuality?

A:You can take any set of possible hypothesized patterns and you will find a combination of experiences and individuals who will fit them, The numbers of possibilities are almost infinite,

Q:Can you take just one example and explore it a little because it perhaps provides an analogy.

I remember several years ago seeing a number cat’ movies, and I would like you to tell me whether this is just fiction or whether it describes a true psychological phenomenon in which adolescent school girls develop enormous crushes on teachers. Som of them, at least, when they find the teacher rejecting an overt relationship with them, then go on into depression and in some of the dramas, they go on to suicide. Is that a real phenomena or is that a small percentage of the adolescents, or is that just totally fictitious?

A:That is another one of the variations on the theme that can occur. There are situations we have encountered in which the youngsters themselves have been very seductive with teachers -- with teachers, whether heterosexual or been homosexual, when they haven’t been appropriately controlled as they might need to be, have gotten involved with youngsters, both heterosexually and homosexually, and this has been on the basis of’ the youngsters being the seductive ones.

Q:Well, if I understand you, then, there is a small percentage of the student population which is emotionally disturbed with respect to sexuality, some of whom can have their disturbances increased or triggered by the existence of a homosexual teacher in the classroom, others by the existence of a heterosexual teacher in the classroom, am I correct on that?

A:I think that in the range of operations, you would have to be defining what kind of emotional disturbance, because emotional disturbance is an umbrella term, and we can’t talk about an emotionally disturbed youngster functioning in one way or the other. We would need to define what kind of emotional disturbance we are talking about.

Q:Oh, I assume there must be different emotional disturbances in the two groups, then that I am talking about, but given that we are talking about different kinds of emotional disturbances, the phenomenon is the same, is it not, that a particular teacher may be harmful in some way for some particular small segment of the student population, which is in some way or other emotionally disturbed?

A:As I said, you can take any possible, probable set of circumstances and individuals, and you will find that situation eventually; so, what you are saying, of course, could be true. However, we are not talking about the severely emotionally disturbed child from that point of view. We are talking about a specific group of youngsters who are trying to make their sexual identity choices on the basis of their past experiences and where they would want to be going, who could be influenced at this point.

I would be more concerned -- and one of the reasons why I felt it would be useful to share ideas in a situation such as this -- I would not be conconcerned about the youngsters who are bringing the emotional disturbances, on whatever basis, into the classroom, for this or for that or for the other, relationship with a teacher, where an individual teacher might trigger off or fit in with this child’s pathology. I am talking about the youngsters who are on the fence trying to make decisions about; their identity and who are looking around for models, and do we have to complicate their lives by adding a model at this point in their development which would then be even more confusing, add to their problems and their decision-making? We are not talking about the ones who come with firmly fixed patterns and thinking and identity operations. We are talking about the ones who are in this third go-around, trying to match up the old answers with the new answers, the more acceptable and expectable answers that they see people offering them or aiming them toward all around them.

Q:Doctor, you made reference at a few points during your testimony as to students in this “looking around for answers category,” fantasizing about our hypothetical teacher. I am sorry, our homosexual teacher, and I gathered fromm that that implicit in what you were saying is that homosexual tendencies in that adolescent student are going to be manifested by considering or fantasizing a sexual relationship with an adult who is, in fact, homosexual.

My question is whether it is not at least equally the fact, based on existing data, that the male teachers who are homosexually attractive to the student you are talking about are, in fact the most masculine, the most verile and the least homosexual - appearing teachers they encountered, rather than the teacher whom they know to be a homosexual?

A:As I said, there are all sorts of variations on the theme.

Q:Now, if I understand correctly your theory, the hazard that you associate with Mr. Acanfora is his hazard as a role model, that students who admire him may seek to emulate him. The more they admire him, the more the danger they will seek to emulate him by becoming homosexuals or by allowing that aspect of their instincts to prevail, am I correct?

A:This is one possible direction in which youngsters can go, yes.

Q:Are there not many .other things that teachers can reflect that logically would seem to have the same product? I assume what they are admiring about Mr. Acanfora is not his homosexuality, but other aspects of his demonstrated performance in the classroom, and what you are saying is, if they admire him for all of that, they are going to pursue the other thing as well just so that they can be even that much more like him?

A:You can’t look at this on the basis that the youngsters are thinking voluntarily.

The fantasy that goes along with an admired role model is most often out of the youngster’s control. It isn’t what they want to do. It is what happens as a result of these inner pressures we are talking about.

I would hope that as a good teacher, Mr. Acanfora’s talents would not be wasted, but that he would be applying these talents of his at a level where they would not be a hazard to those children in his daily contact who might be vulnerable.

Q:Now, pursuing this role model analysis a little further, I would like to give you a couple of examples and ask your reaction to them. You have described what you see as the hazard of Mr. Acanfora. What about the woman teacher again, a very attractive model to the female students in the class, who goes out and gets married and has her honeymoon and comes back. I would assume that there should be a whole lot of fantasizing that goes along with that experience in a thirteen year old’s mind, is there not?

A:Yes, but at this point in our civilization, that is the expectable, the pattern in which the majority population tries to aim children. There is a changing scene, yes, but I doubt very much whether the thinking about the way in which we direct children, as a basic child-rearing approach, would be homosexuality.

Q:Well, I wasn’t really --

A:It is a personal opinion.

Q:I hadn’t meant to refer to that, but I assume that society does not want its thirteen year old girl going out and having sexual intercourse, Isn’t it a fact that they will at least fantasize that when their teacher comes back from her honeymoon, and does it follow that if they admire the teacher greatly, they are going to want to emulate what they know she has just done?

A:Well, children are exposed to sexuality from way back in their early life’s experience as soon as they begin to perceive. Maybe I could tell a story that illustrates how pervasive this is.

This is about the youngster who disappeared from his home one day and his parents were about ready to call the police, and suddenly he appeared, and they said, where you have you been? He said, oh, I was up in the attic. They said, how could you be up in the attic for so long without our hearing you? Oh, he said, I found a. wonderful book up there. The said, well, we haven’t got a book that would keep you interested for so long. Oh yes, he said, it’s all about love and rape and killing and war. They said, my God, we haven’t got a book like that in this house. And he said, oh yes, and on the cover it said, “Holy Bible.”


There are some Sunday School teachers who skip over certain passages in the Bible, but there are some who don’t and the kids then read them when they get home, but they have been exposed. In other words, this is not any new kind of experience for them. It might be an incentive, titillating kind of experience that they would talk about. But, still, at this point, the over-stimulation in a couple of individuals leads to acting out. Not infrequently, it is within their own group on a homosexual basis. As I said, this is a temporary kind of solution. Improperly handled, it can become a more permanent kind of solution.

Q:Dr. Lourie, your views were not sought by the school authorities at the time they actually made the decision about Mr. Acanfora, were they?


Q:Can you tell us approximately when the first contact was made with you?

MR. BARON:I object.

THE WITNESS: I would have to consult my schedule book. I think it was sometime within the last month, the earlier -- close to a month or so ago.


Q:To your knowledge, based on your experience in this case -- and I realize that your knowledge will not be the final knowledge on this -- are you aware that any professional advice whatsoever was sought by the School Board or the school authorities at the time they made the decision in this case?

A:I am not aware of the details of how the proceedings went.

Q:I would like to pursue just a few more points and then I will be finished.

You have indicated throughout that some of the children, at least, enter adolescence with a firmly fixed homosexual determination. Am I correct about that?


Q:Is it not likely that they will be harmed by what has been done to Mr. Acanfora in this case, by the demonstration of the punishments that are inflicted for being that kind of person?

MR. BARON:I object.

THE COURT:Sustained. Rephrase the question.


Q:I am sorry. By a demonstration that a teacher has, in fact, been taken out of the classroom, because of the fact that he is known to be a homosexual.

A:I would think that this is only one sample of what the youngsters see around them in all their experience with the media, in their discussions with classmates, whatever, in terms of the prevalent, hopefully changing attitude toward homosexuality. It is one of the realities of life that the youngster would face in terms of how this is looked on.

Q:You made a number of references earlier to youngsters being entitled to make .a free choice when they entered adolescence. It wasn’t clear to me what the free choice was you wanted them to be allowed to make,

A:Well, the human organism wants to be as ‘normal” as possible. I think nature has worked it out so there is this reworking period, so that the poor answers from earlier stages can be modified.

Now, what is called “normal” will vary front individual to individual, but the free choice idea is, that if the youngster is struggling, if he is undecided, let’s give him the chance to have the least complicated basis of decision-making as possible.

Q:You have indicated that had Mr. Acanfora not disclosed his homosexuality and thereby communicated it indirectly to his students, you would have no problem about his remaining in the classroom.

A:We have come full circle, because that is the way I started.

Q:Right. Lets take a hypothetical homosexual, who has not, in fact made any public disclosure of that fact. Is it possible or is it likely or can’t you generalize that the students would, nevertheless, sense it, suspect it, have some realization or knowledge of it, whether or not he may have disclosed it or not?

A:Most likely not. I mean, you have indicated earlier some of the reasons why some of the most male-operating, functioning, thinking teachers could be homosexuals, and some aren’t.

In other words, the homosexuality or the -- let me put it a little differently -- there is still a large unknown, in terms of teachers, about how many are homosexuals, how many are bisexuals, and I gather that in the current scene, the thinking is that, as long as it doesn’t intrude into the ways in which the teachers interact with the students, it is not a basic issue.

MR. GOTTESMAN:Your Honor, may I have just a moment to consult with my colleagues?

THE COURT:Very well.


Q:Doctor, you said earlier that you would hope that Mr. Acanfora’s potential as a teacher could be utilized so long as it was not in certain grades.

Was that the eleven to fourteen year age group to which you referred, and to which you had earlier identified as the hazardous range?

A:That is the group that I feel that I would not want him, ideally, involved with -- not in terms of homosexuality -- but in terms, of this public image.

Q:Well, you have given it to me a little more negatively than I thought you had said it earlier, but I thought you said that you would hope that his talents would be utilized. Can you tell us where, as a classroom teacher?

A:Yes, I would think in the latter years of high school when identities are fairly well established, college teaching or teaching with younger children.

Some of the most effective teachers in our therapeutic nurseries for emotionally disturbed young children have been homosexua1 males. In other words, the homosexuality is not an element in this period. It is the capacity of the individual and the capacity to reach children on a level of appropriate instruction so that they can benefit from them.

Q:One last question, Doctor.

If I understand the import of your testimony, it is that a homosexual who desires to be a junior high school teacher must conceal from the public the fact that he is a homosexual. If he is, as Mr. Acanfora is, the type of person who does not want to conceal it, is it not psychologically harmful to him to have to conceal the fact of his homosexuality?

A:I would think, to answer that question maybe a little bit differently -- stretch the point a bit – the sexual life of the teacher has no place in the classroom. It is not part of the curriculum and what the children should be thinking about, heteorosexually or homosexually.

You have indicated that there are some facts you can’t keep out of the children’s awareness -- teachers getting married -- teachers having children. These are part of the normal life experience, the expectable life experience, but the teacher’s sexual life should not come into the picture. There is a lot of .-- I shouldn’t say a lot -- there is this kind of homosexual play that goes on in camps, and so on, but when it happens in the Boy Scouts Camp, they don’t get merit badges for it. But, it is not an official part of what goes on and it shouldn’t be in any kind of instructional setting.

Q:Well, let me re-ask the question and see if you can home in on it. As I understood it, the question was whether or not it is psychologically harmful for the homosexual teacher to have to conceal the fact of his homosexuality, if is, in fact, the interest and desire to advocate, as Mr. .Acanfora does better treatment of homosexuals? Let me add one more hypothetical to that, which I think is supported by the record. He is not someone who is out advocating to people to become homosexuals or ascribing hi sex life or anything else. He is simply someone who has gone to battle, so to speak, to say that homosexuals ought to be treated better by society and not discriminated against. That is the extent of his public disclosure, and it is that statement which has revealed the fact that he is a homosexual,

A:Well, I would think any individual has to take a look at the realities of the world around him and make any decision about how he introduces himself to the public, on the basis of where his picture that he is presenting will fit.

Now, in that NIMH survey of homosexuality, the conclusion was that there were certain types of employment that did not lend themselves to participation by the homosexual. Here, we are talking about an even more limited kind of circumscribed approach that it should not be harmful if there is the acceptance of the reality that announced homosexuality should not be involving the children in the junior high school age.

MR. GOTTESMAN:We have no further questions, Your Honor.

THE COURT:Mr. Baron.

MR. BARON:Yes, Your Honor.



Q:Dr. Lourie, I know you are anxious to get back to Washington, and I am going to ask you one question.

In your testimony on direct examination and cross examination, I think we alluded to the question of the child who has a confirmed homosexual bent or impulse prior to the time that he reaches the twelve to thirteen-year-old-level, to what effect, if any, Mr. Acanfora’s presence under all the circumstances we have described here, could have an impact on the timing or the manner in which that child manifests an already pre-cast, as it were, direction? Could you comment on that?

A:I would think it would depend very much on the child in terms of how well-fixed that acceptance of the homosexual identity was established. Mr. Acanfora would not, or his presence, hypothetically, would not influence any decision-making along those lines where the child has already made a firm decision that this is the direction in which he will go, and he can live with it, and he can function with that decision.

THE COURT:Anything else, Mr. Baron’

MR. BARON:No, Your Honor, I was just waiting until the Doctor had finished.

THE WITNESS:Well there are other youngsters who are in between who haven’t made their minds up completely, or the ones who are confused or under pressure to change, who, I think, would not be usefully faced with a model

MR. BARON:I have nothing further, Your Honor.

MR. GOTTESMAN:Nor do I, Your Honor.

THE COURT:Thank you, Dr. Lourie. You may be excused.

[Witness excused.]

20.10.2006 0:22