“Yes, I believe in what the Bible says about homosexuality. It is a sin.”
– Bob Drummond.
This is why I have not and will not ever vote for Bob Drummond — or those who align themselves with him. When he served on the Olathe School Board, Drummond voted to remove a young adult book, Annie on My Mind, from all Olathe School libraries. I have a problem with this for several reasons:
- You all know how much I love libraries. I work the the JCCC Billington Library, for Pete’s sake.
- I am a staunch advocate for the First Amendment having earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award for reporting on JCCC.
- I am a Gay man — a Gay man who READS. When I first moved to the KC Metro, I spent hours in the library reading about the history and culture of the LGBT community.
- There are LGBT youth in high school, believe me. Keeping information from them only puts them at risk.
- I am a writer working on an YA novel that includes LGBT characters.
The Kansas City Star
September 23, 1995
Being gay called a disorder at trial
Olathe school officials testify about taking book out of library
Jim Sullinger, Staff Writer
The president of the Olathe school board told a federal court Friday that he considered homosexuality a mental disorder similar to schizophrenia or depression.
Bob Drummond was one of four board members who voted in January 1994 to support the removal of the book.
“Annie on My Mind” from the library at Olathe South High School. Olathe Superintendent Ron Wimmer decided to remove the book.
The book tells the story of two teen-age girls who fall in love.
Its author, Nancy Garden, testified Thursday that the book needed to be in schools because it presented homosexuality through the eyes of a young lesbian.
Removal of the book prompted a lawsuit by several Olathe high school students and their parents. The federal court trial began this week in Kansas City, Kan.
The plaintiffs contend that the districts action violates the First Amendment right of free speech. School officials said they were exercising their fundamental right to choose educational material for students.
Drummond was one of three school board members who testified Friday, the third day of the trial. Also testifying were board members Ron Hinkle and Janet Simpson.
All three were asked by attorneys why they voted to remove the book from school library shelves.
The three said they read the book before the vote in January and found that it “promoted and glorified” homosexuality and was not suitable for junior or senior high students.
J. Eugene Balloun and David Waxse, attorneys for the plaintiffs, spent much of the day questioning the three about their views on homosexuality.
“Its a disorder,” said Drummond, who was elected to the board in 1989 and is vice president of campus life at Mid-America Nazarene College in Olathe. “I believe homosexuals have a difficult problem.”
Balloun asked Drummond if his views were influenced by his religious beliefs. “Yes, I believe in what the Bible says about homosexuality,” Drummond said. “It is a sin.”
Ron Hinkle, an Olathe lawyer and the board member who testified after Drummond, said he was concerned that leaving the book on library shelves would give patrons the idea that the district was supporting homosexuality.
Hinkle said the book wasnt factual because it didnt portray the risk of disease from a gay lifestyle and that it was contrary to the moral standards of the community.
The third board member to testify, Janet Simpson, said the book hadn’t been checked out for 10 years and that it didn’t enhance the curriculum.
Simpson said she didn’t believe the board was censoring the book but only keeping it from an inappropriate audience. She said movie ratings do the same thing.
She also objected to the book because it was a fictional account and not factual.
She said library material should only support the school curriculum and should be factual.
Simpson testified that the board never discussed the merits of the book.
The trial before U.S. District Judge Thomas Van Bebber will continue Oct. 4.