• Donated book about sexual abuse, homosexuality ends up in Jacksonville third-grader's hands

    By: Bridgette Matter, Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The controversial book "Alfie’s Home" ended up in the hands of a local third-grader at Daniel Academy.

    The book implies being gay is a reversible condition caused by childhood sex abuse.

    The young girl's stepmother, Patricia Shine, couldn’t believe what her daughter was reading.


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    “When I talked to the principal earlier, she said, 'We didn’t review the book.' Well, you don’t review everything that you hand the children?” Shine said.

    It contained language she didn’t think was fit for a young child and a storyline she calls inappropriate. 

    In the beginning of the book, the main character, Alfie, explains he is unhappy, saying his uncle has molested him for months.

    The character says he is confused and talks to a counselor, who tells Alfie he is not gay. Later in the book, Alfie declares, “Now I realize I am not gay” and marries a woman.

    In the about the author section, it explains Richard Cohen transitioned to heterosexuality and is now happily married.

    According to reports, "Alfie’s Home" was submitted to the Supreme Court to oppose gay marriage.


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    We reached out to Daniel Academy to find out how Shine’s stepdaughter got the book in the first place. Daniel Academy sent a statement explaining the mistake, saying in part, “We explained that it was not a book contained in our library, but rather was a donated book and was simply sorted incorrectly.”

    Shine said it forced her to have a conversation with her child she wasn’t ready to have.

    “I’m her parent and I feel like I should have been the one to discuss these things with her, not a book that was given to her by the school,” Shine said.

    Cohen, who was made aware of the controversy, sent this statement to Action News Jax: 

    "I wrote the children's book Alfie's Home to educate youth and parents about the potential causes of homosexual feelings and the possibility that changing from same-sex to opposite-sex attractions is a scientifically established fact.

    As a psychotherapist for 30 years, and a former homosexual mow married with three children, I know personally and professionally that change is possible (here is a website of others who made the change: www.voices-of-change.org).

    Also, the book represents the story of many of my clients, as well as my own experiences.

    Last year two Johns Hopkins University professors published a meta-analysis in The New Atlantis journal entitled Sexuality and Gender (www.thenewatlantis.com). They reviewed hundreds of scientific peer-reviewed studies conducted over many decades and found that essentially no one is born with homosexual feelings. Therefore, change is possible.

    I understand that the mother of this third grader was disturbed, however, it is very important that we teach our children about the ramifications of sexual abuse and the wonderful potential that sexual feelings are permeable and not fixed."

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