Media Watch: The Sharyl Attkisson approach
Rebecca Hagelin provides a summer reminder to gear up for your child’s upcoming school year by studying his or her school curriculum, especially as it pertains to sex education:
As many parents know, most sex-ed classes are already candid enough, thank you very much. The last thing we need is for anyone to spice them up or further complicate what should be a pretty simple subject. But that’s what schools in Montgomery County, Maryland plan to do by introducing lessons on homosexuality to 8th and 10th graders — lessons that serve to further the radical homosexual activist agenda.
Those in 8th grade, for example, may be asked to ponder their “gender identity.” Is this the same thing as your actual gender, which should be, ummm, obvious by this time? No. Students are told that it’s “your identification of yourself as a man or a woman, based on the gender you feel to be inside.” You could be a boy trapped in a girl’s body, or vice versa. Or something in between, it seems. Since when did knowing one’s gender get so â€¦ difficult? My goodness, isn’t there enough out there to confuse our children without asking them to question whether they are really a boy or truly a girl? Have we gone mad?
Whatever your true identity, though, you can bet it is “innate” the 8th graders are told. To be certain they understand, the curriculum defines “innate” as “determined by factors present in an individual from birth.” In short, gays are born, not made, so “straights” can’t say homosexuality or bisexuality is wrong. (Does that apply to those who prefer bestiality or pedophilia? Just wondering â€¦) What’s needed, then, is “tolerance” which the curriculum says is “the ability to accept others’ differences and allow them to be who they are without expressing disapproval.” Does the same logic apply to other abnormal or harmful behaviors? Do we say, “Oh, so you’re an alcoholic — good for you!” Or, “Tendencies toward kleptomania? Well, don’t let me stand in your way!”? I think not.
Students in 10th grade, meanwhile, read “coming out” stories from homosexuals, a bi-sexual and one “transgendered” individual. “Esperanza” for example, tells them:
“I’ve known for a long time that I am a lesbian. When I was a little girl, my grandfather would read me a bedtime story before I went to sleep. Sometimes, he would read fairy tales about a beautiful princess and a charming prince who fell in love, got married and lived happily ever after. When he read those stories, I knew that when I grew up, I would marry the beautiful princess, not the prince. I didn’t begin to realize until I was much older that these kinds of feelings made me different from the other girls at school.”
The curriculum contains a nod to abstinence, which it correctly notes, is “the only 100 percent effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.” But this is one sentence tucked into an explicit “Condom Use Demonstration Lesson.” That’s right — a condom demonstration. Bet no one is sleeping through that class! But I do wonder what’s going on the minds of the girls and boys as they are forced to sit through such humiliating and degrading conversations and “instruction.” Do they think that adults expect them to behave like animals? Do their young, impressionable souls feel crushed at how little character we think they have? As I point out in my book, Home Invasion, and in my speeches nationwide, the underlying message our young people are getting is this: We adults believe you have no morals, no self-control, no courage, no conscience.
We are teaching our children a lie — a lie that robs them of the joys of childhood and their best futures. Why shouldn’t we expect the very best from them? And why are we afraid to teach them the truth? We would never tell our little boys and girls to engage in “safe drug use” or to “smoke responsibly.” We don’t hesitate to put our foot down in other areas of life. So why should it be different when it comes to setting standards for sexual behavior?
Those are questions that have been asked many times over by people like me who wonder why we don’t give up on kids as it relates to drugs and smoking, but do give up on them when it comes to drinking and having sex. I even read of a story earlier this week where there were parents who were in trouble in the Virginia/Maryland/DC area for hosting teen drinking parties. The reasons given for hosting them? They knew their kids were going to drink, so they wanted them to be where they could see them. I wondered to myself: When will we start hearing about parents hosting teen sex parties?
A simple Google search informed me that that’s already started happening. In another instance, a woman held party for students where she herself not only supplied them with drugs and alcohol, but sex, too.
Just as bad: Parents who either take too little interest in what’s going on in their child’s life and are ‘too busy’ to take the time to find out, or just naively assume that their child would ‘never’ engage in things like Rainbow parties.
In late 2003, Michelle Buford, a writer for the Oprah Winfrey magazine, interviewed 50 teens and their parents and found that in a majority of cases, the parents were in denial about their kids and sex:
During the course of her research, Michelle discovered that there was a lack of accountability with the parents of teens. Also, many teens who admitted to being “wild” came from homes where both parents worked long hours. Here’s what else she found:
— Teens are smart and know how to outwit parents. If told to call and check in when they’re out, they still will abide by the rules—it’s what they’re doing when they get off the phone that’s the problem.
— Many teens never feel the need for an emotional connection with their sexual partner—it’s strictly a physical game. They live in the moment and don’t think about the consequences of sex. [I wonder where that idea came from? --ST]
— The stigma of having sex too young or too often seems to be absent—there’s no sense of shame and there are few, if no boundaries drawn.
— Oral sex is not considered sex. Michelle found that some teens are having oral sex and sexual intercourse in their own bedrooms. [And who fostered the bright idea that oral sex was not sex, hmm? --ST]
I’m not trying to sound alarmist or frightening, and I am sure there are many, many well-adjusted kids out there who are winning the struggles we all faced at kids at one time or another during our time in elementary, junior, and senior high schools. But the simple fact of the matter is that more ‘young adults’ are sexually active today than they ever have been. I’ve seen studies that show that not as many are engaging in the ‘actual act’ but they don’t have to engage in the ‘actual act’ in order for it to be dangerous to their health, their well-being, and their overall self-respect.
As I’ve written before, it’s hard – in fact, impossible – to know what your kids are doing at all times. They are constantly being besieged with words and images in so many music videos, TV shows, movies, etc that show kids and young teens who treat sex as if it’s something ‘everyone’ their age should be doing, and if you’re not doing it, something is ‘wrong’ with you. But it’s not just cultural images sending that message, but sex ed programs themselves, as one state legislator from Ohio (formerly a member of the Ohio Board of Education) found out back in 1995 (emphasis added):
From the “Reducing the Risk” program (for 9th and 10th graders): Abstinence â€“ Students are told that “there are many ways to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease (STD). You could become a hermitâ€¦ who never talks to anyone or does anything. Or, you could avoid pregnancy and STD by being so unpleasant that everyone stays clear of you. Or you could never become involved in a romantic relationship.”54 [Note that only the extremes are presented here. Is there any other way to stay abstinent besides being antisocial? Whatever happened to selfcontrol as a virtue?] Students are encouraged to think about whether those are good ways to avoid pregnancy, HIV, or STD. [Note the use of the term "good" â€“ these programs implicitly teach that abstinence is not a "good" way to avoid pregnancy or STDs.] The teacher then acknowledges that they are not, since many people want: to have a boyfriend or girlfriend; to be liked; to get along with people; or to have a family someday.55 Although this program is promoted as teaching students the “skills they can use to abstain or protect” it also claims that, “No judgment is made about which of these responses is best.”56 But after students listen to their teacher equate abstinence with nerdiness, and being disliked, etc., it is likely that students will conclude that sex with latex is the preferred choice.
That PDF document is 28 pages filled with mind-boggling examples of what elected officials in positions of responsiblity tried to pass off as a valid ‘sex ed’ curriculum for students in Ohio classrooms. Parent or not, it will shake you to the core – especially having in mind that those people in positions of responsibility did it without consulting the public first. Here are other examples:
From the “Be Proud! Be Responsible!” disease and pregnancy prevention program: Spermicides are displayed and described as useful for birth control and as lubrication. 21 Students practice putting condoms on their fingers and give demonstrations.22 They are also invited “to brainstorm ways to increase spontaneity . . . store condoms under mattress, eroticize condom use with partner . .. use extra lubricant, use condoms as a method of foreplay, use different colors and types/textures (some have ribs on them), think up a sexual fantasy . . .tell your partner how using a condom can make a man last longer, . . . hide them on your body and ask your partner to find it [sic]â€¦ have fun putting them on your partner â€“ pretend you are different people or in different situations” etc. 23 Students are told: “Once you and a partner agree to use condoms, do something positive and fun. Go to the store together. Buy lots of different brands and colors. Plan a special day when you can experiment. Just talking about how you’ll use all of those condoms can be a turn on.” 24 [...]
Confidentiality – Students make verbal contracts to keep everything that is said or written in the room confidential. Facilitators are instructed that if consensus is not reached, students and instructors should “. . . work through the disagreements until everyone can reach a level of comfort with the rules [and] process participants concerns until all obstacles have been overcome. Rules such as confidentiality are crucial to the success of the program.”17 Students are complimented on creating confidentiality rules.18
From the “Becoming a Responsible Teen” (BART) program: The goal of B.A.R.T. is, in part, to help youth ages 14-18 to “clarify their own values about sexual activity.”34[...]
Ground rules â€“ Again, students make verbal contracts to keep everything that is said or written in the room confidential. 36 [...]
Students are informed that some “grocery store” lubricants are safe to use: grape jelly, maple syrup, and honey, but synthetic whipped cream, marshmallow fluff, butter, Crisco, and mayonnaise are not. 40 Students are then divided into teams of two or three and asked to spread out into different parts of the room, taking their condom packages with them. Each group is given a penile model, some lubricant, spermicide and paper towels. 41 The prepared script suggests the teacher say: “One at a time, I want each of you to practice the condom application and removal steps, with or without a lubricant. Your teammates have a task, too â€“ they are going to act like personal trainers. First, they are going to give you a round of applause and praise what you did right. Then they’re going to . . . make suggestions about what you could do differently to improve your condom skills.”42
(Read more on the mid 90s/early 2000 battle in Ohio on sex education here)
After reading just the snippets alone, it’s flat out amazing that so many pro-sex ed advocates actually continue to claim that our schools are not encouraging our kids to become sexually active – supposedly, they’re merely ‘educating’ them about the essentials they need to know to have ‘safe sex.’ Uh huh.
In general, even when a parent is ok with sex ed being taught in the classroom, they want it to be a clinical discussion of body parts, functions, ways to prevent STDs, and a promotion of abstinence. If parents across this country knew that sex ed programs such as the one described above are being offered and taught in various forms in their kid’s school, I believe they’d think twice about supporting them. Parents have an uphill battle as it is trying to explain the birds and the bees to their kids at home, let alone having to do it at the same time their kids are seeing those sexy images of young people on TV shows, in videos, etc. While parents may not have a lot of control over the content of what gets put on TV, published in magazines, etc, they CAN be in the driver’s seat when it comes to finding out about and providing input on the sex education that may be being taught in their child’s classroom. All they have to do is take an active interest in their curriculum, and let the school board and local legislature know how they feel. They may not always get the desired results, but at least they’ll know that they had a say so in the matter.
Do you know what your child is being taught?