by Nathan A. Cherry
As a parent I have the responsibility to teach my kids certain things about life. Among those things which I am to be the primary teacher for my kids are morality, theology, and manners. I don’t believe it is anyone else’s responsibility to impart this vital information to my kids and will not allow anyone else to obstruct or interfere with my responsibility.
Another very critical issue for which I believe I am primarily responsible for teaching my kids is sexuality. Some might be tempted to believe it is a school’s job or the government’s job (same thing) to teach children about sexuality when the truth is that it is a parent’s responsibility. Now, it is true that some parents have abdicated this role in their children’s lives to others: school, government, church. But this does not negate their responsibility, and creating alternative streams for education only further allows parents to be negligent rather than encouraging them to step up.
One father in Kansas is sounding the alarm after he discovered a poster hanging in his 13-year-old daughter’s middle school. Mark Ellis, whose daughter goes to a Shawnee Mission School District middle school in Kansas, says the poster is inappropriate for students this young and is asking the school to take it down.
The poster in question, entitled, “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?” answers this question by listing sex acts such as: Oral Sex, Sexual Fantasy, Caressing, Anal Sex, Dancing, Hugging, Touching Each Other’s Genitals, Kissing, Grinding, and Masturbation.
This might be shocking to some parents that are not aware that such things are being taught to their middle school students. I recently engaged in a conversation on Facebook during which one mother shared her surprise that explicit sex-education was taking place in her child’s school. But explicit sex-education that emphasizes sexual experimentation over abstinence is common in nearly every school. Mr. Ellis asks a fair question when he pondered why 13-year-olds need this information. Ellis said:
“It upsets me. And again, it goes back to who approved this? You know this had to pass through enough hands that someone should have said, ‘Wait a minute, these are 13-year-old kids, we do not need to be this in-depth with this sexual education type of program.’”
I’ve often wondered why Kindergartners need explicit sex-education classes; something now taking place in Illinois. And why do middle school and high school students need explicit sex-education that focuses on how to use contraception and offering birth control? In the case of the school in Kansas, according to the curriculum website the answer is:
“…to empower young adolescents to change their behavior in ways that will reduce their risk of pregnancy and HIV or other STD infection. Specifically, this curriculum emphasizes that young adolescents should postpone sexual activity and that practicing abstinence is the only way to eliminate the risk for pregnancy and STDs, including HIV.”
Wait a minute. This website claims the curriculum being used by the school, which includes this poster, is for the purpose of encouraging kids to “postpone sexual activity” and “practicing abstinence”? So how exactly does a poster asking how people express their sexual feelings along with a number of very explicit answers accomplish this goal?
The answer is that it doesn’t. Curricula such as this don’t serve to promote abstinence. The thinly veiled attempt to promote abstinence comes amid an abundance of explicit sexual material that is designed to stir up the sexual curiosity in hormone enraged teenagers. Once that is done there will be a token hat tip to abstinence that hopes to satisfy parents. The unfortunate reality is that most parents don’t know that such material is being taught in their child’s school until it is too late. Parents are often taken off guard wondering where their child learned sexually explicit information when the culprit is being paid for with their tax dollars.
Let’s put this in realistic terms that boil it down to fundamentals. Would we give 13-year-olds matches and lighter fluid, along with “comprehensive fire starting education” and then turn them loose in the woods to safely, and responsibly start a fire? Of course not, that is nonsensical. And yet education “experts” believe that by teaching our kids “comprehensive sexual health” – an academic way of saying explicit sex-education – they will then behave responsibly.
Ok, let’s assume for the moment they are right. The only logical conclusion for an outcome is that these same students that have now been “empowered” will then engage in sexual activity. If educators are hoping students will behave responsibly once they have been taught the only logical conclusion is that educators are promoting sexual activity among out children. If this was not true the overriding emphasis would be on abstinence rather than how explicit they can make the curriculum, how effectively they can keep parents in the dark, and how they can best partner with groups like GLSEN, Guttmacher, and Planned Parenthood.
The National Sexuality Education Standards, a government backed standardized approach to sex-education, had as contributors GLSEN, the Guttmacher Institute, and Planned Parenthood. Not one of those groups is interested in abstinence. This standard will be part of the Common Core curriculum now being adopted by nearly every state and seeks to promote sexual experimentation at early ages. But don’t worry, Planned Parenthood will be there when your daughter gets pregnant to help with abortion services. (Oh, you won’t know; school nurses will gladly take her to get an abortion without your consent. But you will need to sign a form allowing them to give her an aspirin.)
If you don’t think abortion will be a major factor in sex-education courses, ask parents in Arizona that are outraged over their “choices” for sex-education curriculums. The Tempe, AZ district is under fire for seeking to implement a curriculum written by, you guessed it, Planned Parenthood. Guess what it promotes, you guessed it, abortion. What is this new curriculum replacing? That’s right, an abstinence based curriculum. Still think educators want to promote abstinence?
I still haven’t figured out why a school needs to teach sex. Such a class is not critical to the function or role of a school. That is, unless you believe that children don’t really belong to their parents and that it is the government’s (school) job to be the primary educator in in areas of morality and academics in the life of a student. In that case it makes perfect sense, and the efforts to keep parents in the dark also make sense.
I, however, don’t believe that. Sex is a moral issue that falls into the purview of parents to teach their kids. The school’s job is to teach academics, not morality. It seems schools have forgotten that as they focus more on moral and social issues than academics. The result is that America continues to fall in the world academic rankings.
I will continue to encourage parents to be involved in their children’s education and not to allow the school to be the primary moral teacher for their child. The more we as parents pay attention and know about what our children are being taught the more accountable we can hold the school and school board. The alternative is to abdicate our role as the primary educator of our children and let poster’s with sexually explicit questions do the job for us.