When I was a little girl, my now 96-year-old grandmother used to say that when she was in school, it was all about “reading, writing, and arithmetic.” Times, of course, have changed.
Our youth can now delve into more fascinating material—particularly with respect to technology—than my grandmother and her friends could have ever imagined. But when it comes to sex education, we are once again reminded that change isn’t always a good thing.
Helena Public Schools in Montana recently released a 62-page draft proposal titled “Helena Public Schools Health Enhancement K-12 Critical Competencies,” which they claim “represent content that students are expected to know at each grade level. The Critical Competencies are not the entire curriculum, but learner outcomes should be taught in [sic] sequential, systematic approach to promote an appropriate foundation to health & wellness.”
Some of the many topics included in the proposal are Human Sexuality, Reproductive System, and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Here are some highlights:
• Kindergarten: “Introduce basic reproductive body parts (penis, vagina, breast, nipples, testicles, scrotum, uterus).
• Grade 1: “Understand human beings can love people of the same gender & people of another gender.”
• Grade 5: “Understand barrier methods of contraception (e.g. male and female condoms, dental dams can greatly reduce but not prevent STIs)”
• Grade 5: “Understand sexual orientation refers to a person’s physical and/or romantic attraction to an individual of the same and/or different gender, and is one part of one’s personality.”
Grade 6: “Understand that sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral, or anal penetration; using the penis, fingers, tongue or objects.”
Grade 7: “Discuss the Supreme Court decision that has ruled that, to a certain extent, people have the right to make personal decisions concerning sexuality & reproductive health matters, such as abortion, sterilization, and contraception.”
• Grades 9-12: “Understand erotic images in art reflect society’s views about sexuality & help people understand sexuality”
According to Fox News, Dr. Bruce Messinger, the superintendent of Helena Public Schools, “said parents will be able to have their kids opt-out.” Jeff Laszloffy of the Montana Family Foundation, which is fighting the proposal, “said teachers are calling to seek legal advice about whether they can be forced to teach the information, and parents are threatening to pull children out of the public school system.”
In addition, Fox News reported that “Angela Helland-Hansen told the board that she was surprised to see that staff from Planned Parenthood were included in the committee that developed the document.”
Let’s put aside the issue of whether or not parents and teachers will be able to opt out of the proposed “Critical Competencies.” They should, of course, be able to do so. But the bigger question is what kind of lunacy led to the construction of some of the aforementioned curriculum guidelines?
School nurses talking to kindergarteners about nipples? Fifth-graders discussing dental dams with teachers? Sixth-graders conversing in class about sex as it relates to objects? Have people lost their minds?
Even if, as a parent, you agree with the above proposal in that you want your first-grader to “understand human beings can love people of the same gender & people of another gender,” it’s your job—and only yours—to impart that lesson.
In June, Todd Starnes reported that “a New England school district has approved a measure that will provide free condoms to elementary school students and direct teachers not to comply with parental wishes to the contrary. The policy, unanimously approved by the Provincetown School Committee, does not include an age limit—meaning children of any age ask for—and receive—free condoms.”
Do you see a pattern?
Massachusetts, Montana. Who knows where our educational system’s next sex-ed absurdity will pop-up.
Makes you long for the good old days of “reading, writing, and arithmetic."