One of parents' most important duties is to protect their children from harmful sexual values and behaviors. Yet many public schools force potentially harmful, sometimes shockingly explicit sex education on their students.
Most of the time, parents have no control over the content of these classes. Occasionally, a group of parents finds out about a particularly obnoxious sex education class and protests to the principal or local school board. The class may be dropped, only to be replaced by another class that teaches equally objectionable material.
School authorities' cavalier attitude towards parents on this issue shows their anti-parent bias, and their contempt for parents' rights to control the values their children are taught.
Many school authorities insist that children need comprehensive sex education from kindergarten through high school. They believe parents can't be trusted because they have shameful feelings about sex or have "outdated" moral or sexual values. School authorities, claiming that they know best regarding sex education, usurp the parents' role, allegedly for the good of the children. In doing so, they show contempt for parents' rights, values, and common sense.
Many sex-education classes indoctrinate children with sexual values that can cause them irreparable harm. For example, these classes often promote the idea that most sexual behaviors are acceptable, including adultery, homosexuality, masturbation, and premarital sex.
The sex-education instructor simply tells the kids to "be careful" or use their "common sense" when they engage in these behaviors. As if we can depend on teenagers with raging hormones to be careful or use their common sense. The soaring teen pregnancy rate in this country puts the lie to this notion.
Horror stories about sex education classes and flagrant violations of parents' rights confront us from around the country. Here are only four of those stories:
? On March 19, 1996, a public school in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania made 59 sixth-grade girls submit to a genital examination as part of a routine physical. The school did not ask for parental consent. During the exam, school officials blocked the exit doors and refused to let the crying and pleading young girls call their parents.
? In Stephens County, Georgia, parents were shocked to discover that their fourteen- and fifteen-year-old daughters had been driven to a birth control clinic by a public school staff member without their knowledge. The county clinic administered AIDS tests and Pap smears to the girls and gave them birth control pills and condoms. The school denied parents access to the test results and defended its actions on the grounds that the counselor believed that she was doing what was best for the girls.
? The Pacific Justice Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of parents against the Novato [California] Unified School District for authorizing pro‑homosexual presentations without any prior notice or consent. According to the Pacific Justice Institute Press Release, "The presentations entitled "Cootie Shots," exposed elementary school children as young as seven years old with skits containing gay and lesbian overtures. The presentations were followed by question and answer sessions about what constitutes 'normal' families and acceptance of those who choose the homosexual lifestyle." 6 (see Notes in "Public Schools, Public Menace")
? Carol (last name withheld for privacy), a schoolteacher, couldn't believe what she was being asked to teach in her sex education class. The curriculum forced her to show second-graders pictures of nude boys and girls and ask them to name body parts. School authorities told Carol and her fellow elementary school teachers that there were no absolute moral rules, so she shouldn't be concerned about what she had to teach the children.
Parents, it might be advisable if you periodically asked your children if their school is giving them sex-education classes and what the school is teaching in these classes.
If these classes force your children to sit through shocking, obnoxious, or embarrassing sex-education material, you can do something about it. Many states have Parent Notification laws that allow you to demand that the school "opt-out" (withdraw) your children from these classes. You can find more information about this important issue in "Public Schools, Public Menace."
Joel Turtel is an education policy analyst, and author of "Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children."
Article Copyrighted ? 2005 by Joel Turtel.
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