Chariho School Parents’ Forum

May 21, 2007

Insight from a student

Filed under: National,Sex-Ed — Editor @ 6:58 pm

A comment in the previous post from an “anonymous student” says that Chariho mainly teaches about abstinence in their sex-ed programs.  This is a good thing.  But the student mistakenly said that the “Fistgate” conference was unique.  Unfortunately, this is incorrect.  Just last week this was reported in the Denver Post

“I’m going to encourage you to have sex, and I’m going to encourage you to use drugs appropriately,” panelist Joel Becker, a Los Angeles clinical psychologist, told the students. “And why I am going to take that position is because you’re going to do it anyway.”

There is a more detailed response in the comments section of the last post.



  1. While I retain certain opinions, I see more clearly where you stood with this issue. I appreciate the respectful comments in regard to what I said, and I’d like to take this time to appoligize for how I presented my stance, I think I took a bit more edge to my stance than needed, I was caught off guard on such a hot button issue and the anger was directed more towards the issue than the people reflecting on it. With that said, I thank you once again for the respectful responses. I’ll agree that there’s more to be said once I experience the trials and tribulations of parent hood, and the rest of my teen years.

    Comment by Anonoymous Student — May 21, 2007 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  2. No apologies necessary. I think you make a valid point and coincidentally, not unlike a conversation I had about an hour ago, with my mother of all people (she is in-town for a visit).

    And you presented a good image of the shift in society that I see combining the two conversations.
    She too thought sex-ed should be “more open.” But then I showed her the guidelines on the SIECUS site – she was shocked – and then we had an interesting conversation.

    (maybe I’ll post it some time)

    Long and short of it is – things have changed. Look over the 50 years from her first marriage (when abstinence until marriage was the norm) to my time when “love” was still necessary for sex but premarital sex was the norm, to today when love isn’t needed to have sex (at least as presented in popular culture and supported with the SIECUS “mentality”).

    And I’ll admit that this is an occupational pet peeve of mine. Look over time (on a national view) the shifts in policy and culture (welfare accepting “by choice” single mothers, divorce laws, Murphy Brown, education curricula and “philosophies” etc…) and the growth of (1) single parent family (2) out of wedlock births (3) abortions (4) child behavioral issues. And if there is one thing that is irrefutable (as much as can be made in today’s “post modern” world) it is that the best possibilities for a child are with two biological parents.

    And “educational philosophies” are so important because family structure has changed to where the schools are relied on more and more to fulful that function.

    With so many variables it is impossible to prove but I sincerely believe that when something is promoted as “your going to do it anyway,” it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and the behavior grows.

    Again, that being said, to my knowledge, and from what you have said, this is not a problem at Chariho. And I do appreciate your comments.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 21, 2007 @ 11:13 pm | Reply

  3. AS, you might be interested (to see the national picture of things) to see some articles on this page ( I’m months behind in updating it but you can see some extremes. Eg. how Buenos Aires had “required” sex-ed from the school and how some students couldn’t opt-out of the classes. These are the issues that trouble parents. The ones that are involved with their kids don’t want the competition.

    However, Lois made a point that if a parent wants the school to do the parenting, then so be it. My libertarian blood says yes but the realist (that knows that society (and taxes) will end up paying for it) pull me to intervention.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 21, 2007 @ 11:40 pm | Reply

  4. Dear Anonymous Student,

    Thank you for your comments and insight! It’s great to hear from teenagers. We (most parents) seem to think they are chldren but if history has lessons it is that ‘teenagers’ have led armies, fought wars, sailed and captained ships, ordered and organized servants and manses, ruled countries, survived at Plymouth Rock and began this country. I have always thought of them as young adults much earlier than the schools allow or often treat them. Because more and deeper education is necessary for strong survival in this civilization, does not mean that Mother Nature has made them stay young physically, intellectually, or emotionally for our benefit.

    As to sex education, I would ban it in elementary schools (K-6th) and allow a wide range of options in middle and high school. Some for parents to opt-out their children (through 10th), some for young adults to determine (11th – 12th), some mandatory health issues (7th – 12th). I also believe that it is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children. Which is why you have them when you are old enough to be responsible for another human being for its entire life.

    There is nothing cute or charming about a 14 or 15 year old having a baby. They are not dolls.

    But, anyway – thanks for your discussion. It’s very refreshing.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 22, 2007 @ 6:54 am | Reply

  5. Barbara,

    I agree with everything that you’ve stated.

    I think that the progressive opt-out and restrictions you suggest is a brilliant route, and one I’d encourage those of you whom agree with it to persue, as I personally see it working well with us, teaching what needs to be taught, and hopefully allowing parents their own boundaries and time to ensure their kids get the values they want.

    It’s a very good idea. I also agree that there is nothing positive about teenage pregnancy, or not abstaining. I appreciate your response, and I really like that idea of progressive health class with opt-out options and manditory portions.

    Comment by Anonymous Student — May 22, 2007 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  6. A bit off the rez but still in line with the problems discussed is a recent story about Roger Williams University.

    Anonymous Student, you are obviously an intelligent person, but what you may be hearing from other posts is that you do not have a point of reference that comes from age. Let me give you an example –

    At RWU, the movie “an Inconvinient Truth” was required to be seen or the student would fail the class. When a student asked that an opposing view be shown, RWU refused.

    At RIC, the movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” was shown in several classes. When I suggested that a resopnse film be shown too, the chair of the dept said, “its not going to happen” and one professor emailed me to say that the school “was not about presenting a balanced presentation, nor should they be, they are not a debating society.” (although after I publisized the event they did back down).

    So when we read that ONLY the SIECUS version of sex-ed can be given in RI public schools, we start to think that maybe, just maybe, learning WHAT to think is more important than learning HOW to think.

    On a side note – since when did “learning materials” start coming from political activists?

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 23, 2007 @ 9:34 am | Reply

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