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.

May 18, 2007

Reshaping society – public school style

Filed under: Sex-Ed,State-wide — Editor @ 7:51 pm

Not long ago there was an unsigned editorial in the ProJo discussing a recent study on abstinence education produced by Mathmatica.  This article was not unlike many others written around the country.  Almost all main stream publications jumped on the bandwagon and said that abstinence programs were not effective at reducing sexual activity of teens.  Only Christian publications bothered to look at the details of the study.

You can find the complete study here.

I would suggest that you look at the study carefully.  What you will find is disturbing, most notably in the sampling.  What they did was looked at children who participated in abstinence education from the ages between 9 – 11.  Then, 4-6 years later, they surveyed the participants to see if their sexual activity was any different from students who did not participate in any abstinence programs.

Here are the main problems with this study.  First of all, they only looked at 4 of the approx 900 different programs (one of which was only an after-school activity).   But the most glaring problem was the fact that they only gave the children the abstinence information when they were ages 9 – 11.  Not exactly the ages when hormones are raging.  From the ages 12 – 16 they were given the standard “comprehensive sex-ed.”

Wouldn’t it be just as conclusive to say that if you give students “comprehensive sex-ed” for 4-6 years that you can convince children to become sexually active?  Maybe this study is more an indictment of comprehensive sex-ed than it is an indictment of abstinence programs. 

I do know what it has shown us is the bias and agenda present in many journalists.

If you think I am overreacting, let me remind you of the 2000, 2001, 2004 “Teach-Out” conferences held in Massachusetts.  This conference was nicknamed “Fistgate” for reasons you are about to learn.

“Fistgate” was the public school funded conferences where children as young as 12 were told such things as:

“Go out and get a bunch of condoms and plan a day of experimenting.”

“As with vegetables, children shouldn’t knock homosexuality until they try it.”

One instructor even went so far as to graphically describe “fisting” techniques, thus the moniker given to the conference.  If you have not heard about this conference, don’t be surprised.  It didn’t get much press – not nearly as much as is used to bash abstinence programs.

Do you think I’m kidding or overreacting?  Judge for yourself.  A parent recorded one of the meetings and audio clips can be found here.  (warning, many of these recording have graphic language)

It is truly shocking and something we need to vigilantly look out for here in RI.  Remember, RI was the first state where the ACLU was successful in banning abstinence programs in public schools.  Commissioner McWalters eventually reversed his decision but the ACLU is still trying.

December 19, 2006

ProJo reports ACLU letter

Filed under: Sex-Ed,State-wide — Editor @ 4:37 pm

Today’s ProJo reports on the ACLU letter discussed in yesterday’s post.

December 18, 2006

The ACLU at it again

Filed under: Sex-Ed,State-wide — Editor @ 2:48 pm

Posted in the “schools in the news,” “RI schools” section I have listed articles about the fight for abstinence education in RI.   Parents voluntarily allow their children to participate; yet the ACLU doesn’t think they have that right.  Commissioner McWalters wisely reversed his ban on abstinence but the ACLU just won’t quit.  Here is the most recent letter from the ACLU http://www.riaclu.org/documents/2006HeritagelettertoDOE1215.pdf 

A few points in the letter (link above) are particularly telling (troubling). 

“First, HRI’s reported five-hour curriculum would appear to take up a significant amount of the class time set aside for discussion of HIV/AIDS, family life and sexuality topics generally. If so, this could leave little time for useful complementary sex education instruction that is clearly missing from this particular program.” 

If the total time devoted to sex-ed were 5 1/2 hours, I might agree with this statement – but its not. This also begs the question – how much time do parents want devoted to teaching abstinence compared to teaching “technique” et al. 

“More importantly, we are concerned that the HRI curriculum simply is not “one component of a comprehensive health curriculum consistent with state standards.” Instead, it appears to be a component that is, at least in part, contradictory to the state’s health curriculum. How teachers are supposed to deal with these seemingly opposing teaching lessons is difficult to comprehend.” 

If abstinence is at opposition to the lesson plan – it makes one wonder exactly what are the values that comprehensive sex-ed is trying to impart. 

“Under RIDE’s health education standards, for example, students in Grades 11-12 are supposed to be able to demonstrate the ability to understand and analyze how “gays and lesbians can establish fulfilling committed relationships.”  

I wonder if the average parent (even in RI) would approve of this lesson. What if a student answered this question with statistics on the high rate of infidelity among homosexual couples (even if done with consent – and what impact will that lesson of consent have on that child’s future relationships) or the disproportionably higher rate of violence in those relationships. Could this lesson be considered a political (or religious) litmus test?

Finally, we should all ask a simple question.  Since we started teaching this progressive “comprehensive sex-ed,” have things gotten better or worse?

 For another analysis of this topic, check out this post on anchorrising.