SEX ED IDEOLOGY VS. THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN AND TEENS
Beginning last month, the Bloomberg Administration’s new sex education mandate was rolled out across all city public middle and high schools.
This evening brought news of ‘kindergarten sex games’ as students at Manhattan’s PS 189 allegedly “explored their private parts” and simulated “oral sex activities” in the classroom while their teacher was preoccupied. Parents are outraged.
I had to be silent on this particular matter in my NY Post OpEd columns because I serve as the executive director of NYC Parents’ Choice, a group formed to give parents a voice in how the new sex education mandate is implemented. I won’t be silent on this blog.
As I researched the history of the policy, the more I began to question the DoE’s supposedly “values neutral” approach to sex education.
The NY Post exposed DOE referrals to a sexually-explicit website where lessons in sadomasochism, group sex, and bizarre sexual fetishes are taught. Unexposed, however, are those values underlying the radical sexuality education agenda being advanced within the Bloomberg Administration.
This radical, sexuality education agenda first came to light in 1953 when a Planned Parenthood staffer advised his superiors, “… we must be ready to provide young boys and girls with the best contraception measures available so they will have the necessary means to achieve sexual satisfaction without having to risk possible pregnancy.”
Over the years, sex education in public schools has become more explicit, more ideological and more disrespectful of traditional moral values. And the purveyors of sexuality education want it taught as early as kindergarten. So, is the alleged incident at PS 189 so surprising?
One sexuality education advocate praised the Bloomberg mandate as “an important step towards political acceptance of comprehensive sex education” and as “the manifesto for an ideal sex education program.” But he panned the mandate because Bloomberg did not create a structure to strictly enforce its implementation. That sentiment may explain DoE’s resistance to proven abstinence-centered sex education.
Late last year, four city agencies jointly announced the launch of NYC Teen, a website designed to provide job training information and access to health information and services, including teen pregnancy prevention. The city commissioners touted the website as a portal to an array of government services. But they neglected to mention that NYC Teen is also a portal to non-governmental sites, such as scarleteen.com, that would shock parents.
Heather Corrina, the woman who runs scarleteen.com, also runs an erotica/porn site. The city flashes a brief disclaimer for this and other “questionable” referral sites. Is this emblematic of a “values neutral” program?
Meanwhile, the city-wide roll-out of its one-size-fits-all sexuality education program comes in fewer than 6 weeks and parents know little about what will be taught in their local schools.
Partnering with Parents, a recent DoE theme is an example of DoE “newspeak.” Nowhere in Chancellor Walcott’s nine-page speech on parental involvement last month was there any mention of the sex education mandate or plans to refer teens to questionable websites and services that do not require parental consent.
Teachers can’t take kids to the Bronx Zoo without signed consent forms, yet the DoE can facilitate online referrals to family planning centers, mental health clinicians and fetish shops.
In a landmark ruling on pornography, the US Supreme Court ruled that community standards can prevail in the definition and regulation of pornography. I believe that the same common sense standard should apply regarding sex education. Parents, not the DoE – which is not a values neutral entity — should set community standards.
I believe that New York parents want and prefer a sex education program which is free of a radical sexuality education agenda. Teens need a curriculum which emphasizes abstinence as the healthiest choice and encourages adolescents to avoid and/or cease being sexually active.
Public school sex education classes should be medically accurate, respectful of parental values and in line with common sense.
The Department of Education refused to hold Town Hall meetings informing parents about what exactly will be taught in schools this January. Under federal law, parents have a right to know, but the radical sexuality mafia at the Department of Education did not seem to care about that. Instead, they belatedly sent letters to parents and the local Community Education Councils last month.
Those letters are rife with misrepresentations. The FAQs sheets (What is Sexual Health Education? and Health Education and Sexual Health Education Frequently Asked Questions) make it seem as though parents have little say about the content of the lessons their adolescents are taught.
Will it take more incidents such as the one at PS 189 for parents to rise up and make their collective voices heard? I hope the clarion call is now and not tomorrow.