Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Our schools' nutty priorities

Our schools appear to be more and more incapable of teaching our children the reading, writing and 'rithmetic that will enable them to triumph as white collar workers in a global economy, but they're doing their best to make sure that our kids can still get full employment as sex works. How do I know? Read this:

In the produce section of the grocery store, the lowly cucumber is about to achieve an elevated position in some Montgomery County, Md., public schools. Montgomery County has long been known as a "bedroom community" in the affluent Washington, D.C., suburbs — an appropriate moniker given what young students are about to be taught. The school system announced last week that a new sex curriculum will be introduced this spring for three middle schools and three high schools. Students will be taught how to put a condom on a cucumber. They will also be taught that homosexual couples are the newest American "family." *** But I digress. The Montgomery County schools trying out this program will also teach students to "develop" a sexual identity. According to the official line, gender identity is "a person's internal sense of knowing whether he or she is male or female." Gee, I discovered that as a child in the bathtub without the help of my public school. There does not seem to be a groundswell, or even a tremor, from parents to begin such a curriculum. Instead, this appears to be an idea hatched by the dirty minds of people like Russ Henke, the county's health education coordinator. Henke told The Washington Times, "We have some schools that stepped up to it and some schools that were recruited to do it," adding, "A school may not be real pleased because of the controversy involved, but we need the representation from that area." What "area" would that be? Planned Parenthood? The sex toy industry? The pilot program initially requires parental permission, but that won't last. Once "legitimacy" is established, pressure will be applied to make anyone who doesn't take the course feel like an outsider. Many will conform in order to avoid being "stigmatized."
Now, I'm not even arguing here with the program's content. Condoms are useful; gays should not be stigmatized; people should know what sex they are. Indeed, schools have had basic sex ed classes since the 50s. But there's an agenda here that seems to go far beyond the traditional biology offshoot class my friends and I giggled through many years ago. There's an emphasis here on sexuality, over and above everything, that seems to subtract from the schools' primary responsibility: traditional academic education. I therefore see it as usurping the family's and community's role in these issues. UPDATE: If you go here, you'll read a Trevor Bothwell post informing us that, while the Montgomery County Board of Education is fully prepared to teach its students about sexual practices and politics, it really doesn't want to know about this stuff itself. Thus, in one of those level ironies only a bureacracy could produce, emails to the county complaining about the proposed sex ed program are being blocked and bounced by the server's anti-smut software!