Sunday, March 16, 2008

And Another Reason to Homeschool...

California has adopted new sex education standards for its public school system:

"In fifth grade, students will learn about the risks of sexually transmitted diseases. In middle school, they will discuss the psychological and physical consequences of rape and sexual assault. By high school, students will be talking about condoms and even the morning-after pill."

I cannot even imagine how it could be developmentally appropriate to discuss the above topics in elementary or middle school. 10-year-old 5th graders are just starting to understand the changes they'll undergo in go on to very negative adult material is too much, too soon.

Of course, there are those who will say that this information must be given out to children when they're young because some kids need it to be "safe." Great, let's give all children a warped and unhealthy view of sex, focusing them on learning about STD's and rape between the ages of 10 and 13, simply because some kids are engaging in sexual conduct. Sigh.

Thankfully my own kids aren't going to be exposed to this new curriculum, but thousands of young California children will.

Incidentally, I'm having a hard time believing the new study which says 26% of all teenage girls have STD's...I wonder if that figure will hold up as accurate over the long run. If it's true, God help our society.

(Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs.)


Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

My kids, 9 and 12, know a lot of things and have for years, but their knowledge has always been keyed to their emotional development and questions. I'm sure my thoughts and opinions of sex, though, are not those endorsed by CA.

I'm inclined to believe the STD statistics, judging by my observations of the children in my town.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You make an excellent point. Parents are able to gauge their children as individuals and provide information as it seems appropriate to each child. Parents are also able to provide the information in the context of their beliefs, etc., and have ongoing discussions with each child on these issues.

If the STD stats are even partially correct, what a sad thing...

Best wishes,

8:11 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Well, one has to ask: once birth has occurred, whats left for a parent to do? We as parents are quickly becoming non-entities.

This was perhaps the most troubling statement of all:

"The law is great, but there's a big question of implementation," said Phyllida Burlingame, an ACLU attorney and coordinator of the California Sex Education Roundtable. "Now, in a significant way, the state is communicating what its values are."

"The state is communicating what ITS values are" - it doesn't get much more damning than this. If parents ever wondered if the state supports their role as the authority and entity responsible for their own offspring, they now know precisely where they stand...get in line, the state has fist dibs on our kids.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Along those lines, Dana, I was thinking that what this kind of program communicates is that the state believes most parents are bad parents who are incapable of handling these issues with their children themselves. How did we get to this point?

Or is it that they don't think most parents are incapable -- just incapable of providing children with the info on the agenda desired by lawmakers and others? Sen. Sheila Kuehl -- a leftist lesbian -- being "thrilled" with the new standards raises all sorts of questions for me.

Best wishes,

6:39 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

This whole matter of course boils down to values - what the standards are, what is acceptable, unacceptable, perhaps even what is right or wrong re sexuality - people should not be mistaken in assuming its simply about who gets to be in charge, its automatically part and parcel of a value system established by one other than the parent.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

p.s. to the arrogant and clueless oafs like Sheila Kuehl and her ilk, I say - you did not go through labor to bring my children into the world, nor walk the floors at night with them, nor be on bended knee in endless prayer for the years I was charged with raising them, disciplining them, nurturing them, and helping them to grown into independent and secure adults, so hands off!

7:35 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Excellent points, Dana. Thanks very much for sharing them here.

It's kind of scary wondering just how difficult it's going to be for our children to parent their own children as they see fit...

Best wishes,

8:06 PM  
Blogger Tucker Lieberman said...

I don't see how the California education program is especially revolutionary. When I was in fifth grade in Massachusetts in 1990, we were tested on our ability to draw medical diagrams of internal and external reproductive systems for both sexes. Girls, in a separate session, were taught about tampons, which was appropriate, since some girls in the class were already menstruating at age 10. I don't remember specifically being taught about STDs, but at least HIV was probably mentioned.

That year, we also received drug abuse resistance education, with presentations from health professionals and a police officer, who taught us the difference between stimulants and depressants and the potentially hazardous cocktails sold in unmarked packages on the street.

My question is, if it is appropriate to teach 10-year-olds about human sexual anatomy AND about the health risks of putting strange drugs into their bodies, why is it not appropriate to teach them that there are also health risks associated with sexual contact?

8:06 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

"if it is appropriate to teach 10-year-olds about human sexual anatomy AND about the health risks of putting strange drugs into their bodies, why is it not appropriate to teach them that there are also health risks associated with sexual contact?"

Well, firstly I dispute your premise that the MA curriculum was developmentally appropriate for all children, and I dislike the modern view that the state (via schools) is the only entity which can adequately address this with children, because *some* parents have abdicated their responsibilities.

Secondly, there is a difference between knowing enough about the reproductive system to understand physical changes taking place as one approaches adolescence, and knowing all the particulars about "sexual contact" and its risks. Yes, sadly many young children today are unhealthily precocious when it comes to their knowledge in this area, but children should be allowed to continue to be children, without being burdened with adult concerns such as AIDS and STDs.

I also think that schools, in focusing so heavily on the negative "health risks" from a young age (AIDS! STDS! assault! rape! pregnancy!) in order to supposedly deter unsafe sexual behavior, run the risk of giving children negative, warped attitudes toward what is a beautiful thing in the right context (which is marriage, in my personal opinion). There is no positive balance or wider context beyond "danger-danger-danger!"

Parents are best able to gauge how and when to impart information to each child as an individual, and to present it in the context of the family's values.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Best wishes,

11:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older