- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 17, 2002

Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan and Prince George's County Executive-elect Jack Johnson recently met to discuss a joint strategy to get more educational money from Annapolis. Mr. Duncan's cause wasn't exactly helped by the county Board of Education's vote on Tuesday in favor of a pilot program in which 10th-graders would learn how to use condoms, and discuss homosexuality and other non-traditional lifestyles.
While we support the right of individual communities to decide on standards governing their public schools, there are serious questions raised whenever local officials devise such a sex-ed program and demand that taxpayers in much more conservative jurisdictions like Garrett, Carroll or Dorchester counties foot more of the bill. Yet, that's precisely what Montgomery County is doing.
The pilot program, which would begin in between three and five high schools in September, is strongly supported by Superintendent Jerry Weast. It is the result of recommendations by an advisory board called the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development, which is appointed by the school board and charged by the state with reviewing curriculum dealing with sex education and health.
Even in very liberal Montgomery County, the school board apparently had second thoughts about the very concept, voting down a similar plan in March. But now, with the elections safely behind them, board members, led by newly re-elected President Reginald Felton, seem to have lost some of their trepidation about demonstrating condom use to teens.
There are any number of serious problems with the very concept of condom ed in the schools. First, there's the question of whether public schools ought to be in the business of teaching minors how to engage in sex. To the extent that government schools have a legitimate or useful role in this area, it ought to be focused on discouraging sexual activity until marriage and alerting students to the health dangers that can result from sexually transmitted diseases.
"Students who have different sexual orientations, such as the gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender or who have sexual identity issues, often do not feel safe because of the emotional distress and physical violence displayed toward them by some students and adults," Mr. Weast wrote in a memo.
All this does is confuse the issue. It has absolutely nothing whatsover to do with teaching young teens how to engage in sex. The Montgomery school board needs to jettison this misguided curriculum right away.


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