- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 12, 2004

Last year, when D.C. Mayor Tony Williams held a forum on education, two young women advocated sex-education programs for grade-schoolers. The mayor, looking perplexed, asked the women if they were indeed proposing that pre-pubescent youth attend sex-ed classes. The women said yes, and the mayor moved on. He should have probed deeper.

Do you know what’s being taught in your child’s sex-education class?

A number of school districts place no age or course restrictions on sexual education. Many others, including Washington’s, do allow parents to opt their children out of sex-ed classes, but neither parents seemingly are not concerned about whether our children are being brainwashed with an anything-and-everything-goes ideology straight out of … well … excuse me. This is a family newspaper.

Those of us who participate in the realm of the school-reform debate and closely watch how overall education policy is shaped know that the devil is in the details. So it is regarding sex education. A perfect example resurfaced earlier this year.

The National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, recently gave a human-rights award to the founding director of a group called the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. The group’s mission is to school Americans on how non-heterosexuals should be treated, and one of the group’s chief partners is the NEA. The NEA is a friend to any liberal who clamors for more money for teachers and a foe to any public-school parent who even attempts to raise the bar.

The gay group annually reviews laws and policies, and then ranks states on what it calls safety policies. But its premise and analyses are flawed. For example, the group specifically finds out whether a state has laws or policies that single out gay students from being bullied, harassed or called a derogatory name by school employees or other students. If a state “protects” such students, then it earns a certain number of points toward being deemed a “safe” school district.

According to the gay group’s recently released report, 84 percent of America’s schools are “unsafe.”

Of course, their idea of what’s safe and yours are probably drawn from very different books. Most parents consider pedophiles, guns and drugs as serious threats to their children’s health, education and welfare. Yet the spin on in-school safety in recent years is the silly notion that name-calling threatens mostly non-heterosexual students.

Indeed, not long after the mayor’s education forum, a D.C. teacher relayed what I am certain is not an isolated incident in American schoolhouses as “human-rights” advocates have their way. The teacher said she caught two girls in a sexually compromising position in a school hallway and took both girls to the principal’s office. But instead of the principal admonishing the girls, the principal reprimanded the teacher in front of the girls, saying he couldn’t reprimand the girls lest he risk being accused of discrimination. Suffice it to say, the teacher left the D.C. school system and now teaches in neighboring Northern Virginia.

Interestingly, the nation’s capital earned a “B” from the gay group, while Virginia got an “F.” In all, 42 states failed to measure up to the gay group’s PC “safety” test.

The likelihood that the two girls “discovered” their sexuality in sex-ed class becomes reality when you factor in several startling variables, including this: A comprehensive project by National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government found that parents are not involved in the sex-education curriculum in their children’s schools.

The sexual health of Baby Boomers was not left to schools. In fact, it is fair to say, boomers gushed and blushed, and giggled and teased when discussions of hygiene came up in health class. Since the PC days of the 1980s, however, health classes have become sexual education classes, and innocent teasing has become a form of harassment.

In a recent letter to the editor in The Washington Times, Kevin Jennings, who won the NEA’s “human-rights” award — said that he has dedicated his life “to ensuring that all students, particularly lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender students, learn in school environments free of harassment and discrimination.” The reality is that too many adolescents and teens aren’t learning anything at all in school — except, it seems, how to be free to exercise their sexual desires whenever and however they please.

How and why this came about is obvious. When the tide will change and who will change it is the challenge.

A study by the conservative Heritage Foundation says that 91 percent of parents want teen-agers to be taught that “sex should be linked to love, intimacy and commitment and that these qualities are most likely to occur in marriage.”

That lesson is not being taught in America’s schools.

The moral of this story? If you don’t know what your children are being taught — especially when it comes to something as life-sustaining as the do’s and don’ts of sexual health — then, indeed, anything goes.

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