|NUMBER 313||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||FEBRUARY 2012|
|Liberal Coalition Proposes National Sex Standards|
A coalition of progressive educators aligned with the family planning and homosexual lobbies are promoting questionable guidelines for what, when, and how topics concerning sexuality should be taught to students K-12 nationwide. Some of the groups involved include Planned Parenthood Advocates for Youth, the notorious Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS), Answer, and the National Education Association Health Information Network, an arm of the nation's largest teacher's union. An advisory committee includes senior officials from Planned Parenthood and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
The proposed National Sexuality Education Standards purport to set forth "essential sexuality education core content" that is the answer to "inconsistent implementation of sexuality education nationwide." Report authors also cite "a pressing need to address harassment, bullying and relationship violence in our schools" as part of the rationale for comprehensive sex ed in public schools.
The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is one of the organizations criticizing the proposed standards for using sex education guidelines as a vehicle to promote controversial ideological agendas in K-12 classrooms. Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the NAEA, told the Washington Post that sex ed should be "about health, rather than agendas that have nothing to do with optimal sexual health decision-making. Controversial topics are best reserved for conversations between parent and child, not in the classroom."
Leslee Unruh of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse went further, assessing the proposed standards as nothing more than an attempt to brainwash schoolchildren with a "twisted worldview." She called upon parents to "take charge and refute these guidelines in the school systems."
Focus on the Family education analyst Candi Cushman argued that "no national, special-interest group should control how local schools address" sex education. "Parents and school officials are the most qualified to develop good policies based on their communities' needs," she said.
Though the proposed guidelines are being touted by the authors as "the first-ever national standards for sexuality education in schools," at present they are merely suggestions, with no enforcement power behind them. However, Cushman noted, the NEA's involvement could provide the thrust needed to get the standards implemented into schools quickly, and without parental knowledge or consent. "Schools are under no obligation to carry out these so-called standards," she said. Nonetheless, she added, the "unfortunate reality is that these guidelines could still be used by some schools and liberal education officials as leverage to undermine parental rights and expose children to controversial sexual teaching against their parents' will." Cushman said that historically parents have often been able to block such efforts when they spoke out. (See Focus on the Family's TrueTolerance.org website for resources.)
"Explicit, anything-goes-sex-education groups would have our children and youth believe there are no values, principles, or moral foundations associated with sexuality," said Chad Hills, also of Focus on the Family. He said the "soft sell" used by the coalition is intentional. "If parents knew who was on the advisory committee that crafted these recommendations, they'd take immediate action." (TheNewAmerican.com, 1-16-12; CitizenLink.com, 1-10-12)