2019 | Week of September 16 | Radio Transcript #1325
“Do you know what they are teaching to kindergarteners in our local public schools?” an irate parent said to me at one of our community events recently. Sadly, I was pretty sure I did know what that school was teaching in kindergarten, especially when this mother went on to say it was part of the so-called “human growth and development” program.
If you’re not aware, in Wisconsin we euphemistically call “sex-ed” in our government schools “Human Growth and Development” programs.
The first thing parents need to know is that no school district in Wisconsin is required to have a sex ed program. It’s totally voluntary.
However, if a school district decides to have a sex-ed program, then state law mandates a few things. For instance, there must be an advisory committee that includes representation from parents, clergy, and medical personnel. In addition, the law restricts how many school-district-related people can be on the committee.
Further, the law requires, among other things, that abstinence from sexual activity be presented as the preferred choice for unmarried students and that abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
To help parents, the law also requires that school districts supply parents with an outline of what will be covered in any human growth and development course, information on how to get the details of what will be taught, as well as on their right to opt their child out of any or all human growth and development class or course.
Essentially, the law allows school districts to have a true abstinence-focused human growth and development program or a much broader and more liberal so-called “comprehensive” sex-ed program that actually encourages sexual activity with a “be safe” message.
The way the law is written, it is really up to individual communities to ride herd on their local school district to ensure full compliance with this law. Getting informed and involved Christians on the advisory committee is critical. Beyond that, parents are, as always, their children’s best defense. I believe it is imperative parents see not just the outline of what will be taught in these courses, but the actual materials that will be used.
More and more frequently, school districts are using materials, yes, even in kindergarten, that are graphically explicit—and quite frankly, in any other context would be deemed pornographic or at least unsuitable in a public place, especially when children are involved. But parents won’t know this unless they press the issue.
A good friend of our organization, Jim Dickson, has fought some real battles on ensuring district compliance and on what kind of human growth and development program the school district of Neenah would have. In the end, Jim wrote a booklet entitled, “10 Reasons To Say No Sex Education in WI Public Schools.” In summary, Jim says school districts ought to “trash any curriculum authored by organizations that benefit from sexual activity,” such as Planned Parenthood and SIECUS.
He says “[c]omprehensive sex ed should not be taught in public schools.” He notes that “few public school teachers are actually trained to teach high-risk topics” such as sex ed and that school districts “must carefully consider the positives and negatives on who should teach sex-ed.”
When it comes to the required abstinence component, Jim says districts “must make skills to remain abstinent the centerpiece of any human growth and development program,” while also rightly reminding us that while repetition is good when dealing with facts, it is very hazardous, very dangerous, when dealing with feelings.
His last 3 points are if a sex ed curriculum is not proven to be effective, it should not be taught; parents are the experts on age appropriate matters; and it is child abuse, he says, to teach these topics without guidance on right and wrong. His final conclusion: “It would be a win-win-win for parents, children and teachers if public schools would concentrate on academics, their area of expertise, and leave sexual education to parents.”
Do I know what is being taught to kindergarten students in our public schools when it comes to sex ed? While I unfortunately do in many cases, that’s not really the question that should be asked. The question that should be asked is do the parents of kindergarteners—and kids in every other grade—know what their children are being taught? Ignorance isn’t bliss; it’s dangerous.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council, reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”