The Montana Republican Party is using the threat of “graphic, explicit” sex education for Montana grade-schoolers to drum up support for its legislative candidates this fall.

But according to some, the party’s tactic is unfair.

The party put out a press release this week arguing that Helena’s controversial sex education policy could spread “to the rest of the state” if Republicans are not in the majority at the 2011 Legislature.

The release describes Helena’s proposed curriculum as “graphic and explicit” and faults the program for beginning in kindergarten.

Bowen Greenwood, the party’s executive director said Democrats have twice tried to pass laws that would create a statewide sex-education program similar to Helena’s and have been stopped only because Republicans rallied to blunt their efforts.

“The fact of the matter is, we do consider it a very realistic possibility that (another effort) could come back in the future,” he said, referring to House Bill 596, proposed by Rep. Theresa Henry, D-Missoula.

But according to Jessica Rhoades, a spokeswoman for the Office of Public Instruction, the state constitution forbids the Legislature from dictating the details of any kind of school curriculum statewide, leaving such choices to local school boards. She said it would be impossible for any Legislature to force statewide curriculum on local boards.

Rhoades said Henry’s bill did not mandate any specific kind of sex education; it only directed state education officials to provide additional resources to school districts for sex education if they request it.

“It was optional,” she said.

Henry disputed the assertion their bill directed any kind of “graphic, explicit” sex education. She said he hoped the bill, called the Healthy Teen Act, would have provided kids with the information they need to stay healthy. A growing number of teenagers are engaging in risky sexual behaviors other than traditional intercourse because they believe they can avoid disease that way and “save themselves for marriage.”

“I know situations where kids didn’t realize that the fornication their parents talked about as a sin is exactly what they’re doing,” said Henry, a nurse practitioner and nursing professor.

At issue is a proposed health education curriculum now pending before the Helena School Board. The 64-page document deals with a wide range of health related topics, from the importance of hand-washing and good posture to identifying healthy foods. A small portion of the curriculum dealt with human sexuality, although that portion has generated the most controversy.

The board has postponed a decision on the curriculum and is in the process of changing some of the language in the document.

Critics, including the Montana Republican Party, said the sex-education portion begins in kindergarten. They take particular issue with a section of the curriculum that teaches fifth-graders that sexual activity includes “vaginal, oral, or anal penetration.”

State Republican Chairman Will Deschamps of Missoula, called the curriculum “extremist indoctrination.”

But Bruce Messinger, superintendent of Helena Public Schools, said the proposed curriculum is hardly “extremist.”

He described the human sexuality portion as “abstinence-based” and noted that the first direct mention of sexual relations begins in fourth grade with a discussion on abstinence.

Currently, Helena Public Schools begins sex education in fifth grade.

“Abstinence is abstaining from all sexual activity,” he said. “We want students to understand that a more limited definition of intercourse is not the only way” to engage in sexual activity or spread sexually transmitted infections.

The human sexuality portion of the curriculum does not actually begin in kindergarten, according to the document. However, elsewhere the curriculum calls for teaching kindergarteners the anatomical names of various parts of the human body, including the penis, vagina and scrotum.

Messinger said it is unclear whether such anatomical vocabulary will begin in kindergarten. The committee that designed the curriculum wanted to make certain that students are familiar with the proper names of the human body before the sex education curriculum begins in fourth grade.

Plus, Messinger said, knowing the proper names of body parts helps educators and other adults work with young children who may have been victims of abuse.

Messinger said there has been a lot of misunderstanding about the curriculum draft, leading some parents to believe that the language included in the document is the same language teachers will impart on students. Messinger said he didn’t believe the curriculum was “graphic” or “explicit,” but he said document is only a “road map,” and not a textbook.

The actual instruction children will receive will be different from the short descriptions of curriculum goals listed in the document.

Before any new texts are introduced in the classroom, there will be a “parents night,” Messinger said, where parents can see exactly what their children will be learning.

“In our experience over the years, when people take the time to see” actual classroom instruction, most are happy with it, he said.

Reporter Jennifer McKee: 447-4069 or jennifer.mckee@lee.net

(30) comments

clancykid
clancykid

"Henry disputed the assertion their bill directed any kind of “graphic, explicit” sex education." REALLY? I read the bill and that's not the way I interpreted it.

"A growing number of teenagers are engaging in risky sexual behaviors other than traditional intercourse because they believe they can avoid disease that way and “save themselves for marriage.” Where does she get this statistic from? I have successfully raised six kids and not that long ago either, and that is NOT what was going through any of their minds. I know, I asked them and we had a good enough relationship that I got a straight answer from each of them.

"Critics, including the Montana Republican Party, said the sex-education portion begins in kindergarten. They take particular issue with a section of the curriculum that teaches fifth-graders that sexual activity includes “vaginal, oral, or anal penetration.” I take offense to this also. Parents can teach their children about sex far better than big brother can. It's the parents responsibility. The nanny state can work on math, science and English, they don't seem to be doing such a bang up job at those subjects considering the drop out rate. Maybe they can get better at those before they start taking over for the parents.

"Currently, Helena Public Schools begins sex education in fifth grade." Is there really anything wrong with the current system? Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

"Messinger said it is unclear whether such anatomical vocabulary will begin in kindergarten." Come on now, who is being honest here and who isn't? I read it over and that is EXACTLY when it begins. Read it for yourself and make the determination and she who is blowing smoke here. Time to get 100% honest Mr. Messinger. I assume you can read and comprehend at a very high level considering your education, so you should have no problem seeing the bill for what it says.

"Plus, Messinger said, knowing the proper names of body parts helps educators and other adults work with young children who may have been victims of abuse." I see now, we are going to teach all the kids these terms in case they are in the very small minority of abused children. How noble and how completely hypocritical. More smoke being blown sir?

It's apparent that the Helena school system is going to have this shoved down their collective throats no matter how the tax payers, the people that pay these peoples pay checks feel about it. The arrogance of the entire matter is repugnant and the lack of honesty is disgusting. Personally, I think some personnel changes are in order here. I think the school system could use a new school nurse and a new administrator, and quickly!

helenros
helenros

A growing number of teenagers are engaging in risky sexual behaviors other than traditional intercourse because they believe they can avoid disease that way and “save themselves for marriage.” (quoted from the article)

Keeping kids ignorant doesn't stop them from having sex. It only stops them from having accurate information with which to make a choice.

GrandChamp

Could the IR possibly get more biased in its articles? Why in the world would anyone pay to get a subscription to this worthless liberal paper.

TheWinsomeLass
TheWinsomeLass

[quote]clancykid said: "A growing number of teenagers are engaging in risky sexual behaviors other than traditional intercourse because they believe they can avoid disease that way and “save themselves for marriage.” Where does she get this statistic from? I have successfully raised six kids and not that long ago either, and that is NOT what was going through any of their minds.[/quote]


Kids were engaging in all kinds of sexual behavior ON SCHOOL GROUNDS when I was in high school some dozen plus years ago. That beautiful copse of trees on the western edge of CHS was *the* place to drink, smoke, do drugs, and have sex during lunch! I witnessed it with my own two eyes!

If you don't like what's being taught to your kids, send them to a private school, or homeschool them.

Darkness

[quote]TheWinsomeLass said: "If you don't like what's being taught to your kids, send them to a private school, or homeschool them. "[/quote]

Let me get this straight. You're suggesting that as a taxpayer, paying for the operation of the public schools, we have no say in the curriculum being taught?

dietz1963

Oh please, kids are far from ignorant thanks to television, media and the internet. When sex education wasn't taught teens had sex, when sex ed started being taught at high school level they still had sex, reducing the age of teaching sex ed and they're still having sex. I've read folks say it seems to be increasing, gee, so lets teach even more and at an earlier age since its been working so well LMAO. And thanks to modern medicine there is more protection for having sex then ever before, more birth control pills, after sex pills yada yada yada. Because of that, what makes any of you think sex with teens is ever going to be reduced or eliminated through additional and earlier sex education? But then again, we're not living in a society of common sense anymore, just whats "politically correct". Hence this news article, what it the world are politicians doing in this, they haven't been able to do anything right in decades (thats both parties).

Ya know folks, unless parents take a more active role with their children and/or sex is outlawed teens are going to continue to have sex regardless.

TheWinsomeLass
TheWinsomeLass

[quote]Darkness said: "Let me get this straight. You're suggesting that as a taxpayer, paying for the operation of the public schools, we have no say in the curriculum being taught?"[/quote]

I have no say in my taxes going to pay for county employees' health care. There's a lot of things we don't have any say in as taxpayers!

Curmudgeon

Leave it to the Montana GOP to kick up a great hoopla and hullabaloo, and start some kind of "jihad", in order to appeal to Joe Sixpack and the Bubbah vote.

GrandChamp

[quote]Curmudgeon said: "Leave it to the Montana GOP to kick up a great hoopla and hullabaloo, and start some kind of "jihad", in order to appeal to Joe Sixpack and the Bubbah vote."[/quote]

Yes, to appeal to "Joe Sixpack". Truthfully none of us really care about the issue, or worry about the direction in which our society is going, we are just working real hard to please the poor uneducated "Joe Sixpacks". Thanks for enlightening everyone.

gun961960

Dietz, this has been explained to you a dozen times by now but you either refuse to listen or you are some sort of self proclaimed know it all with no professional back ground from which to base your "expert" opinions...you are however entitled to it I suppose. It is just getting old...fast. Kids these days are living in an entirely different world than you did 30 yrs ago. They have the good ol World Wide Web, they have cell phones and are sexting, they have a variety of magazines that all glamorize sex, they have satellite television with hundreds of channels vs the 2-6 you probably got, they even have satellite radio, they are also blessed with a divorce rate above 50%. There are many contributing factors to teen sex. Binge drinking, peer pressure, ignorance, drug use, lack of parenting, etc. Nobody is Laughing My A** Off here, it isn't funny! What makes us think that educating our youth on sexual health facts is going to work is THAT IS WORKING IN THE REST OF THE WORLD. I have posted the link to you several times that shows the stark differences in STD and teen pregnancy rates in the US vs England, France, & the Netherlands. It seems you simply do not care? NOBODY is claiming this curriculum will eliminate the problems we have, we are simply seeking to reduce the numbers of STDs and Teen pregnancies, which would in turn also reduce the number of abortions, isnt that something you want? Education IS common sense, it is too bad you can't see that. Nobody is argueing that Parents are a key factor here, but we have no way of forcing the parents to do their job...do we?
I thought these few sentences were key in this article....
"He (Messinger) described the human sexuality potion as "abstinence-based" and noted the first direct mention of sexual relations begins in fourth grade with a discussion on abstinence"
"Abstinence is abstaining from ALL sexual activity," he said. "We want students to understand that a more limited definition of intercourse is not the only way to engage in sexual activity or spread sexually transmitted infections."
"the human sexuality portion of the curriculum does NOT actually begin in kindergarten"
"the curriculum calls for teaching kinderarteners the anatomical names of various parst of the human body, including the penis, vagina and scrotum."
"knowing the proper names of the body parts helps educators and other adults work with young children who may have been victims of abuse."
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY
"Messinger said there has been a lot of MIS understanding about the curriculum draft, leading some parents to believe that the language included in the dcument is the same language teachers will impart on students." "the curriculum was "graphic" or "explicit," but he said document is only a "road map," and not a textbook.
Hopefully you can take a minute, look over the resources I have sent you and think about it....really it makes sense to educate.

dietz1963

How old are you gun, twenty something? 30 years ago we had cable TV that had about 30 or so channels (some of which were adult). It was relatively easy to get our hands on pornograpic movies/magazines. We didn't do sexting, but passed "love notes" which were pretty graphic. Binge drinking, peer pressure, ignorance, drug use, lack of parenting, etc.

So now here we are 30 years later. Since my time, regardless of the more sex education, regardless of lables being on alcohol actually stating it as a danger, regardless of drinking age raised to 21, regardless of carding if anyone looks under age 40 (I had a baby face and could buy practically everywhere) despite a seat belt law, yada yada yada, all what went on in my time going on now HAS INCREASED! And you know why, because we TOLERATE EVERYTHING.

I'd bet my life savings (if my ex wouldn't have gotten it) that should they ever pass the cirriculum as written, 10 years after the 6 year olds get their education, some will STILL GET PREGNANT, maybe even more and some WILL STILL GET A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE.

And no, the entire world is not teaching sex ed at age 5. Right around age 12, yes. But the UK and ONLY the UK started this 2 years ago because their teen pregnancy rate is higher then all of Europe but NO ONE ELSE IN EUROPE is trying an age 5 teaching. People over there would be rioting in the streets if they tried that. THe UK not withstanding.

MtMadeMan
MtMadeMan

Thought;

If education is so wonderful and works such wonders, how come we still have smokers and drug addicts?

Teaching the young about sex too early will just lower the age of experimentation.

This program is more about the school system deciding parents are too stupid to raise their children and it is up to the state to decide the morals taught to them.

Habu
Habu

We can't all be Quakers .... I say let 'em have the education on sex and have babies. If we don't we're in trouble as this Youtube presentation illuminates.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0U5Kw57iv4

Habu

jlarsen
jlarsen

Leave it to the GOP to deceive voters in order to try to get more people out of their shells on election day, or to attempt to sway moderates and independents to vote for republicans. This sort of thing is likely only to backfire on the GOP and result in further alienation of the GOP from the mainstream.

dolphind3

Gun; Lay off of dietz, the deaf ears on here belong to you. Many things have been pointed out to you and you refuse to listen as you accuse everyone else.The reason for that is you clearly have an agenda and one that is in the minority not only in Helena but nation wide.
The only way a child can sext is if you as a parent allow them to have a cell phone and allow texting on it. My 12 yr old son does not have a cell phone and he will not have one until he starts traveling in highschool with the sports teams. Just like we did with my daughter. She is not socially retarded because of it either. The reason he doesn't have a cell is simple.....He doesn't need one! Oh he wants one and we hear how all his friends have one but it does not matter. A young child does not need a cell phone. Sure it can make life a little more convenient but in our view it is just another way of shunning parental resposibility. Oh and it is not you or the governments job to force parents to do their jobs. Quit trying to save everyone else and worry about you and yours. I agree with mtmademan; if education is the cureall you claim it to be then how come we still have problems? It is not because everyone is uneducated. It is because people make choices about everything. Including being a person of morals.

4thgenmontanan

Unless the FEDS change the basic description of child pornography and indecent sexual contact with a minor, parents are going to be able to bring charges against these "educators" and its going to end up being fought out in the courts. Think about that before you side with the new "educational standards" these people are trying to push. Graphic presentation to a child is ILLEGAL!

helenros
helenros

[quote]MtMadeMan said: "Teaching the young about sex too early will just lower the age of experimentation.<BR"[/quote]


No, it just ensures that when they DO experiment, they won't have complete, correct information on birth control and other health issues. Keeping them ignorant won't keep them chaste. The first uptick in teen pregnancy in the US in 40 years directly correlates with the introduction of abstinence-only programs.

Everhaste
Everhaste

4thgen, explaining to a young girl that she has a vagina isn't graphic presentation. I think it's clear that no one is going to change their stance because of a forum post, but let's try to hold back on the hyperbole.

Dolphind3, it's commendable you've kept your son from getting a cell phone (I hope you've kept him from accessing the internet unsupervised too!). And I truly hope that when he has questions about his sexuality he'll come to you first. Unfortunately that's not the case with most kids. Instead of subjecting themselves to an embarassing situation with their parents, many children will get their information from other means, friends, internet, etc.

Hopefully, if you've raised your children right, they'll come to you and you can help them make the right decisions. But for those children that decide not to, let's give them the information they need to make the right choices. Education is not, and has never been, a cureall. It's only a guide, some will follow it, others won't, but the more information we can give, and the more guides we have, the better decision more young people will make.

This bill is not designed so that parents can pass off duties to the school, but to open the door for parents. To teach them the facts and let the parents explain the context.

Lastly, to MTMadeMan, it's true that we still have smokers and drug addicts, but both these things are on the decline from say, 50 years ago (I wasn't around at the time, but I heard the 60's were pretty rockin).

And you may be right, teaching children about sex younger may lead to younger experimentation. But what's worse, 13 year olds experimenting knowing exactly what they're doing, the facts and the consequences, or 14 year olds having no idea what life-changing effects their decisions might make.

Just a thought.

gun961960

4thgeneration...good luck with that, you are so far out there its a little scary. Dolphin, FINALLY we agree. You are mistaking my identifying the facts as me approving of what is going on. I do not approve, but I realize the circumstances of the world my children are living in. I have an 8 yr old son and 7 yr old daughter...one will be 3rd grade and one will be 2nd grade. SEVERAL of their friends now have cell phones...IN ELEMENTRY SCHOOL!! I was a substitute teacher for the past two years and MOST of the kids in middle school have cell phones and I would venture to guess that 90% of kids in the high schools have them. These are just the facts...there is definately a sexting problem, not to mention the graphic pornographic messages that are forwarded around that are downloaded from the internet that kids send around. I DONT LIKE IT and I CERTAINLY DO NOT APPROVE. That doesn't mean it isn't real. You dolphin are hyper focused on how you teach your kids and how great your kids are...GREAT...I feel the same way about my kids and my parenting. This isn't just about my kids, I see the need for this education in the greater number of kids and the greater number of parents. HELLO...stop thinking about yourselves...just for one second!

dolphind3

Everhaste, Yes our kids are monitored on the computer, they do not have facebook or my space or twitter or anything. We are hands on just like our parents were when we were kids. We don't just wait for them to ask which no parents sould do but are proactive and have many discussions with them.
Gun, ya I am amazed at the number of parents that have decided to let their kids have a cell phone for really no reason other than their friends have one, the old keeping up with the Jones's. For the immature it is also another way for them to bully, they block their number and leave threatening messeges and think that there are no consequences. Talk about parents not knowing what is going on. I also know thew world my kids are living in and also understand that it is not my place to tell other people how to raise their children.

Everhaste
Everhaste

Dolphin, again, kudos for proper parenting (though you better keep them away from any friends that have unrestricted access to the internet). Unfortunately not all kids are so lucky. Most won't go to their parents with questions, and I think even less parents will choose to have "the talk" unsolicited with their kids.

That right there is what the proposed curriculum was about (despite what some people may tell you). The schools giving your kids the facts about sex, and enough knowledge to want to ask questions, which gives the parents the perfect opportunity to step in and provide context and explain their personal beliefs.

Helenros, in regards to kids experimenting after having all the information, I think we posted the exact same thing at the same time.

dolphind3

Nice dig everhaste, my kids are both very sociable. It is not hard to see who is a hands off parent and who is a hands on parent. Why do you feel that you need to help everyone raise their children or that the school district needs to? You say you don't think most parents will do this, well it truely doesn't matter what you think, a parent might have told a child everything they need to know and it fell on deaf ears just like two of my brothers who were told the same things as I was and they chose not to listen. The same will happen with the proposed curriculum some would listen and some will not. The bottom line that you seem to miss is wether you people think that a parent is doing their job or not it is their right to do it well or fail miserably. Not your job or the school districts. If you want to help then I suggest that you start some adult education classes aimed at teaching parents how to teach their chidren sex education since you beleive that is where the problem is. Until then stay out of other peoples business

Everhaste
Everhaste

First off Dolph, I apologize if you think I'm trying to tell you how to raise your kids, I'm really not. From everything you've said it sounds like you're doing a good job.

Secondly, I didn't mean to imply your kids aren't sociable, I just know from experience that what one kid sees/hears all of them will eventually see/hear.

Lastly, if you don't think my opinion matters, you're very welcome to ignore my posts. I'm not going to be offended and it really won't ruin my day.

But, if you decide to keep reading, let me say that I understand your points, I agree with some and disagree with others.

You say that many times parents give kids information that falls on deaf ears, which is completely true. At one of my jobs I work with children and teenagers and I'm aware that, for some, their selective hearing borders on the superhuman level.

My question to you is, how does it hurt to get information from more than one source (maybe something will sink in)?

Also, how is the school trying to tell you how to raise your kids? I understand they're giving them a lot of information, information that your kids will undoubtedly come to you with questions about, but I've read the curriculum and I don't see where it says that school staff will come to your house and force you to raise your kids the way they want.

You, I, and every other parent, can raise our kids in our own fashion(within reason). It's our right. But when children fail to make the right choices (I say them, because in the end you can't make the choices for them) because they don't have the right information, everyone loses. The parents, the children and the community.

Oh, and I think adult classes to assist in parenting would be a great idea. I just want the parents out of middle/high school before they have need of them.

Just a thought.

dolphind3

Haste, that is the best post I have read from you. I commend you for it and I agree. To me and many others the curriculum staes things like a man can love a man, just an example there were more. Now this is true in cases like my son and I but to many people this is a matter of opinion and not one that should involve an educator. There are always ging to be children that have children no matter what kind of education we throw at them. Just like there will be kids that choose to drink after going through the dare program. I and many others believe that most of this sex ed info is fine but some is either not age approptiate or falls on family values and morals. By saying that i don't want the school to raise our children that is what I mean. I don't want them trying to teach my kids about religion either. Thanks for your post I really enjoyed it. This sounds more like a discussion than an arguement.

Everhaste
Everhaste

Thanks Dolph, it's easy to get defensive and argue on here, in fact there are plenty of people on both sides of the fence that just want to argue. But in the spirit of discussion, I would like to bring up a few points and would love your opinion on them. Just to get someone elses view.

First, and I'll honestly admit it, I get a little wary with the ages that this information is being taught. But then the questions becomes, when is it okay? Obviously kids are doing things starting in middle school, so do we start in 5th grade, hopefully before anything happens?

Also, I really think the school board should have gone a little more into some of the items entail, such as the "sex includes, but is not limited to, anal, oral and vaginal" line. Are these acts going to be described? Or are teachers going to just say "Any kind of sex is sex" and leave it at that.

As for the man loving a man and woman loving a woman, I think it should be left at that in elemntary. From my experience growing up, when kids teased each other for being gay, we weren't even sure what it meant, though it didn't stop us from playing games like "Smear the Queer." I think kids today are going to do the same thing, so let's concentrate more on fighting bullying in all forms.

Now, the reason that I'm still very for the addition of comprehensive sex education is the fact that the school board is trying to be proactive. Like it or not, are kids are seeing sexual themes more and more at a younger age thanks to the media. I'm proud of our helena school board for trying to do something instead of nothing.

Lastly, I understand that some people feel that the school board is trying to usurp family values. But it seems to me that someone will always feel like their toes are getting stepped on whatever decisions the school board makes.

For instance, Jewish families may not appreciate their children being taught Christmas carols, but teach a few Hanukkah songs and I'm sure plenty of people would be irate. Or say a vegetarian family doesn't like the fact that meat being offered to their children. Or a religious family being upset that their children are being taught the theory of evolution.

Obviously this is a touchy subject, but where do we draw the line?

dolphind3

Haste; The current sex ed is done in the 5th grade along with the dare program, I like it there. If it stayed there it would change my opinion on what they want to teach because it becomes more age appropriate. I love playing smear the queer, fun game. I agree with not really understanding the gay thing as a child but my parents did a pretty good job by the 5th grade when our classes started. I remember really becoming more aware and that seems to be when our kids did too although we had some discussion earlier than that.
It's funny that you mention the jewish songs at christmas, my sons school did just that. I hope no one complained but it wouldn't surprise me. I don't think we can use all of your examples of toe stepping case in point vegans. They know that they are different than most and plan well accordingly, I have family that are vegans so I hear about it all the time. I agree it is a touchy subject anytime you are talking about children and how to raise them, I am not sure I agree with the whole it takes a village thing but I do know that when I was a kid if you did something wrong with a friend you got in trouble with not only your parents but your friends and any other adult that found out. I remember my brother was cussing over at a friends house and his mom slapped my brother across the face, the whole way home my brother was calling her names and saying she was going to get it when our parents found out, we got home and he told our mom what had happened....she slapped him across the face too. Then my dad got home and he gave my brother the belt for the way he had talked to my mom. Looking back it was hilarious, what an idiot! But there was more accountability back then. I think he deserved it.
To me we should draw the line at teaching things in public school that are based around beliefs like religion and yes homosexuality. Nice chat:)

Everhaste
Everhaste

Dolph, I remember 5th grade "sex ed," they took the boys and girls in to seperate rooms, but honestly didn't give us any information on sexuality. Mostly we learned that as boys we'd start getting hair in certain places, we needed start wearing deodorant, and there was a small allusion to the fact that some of us might get "wet dreams."

But, from what I understand, save for using proper names and explaining that a baby grows in a womans uterus and that ova come from a woman's ovaries, sex education won't be taught until 5th grade in the proposed draft.

On a side note, I think children should learn the proper names of body parts. I think by not teaching them we're making said body parts out to be dirty or shameful. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself (forgive the Harry Potter quote). I have a friend that's in her mid twenties and still won't use the word vagina because she thinks it (and the word) is gross. I guess I just think that most people are ashamed enough of their bodies as it is.

Oh, and I agree, we shouldn't teach things that are based on beliefs, but I wouldn't throw homosexuality in there. They're not teaching that homosexuality is okay or normal (they mention though that people get their beliefs from parents, teachers and religious leaders). They're just teaching that homosexuals exist, which is a fact.

It's like saying that their are Muslims, I may not agree with what they do, say or think, but I know they exist.

Lastly, I liked your story about your brother and the friend's mom, I'm sure he learned something! It's just my own personally opinion, but if you love your children, love them enough to spank them when they're bad. Don't beat them and don't spank them for anything (I received 3 spankings growing up, and each one is very memorable!), but show your children that their are consequences for their actions! :)

dolphind3

Haste; I agree about telling them correct names for body parts but not in kindergarten, with our kids we did it in thesummer between 2nd and 3rd grade we were gauging it up to that point and they just were not ready. They had a better understanding of themselves when we started being more specific. If they want to acknowledge that homosexuals exist I have no problem with that or your analogy. I am still bothered by saying that a man can love a man, it may sound picky but to me can means ok. In our case we had to explain why their uncle was acting inappropriate with other men. It was bad he did things in front of us that my wife and I would never do in public.

helenros
helenros

I taught my child the correct names for body parts from the very beginning. That's just anatomy, and we lend a fascination and extra importance to parts we can't even use the correct names for. As for homosexuals being "inappropriate," well, I think most public displays of affection are inappropriate. The litmus test should be whether it would be inappropriate for a straight couple... hand holding or a brief kiss are all right in public, but groping and deep kissing are inappropriate regardless of the genders of the participants. Why is it so difficult for some people to accept a man might love a man?

diazo_
diazo_

Experience clearly demonstrates the value of prevention education, so the GOP naturally demands the prevention OF education. And throws a little homophobia in for good measure.

How long is the Republican Party going to see preaching the virtue of ignorance as its salvation? Whether it's energy policy, climate change, economic policy, or education, the GOP consistently rejects empirical evidence whenever it conflicts with the party's radical ideology. This is no way to run a railroad, let alone a nation.

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