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Bill would add parental control to sex education

2011-02-15T00:00:00Z Bill would add parental control to sex educationBy ALANA LISTOE Independent Record Helena Independent Record
February 15, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Supporters of House Bill 456 say parents need more control over the values taught in schools. Opponents say there are opt-out options for sensitive materials and that preventing abortion service providers from offering materials to students would cut out information about prevention, as is provided from organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Rep. Cary Smith, R-Billings, introduced HB456 to the Education Committee Monday afternoon. The bill would allow for parental control over whether students participate in courses that teach human sexual education. It would also require a school district to inform a parent or guardian when events or courses on human sexuality will be held or taught, and it would prohibit a school district from allowing any abortion services provider to offer materials or instruction at school.

“I brought the bill because I think we are getting ourselves in a position where the government and other people are trying to decide what is right for our children,” Smith said. “Also, because this is a problem that came to us last year in Helena … the situation in Helena created this.”

Barbara Rush, a retired Helena teacher and outspoken opponent to the recently adopted Health Enhancement Curriculum, said its a sad day when a bill needs to be passed to protect children from the school curriculum.

Capital High School senior Sylvan Clark said that during his sophomore year Planned Parenthood came into his class, unannounced to his parents, to talk about sexually transmitted diseases and condoms.

“I was appalled at the graphic movie they showed us,” he said.

Jeff Laszloffy, president of the Montana Family Foundation, said this bill puts parents back in the driver’s seat.

“It’s necessary and a reasonable response to what happened in Helena,” he said.

The original health education document in Helena took serious criticism, and Superintendent Bruce Messinger took community input and made edits, but Laszloffy said those changes were merely in the wording and not in the substance.

“It’s a plan that will be pushed out throughout the entire state.”

One mother said instead of an opt-out, maybe there should be an opt-in for the sexual education materials.

Mother Lori Page said the bill is a step in the right direction of making parents and schools co-partners in education. She said having pro-abortion groups in the schools is a huge conflict of interest.

Grandmother Charlene Pulliam said allowing abortion providers to teach about sexual education is like allowing the fox to guard the hen house.

Many of the opponents represented Planned Parenthood.

Lindsey Love, for example, said the bill is not about parent involvement, but rather about telling local school districts which resources they can use.

“Prevention is our big agenda,” Love said.

Jill Baker, education director with Planned Parenthood, said about half of high school students in Montana are sexually active, and two out of 10 women become pregnant by the age of 20.

She noted that only 3 percent of the organization’s services are for abortion. She also noted that many schools already have an opt-out option.

Helena and East Helena school districts both have opt-out options.

Nancy Nicholson, who supported Helena’s Health Enhancement Curriculum, said this bill is an attempt to take away local control and exclude health professionals from the schools.

Donna Miller, who works for Planned Parenthood, said not giving students information gives predators an easy target.

Many members of Planned Parenthood’s teen board spoke in opposition. Emily Vangenderen, a senior at CHS, said all teens need reliable information, and Planned Parenthood provides that without pushing values.

Elena Hodges, also on the board, said she would have benefited from more information in middle school and early high school.

“This bill could harm any benefits of a curriculum just being taught here,” she said.

Helenan Mary Ann Dunwell said students have a right to live beyond “la-la” land.

She said the bill is unnecessary, and if passed, it would be blatant censorship against Planned Parenthood.

Helena High School junior Tess Dufrechou said there are misconceptions everywhere; the bottom line is, the kid will choose to engage or not to engage in sex, so they should have the information.

Messinger and Helena School Board Chairman Michael O’Neil testified that the bill would be a state intrusion on local control.

Rep. Smith said the bill is necessary.

“We need to, as legislators, continue to strengthen parents,” he said.

The Education Committee is expected to vote on Wednesday.

Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or alana.listoe@helenair.com

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(26) Comments

  1. dolphind3
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    dolphind3 - February 22, 2011 9:45 am
    Porter is spot on on this one. These things belong with the parents
  2. Gods_Infidel
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    Gods_Infidel - February 19, 2011 10:25 pm
    Perhaps it's time our education systems begin to concentrate on academia, rather than morality. I just did some hasty research and the state of Montana ranks fairly high among other states (usually in the range of 7th-12th), despite a usually bottom tier ranking of teacher quality. Unfortunately the United States in it's entirety shows steadily declining rankings (usually between 17th-23rd) worldwide. Bring our education system back and leave the teaching of morality to the parents, with whom the responsibility should reside.
  3. The Porter
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    The Porter - February 18, 2011 10:00 pm
    "HikingMT said on: February 15, 2011, 9:44 pm
    Fundamentally, this bill is about local control. Opponents argue the State should not interfere with local control of school boards. In reality, this bill respects and protects local control at the appropriate level.

    Children are born to parents, not schools. Parents are the basic unit in society charged with protecting and nurturing based upon their chosen values. This bill protects that right and delivers local control back where it belongs - the parents.

    Under this bill, school boards still have local control over sex ed curriculum. The State is not interfering with what will be taught.


    This bill is not an example of over-reaching government. On the contrary, it is an example of government protecting citizens FROM over-reaching government - in this case a school board over-reaching parental rights to choose what is best for their child."

    Spot on! Thank you !!
  4. sealjoy
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    sealjoy - February 17, 2011 1:37 pm
    saywhathelena - I have never blamed the teachers, not will I ever. They don't have a whole lot of say.

    I don't have a problem with the school system re-enforcing what I teach to my kids in an appropriate are of education.

    But I read that new curriculum several times. Most that defend it seem merely to have perused it. There were sections on teaching kids in grades K-4 what "Love" is. I strongly object to that. and yes it is still in there, go to the website and download it and read it.

    I don't mind high school getting some of this in an opt in basis, but I strongly object to them trying to force this type of education regarding reproduction on my 5yr old. I am horrified at how young they take this curriculum. I wish it were only teenagers that they are targeting.

    Learning can be fun without all the frivolity you see at High School. Do I want to take the fun out? No, But I see how important sports and cheer leading and extra curricular activities become that they outweigh the education our children receive. how many reports of pressure for fake good grades do we hear about for teachers to hand out false grades so kids can play sports. it's there. I don't blame the teachers, but those who make the decisions the administrators.

    Too much focus is on the extracurricular that the academics fail. and then we add social fairness to the mix and make things worse... we can't even fail kids in some schools for fear of their self esteem. Most kids these days don't care about grades and their self esteem comes from other places.

    Yes broken homes are a HUGE part of the problem, but ask WHY.

    Why do we have so many broken homes now? a lot of our country's "progress" has contributed to these broken homes, and adding burdens to the teachers to have to be the answer to these issue to me is totally wrong. They should not be responsible for raising my kids, responsible for putting up with their attitudes, responsible for teaching them how to get along, how to have a relationship with others, how to have sex or not, how to live. They should only have the burden of educating them in academics. Parents are lazy these days, I have seen it, and it frightens me...They give too much up to the schools and governments instead of taking their responsibilities to heart, but we can't give them a wake up call if the responsible parents give up with them.

    I agree with this Bill in it's entirety. and think it is one step for me to gain what has been lost by millions of lazy and irresponsible parents. It doesn't go far enough, but to me it is a step, one that will help me at least know that I don't have to move out of the county next year if it passes so I can feel more ease at allowing my son to attend school here. It is my job to protect to the best of my ability. I won't let it be some other person's job to educate my kids on life issues that are highly important because I am responsible for my kids.
  5. saywhathelena
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    saywhathelena - February 17, 2011 10:49 am
    Well Sealjoy, we are all entitled to our own opinion, but not our own facts. In my opinion if you really believe that this curriculum development commitee, made up of teachers (some who have been teaching health education for 20yrs+), doctors, and nurses are all just trying to "push an agenda" than I feel very sorry for you. They really are trying to help the kids lead a safer lifestyle by making them aware of the consequences to their actions and options for choices they will inevitably have to make. It is a FACT that half of our kids admit to engaging in sex in high school. If half are willing to admit it, you can bet that it is well over half that are really doing it.
    Yes our childrens education is suffering and we aren't ranked #1 anymore, but if you think that is the fault of just the teachers than you are wrong again. Yes our schools have issues that need reforming, but for the most part, especially here in Helena, we have good schools and GREAT teachers. Society has changed which has changed our kids' learning environment. Parenting has changed and more than half of our kids are coming from broken homes and THAT right there is likely our #1 culprit.
    Having "the talk" with your chidren is very important, keeping the lines of communication open is too. But even the best communiction between a teenager and a parent isn't always going to help. Kids tend to not want to discuss this subject with their parents and vice versa.
    I am sorry to hear of your story, but I also heard another story last week on a television program. Three sisters who were raped daily by their two brothers and eventually their father joined in too, starting at age 5. The girls believed this is what being in a family was like for everyone, UNTIL they were in their health education class in 5th grade. That is where they learned that what was happening to them was wrong.
    Nobody is claiming that sex education will eliminate any and all STD's or teenage pregnancy. But the FACT of the matter is that where there is comprehensive sex education, there is "less" of both STD's and teenage pregnancy.
    Having the parents involved with this education is key to making it work, but unfortunately that isn't always going to be the case. I believe it can only help to have a professional health educator, your family physician, AND the parents all teaching the child the same thing. Why does it have to be one or the other?? This curriculum will only be reinforcing what you should be teaching your child at home, can't hurt that is for sure.
    As I stated before, I have no problem with parents opting their child OUT of these classes, that was always an option and Messinger made that clear from the begining. However if you are going to choose to send your child to public school, I can guarantee you they are getting an education all right, just probably not from where you think.
    WHERE does the curriculum profess to teach "love"?? I must of missed that section??
    You have a very skewed and unscientific view of what teaching sex health facts to these kids is proven to do. I suspect from your own life experiences, but everyone is different and I would encourage you to do some of your own research on what the stats really are!!
    I am also sorry to hear that you think that High School should be strictly academic with no fun or extra curricular activities allowed. Those activities provide a lot of scholarships and much needed secondary education to a lot of kids. They also give a lot of kids something to strive for, behave for, and be proud of.
    When you figure out how to prevent hormone raging kids from dating you let us know, who is being totally unrealistic now??
    Your not getting anything "back" from this bill, because nothing was ever in jeapordy of being taken, as I said before it was always an option. If you would stop with the dramatics and try working WITH your educators instead of labeling them as harmful, agenda ridden, animals maybe you will achieve the results you are looking for??
  6. honeygetm'gun
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    honeygetm'gun - February 17, 2011 9:34 am
    justme59601 said: "this comment hits the nail on the head. do we really need to keep up with "society"? what exactly is it were trying to "keep up with"? does promoting sex (in all its forms) to our elementary school kids "keep us up with society"? Society as its being called has gone to hell in the past 20 years and will continue to do so unless we, the majority, open our mouths. "

    Your comment hits the nail even more on the head. As time passes, change occurs. We can debate whether change is good or bad but you and I won't stop it. Change has always been a challenge but there is certainly no benefit to regressing into a cave while claiming that "keeping up" isn't the answer. No-one is trying to preempt the youth by forcing them to do anything; many of us don't see the harm in presenting facts. Pointing out a tree and explaining what makes it a tree will never (ever) make you a tree. Explaining the process of rocket propulsion to children won't be enough to send them to the moon. I'm perplexed about society's direction, too, but I'm unwilling to reduce my experience of it and adamantly opposed to raising my kids in the dark. They will know about sex before I let a teacher tell them about it; some kids may never get the sex talk from their parents--I hope their teachers will give them some direct instruction before they conduct their own experiments.
  7. sealjoy
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    sealjoy - February 16, 2011 12:07 pm
    saywhathelena said: "Well Sealjoy I guess that I am sort of confused?? You claim that school isn't about pushing agendas, it is about education our kids, correct? Well isn't that what the health education curriculum was tryint to do? It wasn't like they were "making" up facts to sell to our kids. And if you think that K-12 is solely about academics than I have a newsflash for you, YOUR WRONG! Public school is about so much more, and high school is as much about being social politics as it is about academics, for most anyway. I fail to see where anyone was taking any rights away from you. Frankly I don't have any problems with you or anyone removing your children from these classes, that has always been an option. On the other hand, if you and your "merry band" had it your way, NONE of our kids would be getting this education. You are offered an opt out while I wasn't hearing on opt in option coming from anyone on your side. Who is taking away rights again?? I am not on a high horse, I support your right to force total ignorance upon your children. I dont agree with it and have seen what happens as a result, but I am tired of the religious, moraly superior, right wing of our political system trying to force their values upon everyone by attempting (over and over after failure after failure) to squash any eduaction or any organization that educates thru legislation. If you are so convinced that your childs teachers are out to harm your child than how do you justify letting them go to school? Not sure why EDUCTION = PREVENTION was cut from my last post, but I will give it another try, because it is true!"

    No the health curriculum in my opinion is pushing an agenda, not academics.

    Our children's education is suffering in our public schools, because we are pushing subject that don't belong. Our drop out rates are high compared to other countries, our "scientific literacy" is far below that of developing countries. We used to be far superior, but then we started adding other stuff to their education and diluting their core curriculum because of agendas, both right and left. We messed with something that was working and working well and we shouldn't have. I don't mind adding good hand washing techniques and teaching kids to sneeze into their elbows, that is what health is about and that is OK. But don't even try to force me to have to talk to my kids before I think they are ready about sex. If my kids are ready by age 8, I am not ashamed to talk to them. It is my role as a parent, my right. My beliefs are mine to impart to my children. I believe they should be informed. and be able to make critical decisions, but I don't believe that the schools, planned parent hood or other associations are un-biased enough to provide that to my children. I won't have the innocence of my child taken if I can help it.

    I don't speak from an ignorant point of view. Sex education does not stop curiosity, neither does it stop the predators. but where there is no knowledge, nor curiosity, it will plant the seed of curiosity before it's time.

    I grew up in a location that taught sex education in schools, implemented this kind of curriculum, maybe not as young as this intends to do, but young enough. I was raped as a child, knowing any of this info would not have stopped it. Nor would it have encouraged me to come forward about it. My child's brain was brainwashed and used and manipulated. Fear kept me from coming forward, and shame. None of that would have changed, I know that. Sex education didn't stop me from becoming pregnant at 17, nor did the relentless STD classes stop me from not using a condom. Education does not equal prevention, because it cannot stop free will.

    Parents can plant seed in children to help with this, not educators. The most instrumental person in a woman's life that will determine how she handles sex or her thoughts about it are her Father and her parent's relationship. That is what matters, that is where the education should be. A father's opinion can make or break a woman, induce her to shame or encourage her to be courageous in spite of something bad. The relationship she sees in her family will determine what she tries to seek out. Sex education can't replace that, it can't really teach love like it says it will.

    I don't want the school defining love to my child, because in reading the curriculum it equates love with a flimsy and fleeting emotion, but I don't believe that, and I will teach my kids what it is to love.

    This curriculum doesn't educate and prevent bullying. Not at all. being able to identify the signs will only make kids less likely to speak up. All the things this curriculum is trying to prevent I have lived through. I know that it starts at home and should be taught at home.

    I know High school is one big social event. But It shouldn't be. It is because we as parents have been lax and let the academics slide. It should not be about sports, cheer leading, dances and dates. It should be focused on algebra, English, and Science. This is the pivotal point where kids decide their future. IF they can't see a future, they won't pursue it.

    We have lost too much in our schools to the agendas of each age. Our children are suffering for it.

    To me this bill will give us something back, give the parents a small voice that they can exercise over their child's education. We have been stripped so long of our right that we mostly forget they our ours to have and forget our responsibilities.
  8. HikingMT
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    HikingMT - February 15, 2011 9:44 pm
    Fundamentally, this bill is about local control. Opponents argue the State should not interfere with local control of school boards. In reality, this bill respects and protects local control at the appropriate level.

    Children are born to parents, not schools. Parents are the basic unit in society charged with protecting and nurturing based upon their chosen values. This bill protects that right and delivers local control back where it belongs - the parents.

    Under this bill, school boards still have local control over sex ed curriculum. The State is not interfering with what will be taught.


    This bill is not an example of over-reaching government. On the contrary, it is an example of government protecting citizens FROM over-reaching government - in this case a school board over-reaching parental rights to choose what is best for their child.

  9. dweezil222
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    dweezil222 - February 15, 2011 8:38 pm
    This bill's alright by me. It lets the parents who have an issue pull their kids while preserving valuable educational opportunities for those who aren't so uptight.

    By the way, do you really think it's going to matter if you pull your kids out? They're going to talk to their friends anyway, including those who *gasp* took the class.
  10. saywhathelena
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    saywhathelena - February 15, 2011 5:47 pm
    Well Sealjoy I guess that I am sort of confused?? You claim that school isn't about pushing agendas, it is about education our kids, correct? Well isn't that what the health education curriculum was tryint to do? It wasn't like they were "making" up facts to sell to our kids. And if you think that K-12 is solely about academics than I have a newsflash for you, YOUR WRONG! Public school is about so much more, and high school is as much about being social politics as it is about academics, for most anyway. I fail to see where anyone was taking any rights away from you. Frankly I don't have any problems with you or anyone removing your children from these classes, that has always been an option. On the other hand, if you and your "merry band" had it your way, NONE of our kids would be getting this education. You are offered an opt out while I wasn't hearing on opt in option coming from anyone on your side. Who is taking away rights again??
    I am not on a high horse, I support your right to force total ignorance upon your children. I dont agree with it and have seen what happens as a result, but I am tired of the religious, moraly superior, right wing of our political system trying to force their values upon everyone by attempting (over and over after failure after failure) to squash any eduaction or any organization that educates thru legislation. If you are so convinced that your childs teachers are out to harm your child than how do you justify letting them go to school? Not sure why EDUCTION = PREVENTION was cut from my last post, but I will give it another try, because it is true!
  11. sealjoy
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    sealjoy - February 15, 2011 2:16 pm
    School isn't just about academics people, and newsflash Patriot, parents aren't doing their "job" as evidenced by our STD rates and teenage pregnancy rates!! And finally Sealjoy, if the school board has no "interest in our kids well-being" then who the heck does?"

    School isn't about pushing agendas. It is about educating our kids. I should solely be about academics. Look at those countries that are beating us in academics. Why because they don't teach superfluous stuff that should be taught at home. Don't take away my rights as a parent just because there are those that don't want to flex it. I am a responsible parent that is active in teaching my kids what they need to know and when. Just because we have stupid parents out there not willing to take on their responsibility does not mean I get my parental rights revoked! it's like taking away the rights of all to vote because others don't vote.

    And to answer your question who the heck does, I DO. They went against my interest in MY child's well-being. I know my child better than they ever will any day of any year in any century. So get off your liberal high horse. They are my kids not your or theirs, if they want to pass stuff I don't agree with that I can't vote on, then I support legislation telling them that I can choose not to include my kids. This is merely giving parents back the right that the school board took away when they passed something that I didn't vote for.
  12. dotheresearch
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    dotheresearch - February 15, 2011 12:41 pm
    currently there is no opt out for the health enhancement. messinger is to be working on one but no parent has seen it yet. the opt out in this bill will not penalize the student from opting out of the class
    this is not just a Helena issue as other cities in this state are being approached by SIECUS for health enhacement cirriculium. so this is state wide and will help parents in this state not just Helena
    Let me teach my child the best way I know how and everyone else can teach or let someone else teach there child the way best way they know how.
    I support this bill and it gives me an option to what happened this summer in Helena. it also makes the school notify who and what they are teaching our students.
    i dont see any bad in this bill. if you dont like it then dont opt out, dont punish those of us who dont agree with what has happened in Helena.
    it is also interesting how many parents were involved this summer in the meetings and now how many dont show up. get involved parents attend the monthly trustee meetings and make sure you know what else is going on in this school district
  13. belle517
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    belle517 - February 15, 2011 11:51 am
    I was all for the new sex-ed curriculum and I say let the Tea Party have this bill. Just pass it and get on to main problems like jobs and budget issues. Why fight about this? I have no problem with parents who don't want their kids learning the curriculum to have a definitive way to opt them out of every possible portion of the curriculum in question. The majority of parents that don't provide adequate supervision or pay enough attention to what their kids are doing in school probably won't bother to opt-out anyway.
  14. saywhathelena
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    saywhathelena - February 15, 2011 11:49 am

    Purple, "this is the way it should have been done in the begining" Which is it more government or less??? Yes Messinger and his "merry band" think they know better about what other parents children should be taught...he is the SCHOOL board administrator and his J O B is the education of our children. HELLO people, if it isn't his job and his merry band of other elitist "educators" to decide what our kids learn then who's is it?? And Patriot you of any blogger have been the one whining most about how intrusive our government has been, You right wingers have proudly chanted, less gov less gov less gov and now it is convenient??? The sex ed program has just been approved and hasn't had a chance to even take affect yet?? School isn't just about academics people, and newsflash Patriot, parents aren't doing their "job" as evidenced by our STD rates and teenage pregnancy rates!! And finally Sealjoy, if the school board has no "interest in our kids well-being" then who the heck does?

  15. Darth Vader
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    Darth Vader - February 15, 2011 11:28 am
    Total waste of time. Parents have control.
  16. justme59601
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    justme59601 - February 15, 2011 11:17 am
    honeygetm'gun said: "Wow, what a scourge... talk about a knee-jerk reaction. Are Montanans really becoming so prude and meek about the world we live in? I suggest we try to keep up with society instead of burrying our heads about topics that our kids will CERTAINLY learn about eventually. You don't want them to learn about sex the hard way, do you? What about the parents who won't even approach the sex conversation? "

    this comment hits the nail on the head. do we really need to keep up with "society"? what exactly is it were trying to "keep up with"? does promoting sex (in all its forms) to our elementary school kids "keep us up with society"? Society as its being called has gone to hell in the past 20 years and will continue to do so unless we, the majority, open our mouths.
  17. Independent
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    Independent - February 15, 2011 11:15 am
    Get back to the budget. There is local control. In Helena it may have failed but we still have options. More control attempts by the state will not do a thing.
  18. sealjoy
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    sealjoy - February 15, 2011 10:54 am
    I think the Legislature needs to focus on Jobs, but I think this bill is needed after the passing of such a bad curriculum that the parents have no say in. We couldn't vote on it, we could only voice our opinion that have that trampled on. I like this legislation, but I think they could go further and have things like this that concern our kids be subject to a vote instead of passed arbitrarily by those that have absolutely no interest in our kids well-being.
  19. dolphind3
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    dolphind3 - February 15, 2011 10:34 am
    So this bill would be a state intrusion over local control, but what about the local school district intruding on parental control?? Which is more important?
  20. jlarsen
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    jlarsen - February 15, 2011 10:30 am
    Don't the schools already offer the ability for parents who wish to do so to opt their kids out of the sex ed discussions that they are objecting to? If so, then what the heck else do these religious fundamentalists want?

    Jobs? Budget? Is anyone on capital hill listening?
  21. TrustButVerify
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    TrustButVerify - February 15, 2011 8:41 am
    Rep. Smith said the bill is necessary. “We need to, as legislators, continue to strengthen parents,” he said.

    If Rep. Smith truly wants to strengthen parents support legislation such as "vote by mail", which increases voter turnout and makes it easier for parents with two jobs to vote and don't support legislation that allows guns everywhere and intrudes into a parent's rights to live their lives without governmental intrusion on matters which are solely private.

    Also, focus on jobs, jobs, jobs and not ridiculous "nullification" efforts.
  22. Bojangles
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    Bojangles - February 15, 2011 7:45 am
    First it was Scopes, evolution and the Monkey Trials and now it's Barbara Bush, chastity and the Penis Wars.
  23. patriot
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    patriot - February 15, 2011 7:29 am
    "Messinger and Helena School Board Chairman Michael O’Neil testified that the bill would be a state intrusion on local control" by far the funniest comment", coming from the most liberal of the liberals. Could the legislature have been any more inconvenient. With Messinger proudly wearing the sex ed feather in his cap, dropout rates still hover between 20 to 25 %. Have the professional educators lost their mind, while they view their actions as necessary for the well being of the community. Let the school board focus on academically preparing young people for a future in a compettive world and allow parents to eduacate them on sex ed. And now Messinger wants the state to butt out, how funny. But where does the money come from.
  24. honeygetm'gun
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    honeygetm'gun - February 15, 2011 6:42 am
    Wow, what a scourge... talk about a knee-jerk reaction. Are Montanans really becoming so prude and meek about the world we live in? I suggest we try to keep up with society instead of burrying our heads about topics that our kids will CERTAINLY learn about eventually. You don't want them to learn about sex the hard way, do you? What about the parents who won't even approach the sex conversation?
  25. GDIZLV
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    GDIZLV - February 15, 2011 6:10 am
    If parents already had control, as Messinger seems to indicate, then we would not keep hearing things like "Capital High School senior . . . said Planned Parenthood came into his class, unannounced to his parents, to talk about sexually transmitted diseases and condoms." Obviously, this bill needs to pass. As it currently stands we, the parents, do NOT have control over "opting out."

    The other part of the problem is the attitude that "all teens need reliable information, and Planned Parenthood provides that without pushing values." Pardon me? As a parent, I'm not allowed to "push my values" onto my own child? Here I thought that was part of being a parent.

    "Messinger . . . testified that the bill would be a state intrusion on local control." This is laughable. Ask how many parents out there if they feel as though they have had any "local control" during this entire process.

    Control needs to be restored to the PARENTS. I pray this passes.



  26. Purple
    Report Abuse
    Purple - February 15, 2011 1:51 am
    This is the way it should have been done in the beginning.

    Sadly, messinger and his merry band of ...... think they know better about what other parents children should be taught.

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    5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at editor@helenair.com. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

    6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

    7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

    8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

    9. Don't write a novel. If your comment is longer than the article you're commenting on, you might want to cut it down a bit. Lengthy comments will likely be removed.
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