We are opposed to the sex education curriculum intended for children in kindergarten through high school. We read the draft document that is posted on the district’s web page, specifically the sections covering the reproductive system (page 36), human sexuality (pages 45-50), and sexually transmitted infections (page 54). We encourage everyone in the community to read the document, even if you don’t have children attending public schools. What they are taught will affect us all.
We are opposed to this curriculum for several reasons. First, the material is not age-appropriate. In fact, most of it is not appropriate at any age. Many children would find aspects of this curriculum very confusing and disturbing. Children, especially those in elementary school, are still very young and impressionable.
Second, the classroom is being used to push a political agenda held by a small minority of the population. In first grade the concepts of homosexuality will be introduced; in third grade, same-sex marriage. By fifth grade, our children will be taught the difference between heterosexual and homosexual relationships, the various ways individuals can engage in sexual activity, and the body parts that can be used. In seventh grade our children will be told that abortion is acceptable because of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe vs. Wade. In high school, erotic images in art will be discussed. Every attempt should be made to advance academics in the classroom, not a platform that sexualizes our children. The classroom should not be used as a vehicle for fostering acceptance and tolerance of moral behavior or lifestyles many parents oppose.
Third, material contained in the proposed curriculum is not consistent with the mission statement and goals of the board of trustees. Teaching this material in the classroom is not a “wise use of resources,” it does not foster an educational experience that is “dynamic, relevant and meaningful,” and it doesn’t contribute to an environment that is “emotionally safe” for our children.
Fourth, our teachers should not be asked to relinquish valuable class time to teach material many parents would find inappropriate or offensive. By volunteering our time in the classroom, we’ve seen how hard our teachers work to make sure children succeed academically and socially. Our children have been blessed with amazing teachers who are extremely competent, supportive and caring. To place further constraints on their time and ask them to introduce material they are not comfortable with is wrong.
Fifth, the responsibility for teaching sex education lies primarily with parents, not the school system. Saturating our children with inappropriate material in the classroom, especially at such a young age, will not deter them from becoming sexually active. The primary focus of this curriculum is not to present information that will help our children make healthy choices. Rather, it teaches them that anything and everything is OK, and it further undermines the effort of parents who are trying to raise responsible kids.
Finally, we resent the loss of innocence that many children will experience as a result of this curriculum. Our daughter looks forward to recess so she can play four-square and basketball and climb on the jungle gym with her friends. While we haven’t shared the specifics of this proposal with her, she told us today that she is concerned about what recess will be like next year. Her eyes filled with tears as she said: “Now kids are going to spend their recess talking about guys and girls and dating. Why won’t they just let us be kids and have fun?” That is common sense and wisdom coming from a 10-year-old.
The DeMarinises are residents of