Was stupid sex-ed idea religiously motivated?

Was stupid sex-ed idea religiously motivated?

Several high schools in Maryland have received complaints after a visiting speaker had students swap gum in health classes to demonstrate how sexually transmitted diseases are spread. Parents were outraged, the school banned the speaker, and so on.

So why does the Washington Post make a big deal about the religious connection of the crisis pregnancy center that sent the speaker to the schools?

Officials of the Rockville nonprofit group could not be reached yesterday for comment. On its Web site, http://www.rcpc.org/index.html, Rockville Pregnancy Center describes itself as a nonprofit, licensed medical clinic and pregnancy counseling organization. One part of the site quotes extensively from the Bible and offers a test “to see if you’re going to Heaven.”

The quoted paragraph falls between a quote from a county health official talking about the health risks of swapping gum and a paragraph that the schools sent letters to parents asking them to contact the health department with concerns. This paragraph falls out of the blue sky.

What relevance does it have to the story? Are they claiming that the religious material on the site contributed to the actions of the speaker? Or is the implication supposed to remind us of the big fight over abstinence-only sex education and how, according to the anti-abstinence side, the chastity-minded folks are Pollyannas whose “crazy” ideas are “dangerous”?

The inclusion of this paragraph was unnecessary and gratuitous and added nothing to the story except as an opportunity to take a swipe at traditional Christian morality and beliefs.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
9 comments
  • All around weird. i almost want to check to make sure the “educators” weren’t PP in disguise, trying to make chastity educators look like morons. I guess it proves that there are imprudent, unwise on all sides, in all organizations.

  • It sounds like people were supposed to be grossed out and _not_ volunteer. So either this speaker got it wrong, or they had a weeeeird bunch of kids.

  • Perhaps the Post had anti-religious motivations, but the truth it makes sensible, health conscious individuals who have pro-life and pro-family attitudes toward sexuality look stupid.  Their actions truly are uncalled for and I hope they get appropriately reprimanded.  Unfortunately, I think this will lead to a dismissal of pro-life and pro-family groups from coming into give talks.

  • Maureen,

    I agree with you.  I think the idea was supposed to be that no one would be stupid enough to willingly chew someone else’s ABC gum.  The instructor probably didn’t know how to react when 18 kids went for it!

    Along with the anti-Christian reporting, this is a textbook case of what’s wrong with public education in this country in general,i.e., we’re cranking out a bunch of boneheads.

  • I also thought it was a “What if s’one asked you to…” scenario that backfired, but then why did the presenter allow the students to take up the challenge?  They didn’t all do it at once, but some agreed, then others tried it as well. Where’s the part where the students should have been stopped with some warning like “No, of COURSE you wouldn’t be so ignorant as to risk contracting x, y, z viruses and sharing [whatever gross salivary descriptions the instructor can come up with QUICKLY}”. Etc.
    Imagine if a teacher asked “If I asked you to jump off the roof, would you do it?” and some goofballs got out of their seats? Would they make it out the door or to the window? Not if the instructor was AWAKE!!

  • American parents are going to have to decide how they want to treat their teenagers.  Here we have a group of parents willing to storm in to the school to see that this program is shut down because kids passed around a piece of chewed gum.

    On the other hand, the school board of a public high school near here just voted to keep a raunchy book in the curriculum and library.  I can’t count how many times I heard students, teachers and even parents say something like, “Telling juniors and seniors they can’t handle this sort of thing is an insult to their intelligence!”

    My guess is these same parents would have been freaking out about the gum, too.

  • My daughter (14) wishes the YA labels in the library had a sub-label for certain books, or at least a warning similar to movie advisories. Too often she finds out, mid-novel, that the book contains scenes or words she’d rather not have read. Too late! They’re in her head. That makes her angry.
    I don’t blame her. We don’t send our sons and daughters to schools and libraries to be abused, but Public (and sometimes private) Education no longer considers attacks on the innocence of a student to be abusive. In fact, they fault parents for not “informing” their children of every known perversion and every possible potential horror. They view information as “protection” unless that information would promote “intolerance”.

  • Joanne,

    The name the local newspaper publisher gave it when she rose to speak at the school board meeting was “diversity of thought” which didn’t extend to having my letter to the editor of her paper published, however.

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