After reading today’s article about the health curriculum being proposed in Helena, I find myself concerned that Sean Hannity and shrill bigotry are going to prevent students from receiving important information that might keep them safe.
This passage seems to suggest that the district is knowingly choosing to put the health of children aside to appease its ill-informed critics:
Messinger is referring to page 45, where in fifth grade the current proposal says students will “understand that sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral, or anal penetration.”
“We aren’t going to show them how to have anal penetration,” Messinger said in a Thursday interview. “We had that in there for STDs.”
Messinger told Grossman the intent is to introduce the risks associated with sexual activity at a time when adolescents are becoming sexually active.
He said Thursday, however, that this portion of different forms of sexual intercourse will not be introduced in fifth grade in the edited version.
It seems that I am reading the following: this section wasn’t prurient; we included it to prevent sexually transmitted diseases; we are going to take it out of the document.
I’m also troubled to learn that the district plans to remove a line that teaches students that people can love people of the same gender:
Messinger said that particular phrase — about how human beings can love people of the same gender and people of another gender — will be removed in the revised version, and that most of the edits are in the reproductive, human sexuality and nutrition sections.
One has to wonder if the district doesn’t have plans to adopt Texas’s US history curriculum next. If anything, the past week’s hateful, juvenile Tea Party homophobia teaches us the importance of this line in the curriculum. It’s not a value judgment or the imposition of some SCARY GAY AGENDA to teach children facts. The fact is that people do love others of the same gender and we should encourage children to realize that everyone should be treated with respect and human decency.
I’ll certainly go review the changes on Tuesday night, but this article is disconcerting. Public input is always welcome in curriculum decisions, but informed, research-based answers must be how we educate our children. Irrational fear and pathetic attempts to gin up notoriety are something else entirely.