Sex Education in the Public Schools

The Message

Volume 20, No. 5 November 1995/Jamadi Al Thani 1416

pages 28-29
copyright November 1995

This article reproduced under permission of The Message.

Public Education: Gone too Far?

Sex Education in the Public School Classroom

In the early part of this century legislators and concerned men and women began a process of removing children from coal mines and factories. One of the results was to legislate a minimum age that one could obtain a job. The other was a combination of creating compulsory education and the rise of the public school. These results became one of the high points of this country's history during the industrial revolution. To the former peasant in European society and former slaves this meant a chance at a life once reserved only for nobles and former slave masters. The chance to finally read, calculate one's wages, or to simply write one's name must have been one of the most liberating experience one can imagine.

Public education, the means of that liberation, has now turned into an oppressive force for many families. The once good, noble effort and intention, is now the place for experiments in social engineering by left wing, radical interest groups.

One may have laughed at Jocelyn Elders (former Surgeon General) remarks that masturbation be taught in the public school from 12th grade down to kindergarten thinking that it would never happen. In the reality of the public schools it may already be in the curriculum. Parents in Newton, Massachusetts were fortunate to learn about the inclusion of the subject from the town newspaper. Many parents are not that lucky.

Increasingly schools seem more and more reluctant to inform parents of the material they are teaching children. Sessions designated for parental review of course materials and curriculum guides have been found to be watered down versions of the actual course, thus giving a parent a false sense of security and control. In fact if a concerned parent asks to see the lesson plan of a teacher or class they will be denied access on the grounds of violation of the First Amendment.

Schools vs. Parents

Schools and teachers also seem willing to encourage disobedience of parents, secrecy from parents, and to out right destroy religious and moral teachings in this area.

A ninth grade health text, teaches; "Testing your ability to function sexually and to give pleasure to another person may be less threatening in early teens with people of your own sex." Also, "You may come to the conclusion that growing up means rejecting the values of your parents." Students were told not to take the text home, but to keep it in their lockers.

Students who have found the courage to state their own beliefs are told that they are uninformed, naive, bigoted and even laughed at. Even students who have had the courage to say that the material violates family and parental religious beliefs have been told that the teacher/instructor will handle trouble from parents.

Armed with the philosophy of moral relativism, the concept that absolute values and rules of behavior are less important than individual fulfillment, educators often challenge traditional values. Many educators believe that parents do not adequately teach their children about sex and the values taught in the home and religious institutions are not socially progressive or viable. Believing that they are better informed than the parent or religious community and thus more qualified to give children sex related values the school becomes surrogate parent.

In some cases parents have been denied the opportunity to remove or exclude their children from sex education programs they feel inappropriate. Many districts feel that topics and activities such as condom distribution are "too important" to be missed by any student, for whatever reason, including parental objection.

As Muslims we may say that "Allah is the same today as He was yesterday. His commandments and laws do not change," but in the wash of moral relativism, we simply look outdated, provincial and inconsequential to our children. In this way schools actually work against the parent, parental authority and the family's religious values.

It is not hard to understand how children can be made to feel this way toward their elders. They spend most of their waking hours, nine months of the year, in an environment of moral relativism, hostile to religion. Even if the child does make it to Islamic school during the weekends and summer, and prays at home every night it may not be enough to counter the overwhelming negative onslaught.

Since we live in a society awash in sexuality, the messages that our children gain about themselves and morality is extremely important but now may be harder to impart. One may well wonder what pressures Muslim children feel in classrooms where sexual practices and experiences are openly and publicly discussed, without any values attached. Or where homosexuality is learned about, accepted and appreciated as a lifestyle and no harm is seen in breaking down of the barrier of modesty.

Muslims can easily see the dangers in these views, guarding against them while Muslim children are in the public school system may be an impossible task. Sex education is now a comprehensive program from grades Kindergarten to 12th grade. If the parent has the ability to remove a child from the sex education class, that may not be enough. Sex education topics, like many topics are now integrated throughout the curriculum. While a parent may have the child removed from the specific sex education class, other school activities and subjects may present the offensive material.

Parents who have not allowed R rated movies in the home are surprised to find their children watching them in English class.

Parents were not informed prior to a transsexual speaking to a first grade class about how sex changes take place. Nor were they informed prior to a school assembly with mandatory attendance where an instructor used four letter words, described the joys of anal and oral sex and asked children to participate by licking condoms.

Policy Police

The national teacher's union is as guilty of promoting the sexual social engineering ideas as school administrator and legislators. Originally created to protect the rights of teachers and their salaries the National Education Association, the national teacher's union, has become increasingly political and has enjoyed successes in the making of public policy. This last summer the NEA passed several resolutions affecting sex education and the presentation of sexuality in public schools. Some of their resolutions include:

B-8. Sexual Orientation Education. The National Education Association recognizes the importance of raising the awareness and increasing the sensitivity of staff, students, parents, and the community to sexual orientation in our society. The Association therefore supports the development of positive plans that lead to effective ongoing training programs for education employees for the purpose of identifying and eliminating sexual orientation stereotyping in the educational setting. Such programs should attend to but not be limited to:

a. Accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people through out history, with acknowledgment of their sexual orientation,

b. The acceptance of diverse sexual orientation and the awareness of sexual stereotyping whenever sexuality and/or tolerance of diversity is taught,

c. Elimination of sexual orientation name-calling and jokes in the classroom.

d. Support for the celebration of a Lesbian and Gay History Month as a means of acknowledging the contributions of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals throughout history.

B-35. Sex Education. The Association recognizes that the public school must assume an increasingly important role in providing the instruction. Teachers and health professionals must be qualified to teach in this area and must be legally protected from censorship and lawsuits. The Association urges its affiliates and members to support appropriately established sex education programs, including information on sexual abstinence, birth control and family planning, diversity of culture, diversity of sexual orientation, parenting skills, prenatal care, sexually transmitted diseases, incest, sexual abuse, sexual harassment. To facilitate the realization of human potential, it is the right of every individual to live in an environment of freely available information, knowledge, and wisdom about sexuality.

E-9. Academic and Professional Freedom. The National Education Association believes that academic freedom is essential to the teaching profession. Academic freedom includes the rights of teachers and learners to explore and discuss divergent points of view. The Association further believes that legislation and regulations that mandate or permit the teaching of religious doctrines and/or groups that promote anti-public education agendas violate both student and teacher rights. The Association urges its affiliates to seek repeal of these mandates where they exist.

The implementation of E-9, Academic and Professional Freedom, actually eliminates any good that these resolutions might accomplish. Sexual abstinence and modesty can be and are viewed as religious doctrines and thereby can be removed from the curriculum. Indeed, a thirteen year-old who answered "abstinence" to a quiz question asking," What is the best method against sexual diseases?

We certainly need to have a close insight into what we are exposing our children to under the guise of the achieving of academia.

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