The Washington Times reports that Montgomery County Public Schools (here in Maryland) have barred parents from sitting in on classes in which a new sex-education curriculum will be taught. This represents a departure from normal policy under which “classroom visits and conferences by parents and other persons in the school community are encouraged.” The school system justifies the restriction in the case of sex-education on the theory that the parents’ presence in this environment would have “a chilling effect” on frank discussion by students.
This rationale might be more compelling if the school system actually were interested in a frank exchange of ideas. However, such is not the case. In fact, teachers in the pilot program have been admonished not to offer any “information, interpretation, or examples” beyond what is prescribed when discussing sexual identity and orientation.
It appears, then, that Montgomery County’s interest is in indoctrination, not discussion, and that parents are being excluded so that they will not discover the nature of the indoctrination their children are receiving. According to the Times, that indoctrination will include the following: gender identity is “a person’s internal sense of knowing whether he or she is male or female;” “most experts in the field have concluded that sexual orientation is not a choice;” and (until it was deleted last month under pressure) “sex play with friends of the same gender is not uncommon during early adolescence.”
As I mentioned, this is a “pilot” program. A “citizens advisory committee” is supposed to collect feedback from students, teachers, and parents and make a recommendation to the school board as to whether to implement the program county-wide. Which makes it seem particularly odd that parents will not be allowed to observe the program in action. Moreover, Michelle Turner of the Citizens for Responsible Curriculum says that teachers are refusing to supply parents with copies of the curriculum or the course resource materials. This looks like the nanny state with a twist — a nanny who is partial to alternative life-styles.
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