Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Times on the Changes

I'll tell ya, this thing just gets interestinger and interestinger. A real study in human behavior.

In case you haven't been following the situation as closely as we have here at, let me back up. The source of information for the new Montgomery County sex-ed curriculum has been a school board report from November of last year. The report contained only the sections that had been changed (so, for instance, it didn't include the "abstinence" section, because it stayed the same), and it contained tons of historical detail about the development process, recommended lots of teachers' resources, etc.

Well, some people in the community had an agenda. They were against homosexuals, in favor of abstinence-till-marriage, and would like to have their religious values taught in the public school classroom. And this new curriculum didn't advance their agenda very well, so they attacked it. They took two approaches. First of all, they looked at all the teachers' resources, that is, readings recommended for teachers to learn about these topics, but not for use in the classroom, and they took quotes from those resources and told people this was being taught in the classroom. So, for instance, if a resource said "Use inclusive language," they would say "Never say husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend as this may alienate a boy or girl in class," as if this was what the teachers would have to do. Or even better, they would take a resource, and look at another publication by the same organization, and act as if that was being taught to students.

But the main thing they did was to take phrases from the board's report and twist them. Where it said, for instance, where the curriculum outline said "As we study human sexuality we will discuss how you develop your individual sexual identity," they twisted this to mean that the school was encouraging children to have sex. In time, as real criticisms of the curriculum turned out to be ridiculous, opponents of it depended more and more on these word-twisting tactis. At last month's "town hall" hate-fest, Ex-Recall president Michelle Turner gave a talk that was entirely based on misinterpretation and taking things out of context, and most of the other speakers only talked about how evil homosexuals are.

Last week the Teacher's Editions of the MCPS sex-ed curriculum were published on the web, and, as we pointed out several posts below this one, a few things were changed. Nothing of content, but wording had been changed in several places to make it a little harder to twist things around. This from The Times today:
The Montgomery County public school system has changed parts of its new sex education curriculum after parents criticized it as favoring a homosexual agenda and encouraging promiscuity.

'It's a teeny little step in the right direction,' said Michelle Turner, president of Citizens for Responsible Curriculum.

Educators have removed a sentence in the curriculum that said: 'Sex play with friends of the same gender is not uncommon during early adolescence.'

In addition, the school system has removed a statement that said students would 'discuss how you develop your sexual identity.'

Curriculum coordinator Russell Henke, who reports to the school board, is responsible for the changes. He did not return phone calls seeking comment on why the changes were made.

'We think [the school system] has realized that their wording was misleading and that it needed to be corrected, and we are hoping that they will continue to realize that there are pieces of the revised health curriculum that will cause some real health issues for students,' said Mrs. Turner, a mother of six.

Her group -- Citizens for Responsible Curriculum -- formed in December to protest and oppose the new curriculum after the board approved it unanimously in November. Montgomery schools revise sex ed course after backlash

Really, what are they gonna do now? Yesterday I heard a big monkey-monk from the Family Research Council refer to this as a "pro-homosexual" curriculum. But what're they going to do, if the district keeps changing the wording so they can't twist it to mean whatever they want it to mean? Because, as is obvious to anyone who reads the outlines, there is nothing remotely "pro-homosexual" about it.
David Fishback, who heads the citizen advisory committee that crafted and recommended the curriculum to the school board, approved of the changes as well.

'It made eminent sense,' he said.

The phrases about sex play and developing a sexual identity 'turned out to be pretty misleading and created a lot of confusion and there was a lot of distortion,' Mr. Fishback said.

'It is interesting that the two phrases that have been administratively adjusted are the very phrases that the CRC has used to try and create misrepresentations about what the curriculum is,' he said. 'They don't have those two quotes anymore.'

The controversy over the county's sex education course has drawn attention from across the country, in large part because of its teachings about homosexuality and the county's reputation as a national education leader.


Blogger Kay2898 said...

Looks like MCPS is doing what it is supposed to do in pilot stages for curriculum revisions....tweak items for clarity.

Now with that being said...what is left for Recall/CRC to complain about?

Kay R.

April 24, 2005 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plenty, don't you worry.

April 26, 2005 5:03 PM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

Well anything beyond misleading statements and out and out non-truths such as Michelle Turner, Recall(CRC) President saying in January 2005 on a public listserv"

> >

That statement above turned out to not be today's Wash. Post, etc..

Kay R

May 03, 2005 12:56 AM  

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