Friday, May 13, 2005

The Sentinel Nails It: Perfect

I love this. It's kind of long, but once again our little local paper, The Sentinel nails it perfectly. --Just what we needed, going into the weekend. (The title is perfect. Just perfect.)
Wish in one hand and CRC in the other

Montgomery Sentinel May 12, 2005
Editor's Notebook
Briam J Karem

The Internet is an amazing place.

Within three minutes of being on-line my teenage son was hit with about 30 ads for enlarging several different areas of his body, not to mention ads from lonely women, girls who seem to enjoy having other people watch them in various states of undress or engaging in several different bodily functions, several ads for obtaining prescription drugs without a prescription, four Viagra ads, two Levitra ads, one ad to meet lonely gay/lesbians in our area and one online gambling company.

Thank heavens we had the Spam filter on.

With all of this information available to anyone, not to mention what my son can see in a movie, or on cable or broadcast television, not to mention what kids talk about in school, on the playground, in the huddle and at the bowling alley and one has to wonder if the only topic of conversation for our children is about some exotic body function or excretion.

Imagine then a seven-minute video being presented in sex education class at your local high school that teaches children how to properly use a condom.

Many kids will look at it as "lame" and many others will merely use the seven minutes to take a quick nap.

But your friendly folks at the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays see evil that could threaten the Republic either in this film or the rest of the public school's sex education curriculum. Thus they've filed suit as they pursue a litigious outcome to their battle cry against sex education in a school environment they claim is proselytizing for homosexuality.

Judge Alexander Williams Jr. proved to be a friendly face and granted a temporary restraining order and Dr. Jerry Weast, proving that knee-jerk reactions are always commonplace after a court order, suspended the teachings and removed the film titled "Protect Yourself" from distribution.

On the one hand I love seeing the Board of Education challenged, but on the other hand not by the reactionaries who hide under a cloak of level-headedness.

A few facts about all this should be enlightening. CRC Vice President and attorney John Garza has children. But they don't attend public school.

If they did, they could opt out of the sex education class. But that's too darn bothersome for the members of the CRC and PFOX who believe a child who opts out will "self-identify" him or herself and that opting out of the course would actually lead to segregation.

Most likely what would happen is that a kid opting out of the class would be envied by his peers for being smart enough to get out of a class that doesn't teach as much as can be learned on the Internet or at the mall's food court on a Friday night.

I have much more faith in the teenagers of Montgomery County than the adults causing this stir.

Garza offers a mind-numbing defense for his group's move. He calls the sex education an "indoctrination program" and says that to exercise their right not to go into the class, kids would have to exercise free speech rights that they shouldn't be forced to exercise. "Part of free speech is the right to remain silent," he claims.

If only he'd take his own advice.

The problem with the CRC and PFOX continues to be the hypocrisy inherent in burying your head in the sand.

"Part of free speech is the right to an education that allows you to get knowledge," Garza claims. What Garza is really upset about is that the Board of Education isn't imparting the spin on the knowledge that he wants.

He's no friend of free speech nor is the CRC and PFOX.

The truth is there are going to be children who will understand the importance of abstinence and there will be children who don't. The goal is to keep down sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted teen pregnancies.

CRC and PFOX, while they claim to want nothing more than level-headedness actually, in their efforts, keep important knowledge from those who need it the most - those living on the fringe and in danger of falling through the cracks.

Thanks to The Sentinel for keeping its eye on the ball.


Blogger andrea said...

Brian Karem has written at least one other good column for the Sentinel about the curriculum. He is realistic- somehow people are talking about the curriculum as if it is being taught to small children in the 1950's instead of 8th and 10th graders today- kids who not only see everything in the media but see teen pregnancies and teen parents at school and at the mall.

May 15, 2005 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's hilarious.

You want to TEACH KIDS THE FACTS and justify it by claiming that they already know the facts from the Internet.

Maybe we should concentrate on individual intelligence instead of swarm intelligence a bit.

May 20, 2005 4:29 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Gleeful, you don't know anything about swarm intelligence, so just don't go there. It doesn't make you look any smarter, trust me.

May 20, 2005 11:21 PM  

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