Tuesday, November 15, 2005

But What's the Plan?

Here's just a little something, just a question, really; some discussions in our comments section leave me wondering about some stuff.

Let's say you don't like gay people. OK, there are lots of people like that, they think it's wrong, they think it's gross and dirty, they think gay people spread diseases or are immoral, they think everybody should be "normal," they think gay people are all sissies, or whatever. Some people just feel weird about it and don't have any reason.

Given that, what would be your recommendations for a sex education class?

That's the question here, not whether it's cool or not, but what the schools should teach.

The schools teach about communism and fascism, viruses and plagues, wars, slavery, and irrational numbers without a second thought, so there is obviously nothing wrong with talking about things that are un-nice. Nobody complains about that stuff, ever. Learning about communism doesn't turn you into a communist, and you can even learn about it without approving of it.

What would possibly be wrong with teaching students to identify some of the major dimensions of sexual variation? So they learn that some boys and some girls are more masculine and some are more feminine -- so what? They know that anyway, intuitively, we are simply giving them some terminology to use, and giving them a way to think about it clearly. So they learn that some men are attracted to other men, and some women to women -- so what? It's a fact, even if you think gay people are terrible, mean, and nasty. So what could be wrong with discussing a simple fact of the real world?

Does anybody really think that if you don't talk about it, it will go away?

Does anybody think it is better not to know about things, that ignorance is somehow preferable to knowledge?

Or do they really think that learning about homosexuality in health class will make children gay? They do say that, but can anybody really mean it?

It's all fine for people to parade their indignation, to go to the school board and the media and tell everyone that their moral values are so lofty that they find these concepts to be simply reprehensible. But they can't really say these things don't exist, and they can't say they would exist less if we didn't talk about them.

The important thing: simply expressing moral outrage doesn't give us any information about how to teach the topic in school.

Without any plan of action, an observer might conclude that the whole point in complaining is for them to assert their own superiority.

The Montgomery County school district had a good plan, a curriculum outline that was very moderate, that brought up important topics without dwelling on them, that gave students information in a cool, objective way that would have empowered them to make smart decisions about themselves and the world around them. This plan would have made our children happier, healthier, and wiser. It was supposed to go into production this year, but instead the county has had to wait while a small group of moralistic crybabies complained.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From this post, it would appear that Jim's attention span didn't allow him to read ALL the comments of the last post.

Must have sped-read it or scanned it.

November 15, 2005 11:21 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Of course this post is a reaction to comments on the previous thread and other recent ones. Since people became un-civil a couple of weeks ago, I have been having every comment sent to my email, so I can review them immediately and decide whether to delete them. So I don't miss anything.

Nothing there answers the question I am asking here.

Some people may feel all wonderful, being able to despise gay people and all. What does that imply for how the topic should be discussed in school?


November 15, 2005 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..well who cares what anonymous says when laced with statements off topic. Since CRC message board is lame(and certainly not public) anonymous clearly has to come over to TTF yard and play just to have playmates.

Now here is a question that even anonymous can answer..do you think sex ed should be taught in schools at all?????

"anon free"

November 15, 2005 12:43 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

I notice how we never get an answer to these questions.

The anons change the subject, disappear, insult us, make false claims or start making biblical references.

I say we don't allow shrimp poppers or cheeseburgers in school anymore - it is in the Bible- and I accept the OT.


November 16, 2005 3:27 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

This is kind of funny. I posted this piece purely to give the anti-MCPS side a chance to explain what they want. It's easy to be against something, easy to say you're outraged by somebody else's opinion or decision or whatever. What would you do instead?



November 16, 2005 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jim. I knew you were just thinking of us.

November 16, 2005 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I notice how we never get an answer to these questions.

The anons change the subject, disappear, insult us, make false claims or start making biblical references.

I say we don't allow shrimp poppers or cheeseburgers in school anymore - it is in the Bible- and I accept the OT."

Those food laws were for the nation of Israel. Gentiles have been freed from them. In your quest to know all about people who are different from you, you ought to read the book of Acts. It's really interesting but hide it somewhere where the kids won't find it. Who knows what effect it might have.

November 16, 2005 9:55 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Oh, anon, you silly silly person, my kids know the old and new testament- and other religious texts. Unlike like your side- I am not scared of my kids learning things and thinking differently from me. Hiding books- that is the Susan Jamison/CRC activity- surely you didn't confuse me with them- I do use my name.

What with my kids having read Catcher in the Rye, The Bluest Eye, all of Stephen King and Harry Potter(Ooh- wizards, witches,disrespect for the Dursleys and Snape), and who knows what other trash from the banned books list- it is a wonder they have stayed out of jail, no drugs, don't drink, don't smoke, good grades- a real miracle! I go further than not eating shellfish or meat and milk- I accept the restrictions made before Noah

. But of course, this is all false- thank goodness, you told me- I think I will go out and have a cheeseburger with bacon.

November 17, 2005 9:21 AM  

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