Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Extry, Extry, CRC Likes Video

I guess this is the man-bites-dog of the sex-ed world. From The Post:
The Montgomery County public school system's new condom video is getting positive reviews from some unexpected quarters.

Members of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, one of two groups that sued to block the original condom video from being shown to 10th-graders in Maryland's largest school system, say they are pleased with a new version that they think takes a more "clinical approach" to condom instruction.

The Montgomery County public school system's new condom video is getting positive reviews from some unexpected quarters.

Members of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, one of two groups that sued to block the original condom video from being shown to 10th-graders in Maryland's largest school system, say they are pleased with a new version that they think takes a more "clinical approach" to condom instruction. Foe of Condom Video Praises Revision: Group Sued Montgomery

This word "clinical." I'm hearing that to describe the new video. Is that a good thing?

I understand that they don't want to glamorize teen sex, nobody wants to promote it or encourage it. But is that the reason for the video? -- to "not promote" something?
"You don't have a cute little blonde and a cucumber," said Michelle Turner, president of CRC. "It's not MTV. It's very factual and clinical. There are no frills or fluff."

So we are understanding that CRC likes what's not in the video. No blonde, no vegetables, no MTV, no frills, no fluff.

I think when she says it's "very factual" she means something like, there is "nothing but facts" in it. Not that there are "a lot of facts" in it, which, I admit, I would prefer.
In the original eight-minute video, a blond female health education teacher spoke about proper condom use, then used a cucumber to demonstrate the correct way to put on a prophylactic.

In the new version, a wooden penis replaces the vegetable. Only a pair of hands is shown putting the condom on it, and an off-screen narrator describes the details. In both versions of the video, the narrator emphasizes that abstinence is the most effective way to avoid pregnancy and the contraction of a sexually transmitted disease.

Off-screen narrator. Hmm, funny, I assumed the guy whose hands you saw was talking. I guess it doesn't need to be.

And ... a little correction here. He does not say "abstinence is the most effective way to avoid" risks, he says it's "the only way."

And that's wrong.

Yes, she called me, too:
"It's very impersonal," said Jim Kennedy, a member of the citizens advisory committee working with the school system on the curriculum rewrite. "This is a starting point. I'm sure the committee may want to make some changes."

(Do I talk like that? Do I say "I'm sure" about things that "may" happen? Well, I guess I do sometimes.)(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Here's how the school district is seeing it:
The previous video was "more of an entertainment style," said Betsy Brown, director of the school system's department of curriculum and instruction. The new video "is about life-and-death matters, and the tone is very much how a health practitioner might approach this."

OK, that explains the "clinical" style. They were trying to make it sound like a doctor. Or, at least, like a doctor with his head cut off. Or a doctor with a PowerPoint slide show. Or a mortician, maybe... OK, I'll quit.
The proposed video, part of a 45-minute lesson, comes with a 37-page guide -- essentially a script -- to what teachers should tell students and includes worksheets for students. A draft of the lesson plan includes this statement in bold type: "Under no circumstances are teachers permitted to bring in or use resources other than those provided for this lesson." And it says, "This lesson is scripted and should be read and followed in its entirety."

I don't know how good I feel about that. Montgomery County has some really good teachers, it seems like a shame to make them read a script for this. What does that tell the kids? The teacher's scared to speak honestly? The school district's scared to let her?
Brian Edwards, spokesman for the Montgomery school system, said board members are scheduled to vote on the new materials in January. The three 45-minute lessons, part of a semester-long health education class, will then be used as a pilot program in a limited number of middle and high schools. Depending on the outcome of the pilot effort, the board would make a final decision about the curriculum in June.

And there you have the plan. We all hope it moves along at a good clip.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Post story also has a plug for the CRC website, saying it's got access to the new video.

September 12, 2006 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Wash Post story

"You don't have a cute little blonde and a cucumber,'' said Michelle Turner, president of CRC. "It's not MTV. It's very factual and clinical. There are no frills or fluff.''



__________



No you have a male with no head showing how to put a condom on a wooden penis and apparently in a one person sex act with no mention of what partner should do.



Quite informative...NOT

Anne

September 12, 2006 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many potential students of the proposed curriculum know about everything that has transpired during the process of the curriculum's development?

To be completely honest, if I was a one of the students, I'd be taking the information with a grain of salt. Knowledge of the controversy means a greater likelihood of skepticism from students.

September 12, 2006 1:50 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim quoted in the Post,

"It's very impersonal," said Jim Kennedy, a member of the citizens advisory committee working with the school system on the curriculum rewrite. "This is a starting point. I'm sure the committee may want to make some changes."

Of course it is impersonal...like duh! What do you expect of the sort of sex that this video was meant to more safely facilitate (among high school age children...err, I mean pre-adults...no, I mean teenagers...phew, that was a close one!)?

Yes, we know the Committee may want to make some changes, but is it possible that the MCPS will not allow you to make any changes? The video has a finished look to it...yes, I did see the video (made me feel like such a naughty, naughty boy...).

So, Jim, you don't like it? Want a softer touch? Maybe some candles, some Barry White music, and live actors...say, Fabio and Anna Nicole Smith? Hey, if you could get all of that then you have my vote...opps, wait...I can't vote for you or this video. Darn. Well, I'd vote for it once it made it to YouTube.com...how's that?

Anne writes,

No you have a male with no head showing how to put a condom on a wooden penis and apparently in a one person sex act with no mention of what partner should do.

Actually, a "head" of sorts is showing, and since that is the head the condom is to be placed on, perhaps...just perhaps, the focus ought to remain on the object being manipulated, and not the person doing the manipulation.

One person sex act? Please now...keep in mind that this is about FACTS...you know, like in Teach the Facts, and this video does that job.

Quite informative...NOT

Two words Anne: sour grapes

I actually came across and read the Post article after you had all gone to bed. I almost fell off my chair laughing, realizing that your worst fear is being realized, i.e. that the "Anti-Christ" of sex ed (and well, of all the Enlightenment), the CRC, appears to like and approve of the revised video. Imagine that! And now I read that Jim and fellow travelers don't like the lack of style...I'll just have to cry in my milk.

That prurient side of me, small though it may be, does sort of hope you can make the changes you desire. But remember: be careful of what you want, because you just might get it!

September 13, 2006 6:18 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Orin, please don't make this an ugly thing. I'm glad that MCPS has established that CRC will accept something, and I'm glad CRC has shown that they are willing to accept that students will learn about condoms. And, despite your petty comment, I really don't care if it has candles or Barry White -- the CRC has complained more about the poverty of the production than I have, so don't try to throw that on me. I don't understand why boring is better, but if that's what it takes, I am willing to go along with the wishes of the citizens committee.

By the way, the CRC has proposed many changes to the video, and most of them sound OK to me. It is obvious that even they realize that some of the information is incorrect, and that important information is missing.

I am hoping we can work with what the district has produced, that we can shift the information level a little bit, so that CRC can approve of it and it can teach what it needs to teach.

JimK

September 13, 2006 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Tish said...

One of the CRC's biggest complaints about "Protect Yourself" was that it didn't give all of the information, and Dr. Ruth Jacobs, the infectious disease specialist currently representing the CRC on the Citizens' Committee, was the most outspoken about that. She wanted statistics from the CDC included in the video.

This video is less informative than "Protect Yourself." The committee will be meeting again tonight to discuss their responses and suggestions for the video. It will be interesting to see if Dr. Jacobs has submitted any proposals for revisions.

I think that MCPS fully expects to revise this video.

September 13, 2006 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orin said,Two words Anne: sour grapes

_______________________

Orin quit being a juvenile. But then again the video would be right up your alley.

Anne

September 13, 2006 8:47 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim pleads,

Orin, please don't make this an ugly thing.

Who? Me? Never!

Ok, so maybe a few more details are needed...how about some female hands helping a set of male hands put on a condom? But make sure that nothing resembling wedding bands are on those hands...you sure wouldn't want to make any moral judgements that would cause some of the kiddies to suffer any judeo-christian induced guilt (false consciousness for you marxist-freudians out there).

I'm glad that MCPS has established that CRC will accept something, and I'm glad CRC has shown that they are willing to accept that students will learn about condoms.

And you thought they were not up to the task...you misunderestimated them.

And, despite your petty comment, I really don't care if it has candles or Barry White

Petty? Well, I guess a good natured attempt at humor, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder...I was not trying to be petty. Sarcastic? Yeah, guilty as charged...

-- the CRC has complained more about the poverty of the production than I have, so don't try to throw that on me. I don't understand why boring is better, but if that's what it takes, I am willing to go along with the wishes of the citizens committee.

Have you ever considered that something with muted production values may stand out better than something with more flash and bling? Here I think we could agree that a FACT to be added would be to stress that a condom MUST be used consistently and correctly used each and every time in order to be effective at reducing the risk (all the while stressing that this does not eliminate the risk, only...dare I say the "A" word?...ok, I guess I will...only abstinence eliminates the risk of pregnancy and STD's).

By the way, the CRC has proposed many changes to the video, and most of them sound OK to me. It is obvious that even they realize that some of the information is incorrect, and that important information is missing.

Well, now it sounds like progress is being made...on that sweet, blissful and happy march towards sexual nirvana...

I am hoping we can work with what the district has produced, that we can shift the information level a little bit, so that CRC can approve of it and it can teach what it needs to teach.

Keeping in mind that you can lead a teen, but you can't make them overcome that all-controlling impulsive part of their nature that tends more often than not to throw caution to the wind. Remember that study that announced the abvious...ergo, "Study shows: Teens not reasonable"...like duh!

September 13, 2006 9:15 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Anne responding to my two word riposte, writes,

Orin quit being a juvenile. But then again the video would be right up your alley.

Now you sound like my wife...ouch!

Oh, if I did the video I would give those kiddies an eye-full...I would show them how to "protect" themselves, using every public health FACT in the book.

And then I would show them the real life consequences that would happen to them sooner or later *if* they do not consistently and correctly follow the regimen for sound sexual health. I would pay to see the reaction on their faces when they see late-stage STD's.

Yuck!

But hey! They need those facts, so let's give them all of the facts...not just cherry pick the ones the Hugh Heffner free love advocates want to tell the kiddies.

Anne

September 13, 2006 8:47 AM

September 13, 2006 9:23 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

... nothing resembling wedding bands...

Orin, this kind of sarcasm does not make you look especially sharp. The committee has discussed family and marriage issues a lot, and we're all for it. It is not appropriate to suggest that only married people have sex, but marriage and family are mentioned when it makes sense. Surely, you don't score any points by implying that anybody would object to a wedding ring on a hand. Your misrepresentation of our viewpoint is really simply insulting, and nothing more.

...was not trying to be petty...

But the comment was petty. Nobody has complained that the video is not romantic enough. Yes, it's boring. It's intentionally boring. And I think the citizens committee should discuss whether that makes it better. I personally don't think it hurts anything, but I question some of the other messages that are tacitly comveyed, namely the impersonal quality of it and the fact that females are totally left out.

...dare I say the "A" word?...

More idiocy. Orin, this is not you at your best. I personally submitted a comment to the committee that abstinence should be better defined. I recommended the definition from 4parents.gov. Everyone on bot sides of the issue advocates abstinence, and we need to tell students exactly what not to do.

"Study shows: Teens not reasonable"...

They're not total morons, either. They are capable of learning.

PS I just saw your response to Anne. The students will see pictures of late-stage STDs of various types. They will have people with AIDS come into the classroom and talk about their experience. It's not like you're suggesting something we aren't doing already.

JimK

September 13, 2006 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orin is just trying to be "sensational." Must be that Orin does not receive any attention for his comments in his own state.

Guess we will have to go back to the "skip Orin comments."

Anne

September 13, 2006 10:44 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

... nothing resembling wedding bands...

Jim writes,

Orin, this kind of sarcasm does not make you look especially sharp.

Ok, ok...I took my two girls to the Dave Matthews Band concert in Denver last nite and sitting right in front of us was the "Reefer Queen" and her sidekick...I had to breath, so I guess you might say I "inhaled".

The committee has discussed family and marriage issues a lot, and we're all for it. It is not appropriate to suggest that only married people have sex, but marriage and family are mentioned when it makes sense.

"...when it makes sense"...ok, whatever. It is a well known FACT
that folks like the TTF set are "allergic" to marriage being taught as the societal normative standard. Heck, you even imply such with comments like, "It is not appropriate to suggest that only married people have sex" Jim, it is a well known FACT that married and unmarried people have sex...that is not in dispute. What is in dispute is whether students ought to be taught to remain abstinent until marriage. I know...I know...like any member of the Animal Kingdom, some simply cannot resist the urge. That is not in dispute here.

So, what is in dispute? Try teaching abstinence as a moral virtue that has a load of social science research to back it up... And no, I am not talking about any veiled Intelligent Design style attempts to teach students that "Jesus loves virgins" or any other schmaltzy religious platitude...just what the social sciences have learned about those who do have sex before marriage.

Surely, you don't score any points by implying that anybody would object to a wedding ring on a hand. Your misrepresentation of our viewpoint is really simply insulting, and nothing more.

No, what is insulting is folks like you Jim (along with Dana and the other TTF fellow travelers) that continually mock those with deeply held religious values, and then you turn around and attempt to push your sexually libertine worldview on everyone. And every attempt that is made to liberate devoutly religious parents from this cesspool by way of vouchers is opposed by the same crowd. Any surprise?

...was not trying to be petty...

But the comment was petty. Nobody has complained that the video is not romantic enough. Yes, it's boring. It's intentionally boring. And I think the citizens committee should discuss whether that makes it better. I personally don't think it hurts anything, but I question some of the other messages that are tacitly comveyed, namely the impersonal quality of it and the fact that females are totally left out.

Like I said, include a female hand and voice assisting a male hand and voice...

And again, the sort of sex that this video is intended first and foremost to facilitate is the casual type...so, it is entirely appropriate to communicate a message of the impersonal element of the sexual exchange that will take place. Remember, absent any sort of promise of committment (i.e. marriage), any sexual exchange is essentially a lie since will not result in any sort of life-long committment. And I think we would agree that any sort of lie necessarily diminishes a persons character. Is that the sort of lesson we want to teach the next generation (besides undermining any teaching of the character-building qualities of self-control)?

I would say no.

...dare I say the "A" word?...

More idiocy. Orin, this is not you at your best. I personally submitted a comment to the committee that abstinence should be better defined. I recommended the definition from 4parents.gov. Everyone on both sides of the issue advocates abstinence, and we need to tell students exactly what not to do.

That is great you submitted that idea...keep me posted on where that idea ends up.

"Study shows: Teens not reasonable"...

They're not total morons, either. They are capable of learning.

No...I don't believe that either. Many, in fact, are too smart for their own good. What many clearly lack is better impulse control and wisdom (the proper application of knowledge).

PS I just saw your response to Anne. The students will see pictures of late-stage STDs of various types. They will have people with AIDS come into the classroom and talk about their experience. It's not like you're suggesting something we aren't doing already.

Again, that is good...any attempt to educate teens about their lower natures must be consistent with not denying human nature.

Ok, I have been a tad more sarcastic than I usually am...my wife told me to grow up and go to bed.

TTYL...

September 13, 2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

It is a well known FACT that folks like the TTF set are "allergic" to marriage being taught as the societal normative standard.

No, Orin, it is a well-known piece of rightwing bullshit. Like, I read an article recently discussing why liberals love pedophiles, all the reasons. Your statement is like that. I myself am the contemporary incarnation of Ward Cleaver himself. I'm married and I'm all for it. I hate Theresa's cheating neighbor as much as she does. But I also understand that people -- even you, I'd bet -- have sex without being married. So there's no point in pretending that this is a lesson in "marriage behavior."

...sexually libertine worldview ...

Ridiculous. Orin, sit behind somebody else at your next rock concert, OK? There is nothing remotely libertine in the TTF worldview.

...the sort of sex that this video is intended first and foremost to facilitate is the casual type...

Think back, man. Sex is not casual. Maybe when you get old and jaded, but not when you're young.

...my wife told me to grow up and go to bed.

She's a saint to put up with you.

JimK

September 13, 2006 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2006
Extry, Extry, CRC Likes Video

JimK said …Everyone on bot sides of the issue advocates abstinence…
JimK
September 13, 2006 9:29 AM

Can we quote you?

September 13, 2006 2:07 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Of course. Do you think I have contradicted myself or something?

JimK

September 13, 2006 2:10 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Orin,

TTF is filled with married people, and we think marriage works pretty well. That is why we tend to be in favor of same-sex marriage. Do you see the incongruity of accusing us (falsely) of pushing the idea that marriage is not the best societal norm, and then criticize us for advocating marriage equality for gay people. My wife and I are married. We want our sons to be able to marry, too. And they agree. These are family values.

The Dobson types get themselves into quite a contradiction when they accuse liberals of being against marriage and then criticizing us for wanting to extend marriage rights for same sex couples.

September 13, 2006 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"TTF is filled with married people, and we think marriage works pretty well."

David

This is disingenuous. Most of you guys may have families and be very happy with the situation. Nevertheless TTFers have repeatedly argued that to treat marriage as a societal norm is to teach religious values in public schools. Regular posters here have also regularly dismissed the idea that marital monogamy leads to a more stable society as propaganda.

"That is why we tend to be in favor of same-sex marriage. Do you see the incongruity of accusing us (falsely) of pushing the idea that marriage is not the best societal norm, and then criticize us for advocating marriage equality for gay people."

Hope you see the incongruity actually flows in the opposite direction.

"My wife and I are married. We want our sons to be able to marry, too. And they agree. These are family values."

Bringing up personal situations is actually inflammatory because people can't disagree without looking like they're being rude. Better to discuss principles in abstract.

"The Dobson types get themselves into quite a contradiction when they accuse liberals of being against marriage and then criticizing us for wanting to extend marriage rights for same sex couples."

No they don't. Premarital promiscuity and homosexuality, while both detrimental to society and immoral in their eyes, are different subjects.

September 13, 2006 5:19 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Nevertheless TTFers have repeatedly argued that to treat marriage as a societal norm is to teach religious values in public schools. Regular posters here have also regularly dismissed the idea that marital monogamy leads to a more stable society as propaganda.

Anon, you're a liar. Given that there are probably 500 posts on this blog, I challenge you to show me one single instance that can even be interpreted in that way.

You guys are amazing.

JimK

September 13, 2006 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not lying, Jim. Maybe I'll try out your search engine later. Meanwhile, here's something you were musing over a couple of weeks ago. Thought you might be interested.

"September 13, 2006

Pope Says Reason Points to a Designer

Pope Benedict XVI, during an outdoor mass in Germany on Tuesday, said that despite those in the scientific community who support evolution, the attempt to prove God unnecessary in the explanation of the universe is futile, Radio Vaticana reported.

His comments appeared to throw the weight of the Catholic Church behind intelligent design, the theory that some aspects of biology are too complex to be explained by evolution.

"What came first?" he asked the crowd. "Creative reason, the spirit who makes all things and gives them growth, or unreason, which, lacking any meaning, yet somehow brings forth a mathematically ordered cosmos, as well as man and his reason."

Those in the scientific community who seek to understand the world by dismissing God as unnecessary conclude, in the end, that life is insignificant, he said.

"(Man) would then be nothing more than a chance result of evolution and thus, in the end, equally meaningless," Benedict said. "When God is subtracted, something doesn't add up for man, the world, the whole vast universe."

A group of scholars and advisers to the pope met in Rome earlier this month to discuss creation and intelligent design."

September 13, 2006 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A group of scholars and advisers to the pope met in Rome earlier this month to discuss creation and intelligent design."

That's a perfect place for such a discussion, the Vatican in Rome. Creationism/ID should not be taught in America's public schools.

September 14, 2006 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Creationism/ID should not be taught in America's public schools."

Public school children should be made aware of all reasoned theories. The book used in MCPS biology classes currently includes a discusion of the appearance of design in nature.

September 15, 2006 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Caveat Emptor said...

I agree public school students should be made aware of all reasoned theories. That's why I object to teaching creationism/ID; it's not reasoned, it's religious. Any theory that relies on the supernatural is not reasoned.

Of course the Pope advocates ID. It is religious!

September 16, 2006 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ID is a first step but I do not think it should be excluded merely because it was started by people of a religious belief. Nor do I think it should be excluded because it lacks a scientific design as it cannot be proven or disprove if that were the case than evolution could be excluded for the same reason. But if we look at the universe we know before Albert Einstein theory most scientists thought the universe was infinite now we all accept the big bang and that does fallow the creationist belief. That the universe came into existence by some unseen force that seemed to have order. Time is another interesting theory as we now believe that time is not a constant but seems to fluctuate. ID is still in its infancy and has yet to find its own voice given time I think that voice will appear. What the ID people have done is punch holes in the theory of evolution that the evolutionists seem to be unable to repair. Or at least defend.

September 17, 2006 5:34 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Anonymous quotes my statement,"My wife and I are married. We want our sons to be able to marry, too. And they agree. These are family values." He/she responds by saying that "Bringing up personal situations is actually inflammatory because people can't disagree without looking like they're being rude. Better to discuss principles in abstract."

Sorry, Anon, these are not simply "abstract" issues. Rather, they directly impact on people's lives.

September 18, 2006 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David S. Fishback said...
We want our sons to be able to marry, too. And they agree.

I saw her today at a reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man

No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

Oh yeah, hey hey hey, oh...

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"
Sing it to me now...

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
Oh baby, yeah, yeah!

I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was "dead"
I said to him

You can't always get what you want, no!
You can't always get what you want (tell ya baby)
You can't always get what you want (no)
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
Oh yes! Woo!

You get what you need--yeah, oh baby!
Oh yeah!

I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

You can't always get what you want (no, no baby)
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need, ah yes...

September 18, 2006 7:08 PM  
Blogger seher aniat said...

That prurient side of me, little although it's going to be, does kind of hope you'll be able to make the changes you desire. however remember: take care of what you would like, because you only might get it!
Wedding Rings

February 24, 2014 2:25 AM  

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