Thursday, January 18, 2007

Curriculum Documents Online

The school district had a package of documents, covering the period when the new sex-ed curriculum was being developed. We've taken the package and broken it out so you can see the different pieces as they relate to one another.

The page is available from our Resources page, or you can just click HERE.

There were three kinds of things developed:
  • A condom lesson for tenth grade
  • Two sexual orientation classes for 8th grade
  • Two sexual orientation classes for 10th grade

Each piece of it has three kinds of documents:
  • The citizen advisory committee's recommended changes to the first MCPS draft
  • MCPS staff response to the recommendations
  • A final draft, ready for pilot testing

The web page also has a memo from Superintendent Jerry Weast to the school board, presenting them with the new material.

Not much to add to that, these documents will be handy if we want to discuss any details of the curriculum.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jim. I think it is important for people to read the documents themselves, rather than the excerpts others pull out.

For instance, that line about people "feeling a new sense of joy" when they come out is on page 9 of the 10th grade FLHS Unit 10.1 in a paragraph headed Challenges and Struggles. After the sentence from which this statement has been excerpted it says,"Others may feel isolated," and goes on to list self-harming behaviors to which some youth turn.

The curricula are scripted, so what you see is what your teens will get.

January 18, 2007 11:00 PM  
Blogger digger said...

CRC posts on their website an Examiner story that says students can't graduate if they opt out of the Orientation lessons in Family Life. That can't be true, can it?

In looking at the Examiner (which I haven't read since it stopped being the Northern Virginia Journal), I saw a controversy about the Sexual Orientation lessons for Alexandria. I read the lessons (it's part of a .pdf file); they're a little sparse, a little outdated, and they get "transgender" completely wrong. I wonder if I should communicate with them. They mention the film "What if I'm Gay" which I believe is the film Fairfax uses. Outdated, but not a bad film. In it, the gay kid asserts "It's OK to be Gay" and all his friends love and accept him. Not bad for Virginia.

Here's the whole proposed lesson plan, if anyone wants to read it. I wonder if PFOX will get involved in this too (there are no ex-gays in the curriculum).

"Sexual Orientation Lesson Plan ****DRAFT****
1. State ground rules:
􀀹 You can express opinions, feelings, and values; however, deliberate cruelty and insults will not
be tolerated.
􀀹 Proper terminology will be taught and then must be used. Discriminatory, insulting, or
prejudicial terms will not be tolerated.
2. Definitions:
Orientation: Enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectionate attraction
to individuals of a particular gender
Heterosexual: Attraction to individuals of the opposite gender from one’s own
(Hetero = different) (“Straight”)
Homosexual: Attraction to individuals of the same gender as one’s own
(Homo = same) (Gay, Lesbian)
Bisexual: Attraction to members of either gender
(Bi = two)
Homophobia: Fear, dislike, discrimination against persons of homosexual
Transsexual: Person who has had a medical sex change, male to female or
female to male
Transvestite: Person who dresses in the clothes of the opposite gender for
sexual pleasure (may be of any sexual orientation)
Transgender: When a person is born with ambiguous genitalia, formerly called
“Hermaphrodite” from god Hermes and goddess Aphrodite
3. Read ten true/false statements. Students are to keep their answers private; this is a test of their
1. Anyone who has same-sex fantasies as a child or plays like or dresses like
the other sex (“tomboy; sissy”) will grow up to be homosexual.
2. You can tell a person’s sexual orientation by the way he or she talks, walks, dresses and by their
3. Homosexual orientation is a medical disorder according to the AMA (American Medical
4. One homosexual experience can “turn” a person permanently gay.
5. Most homosexuals are child molesters.
6. All societies throughout history have considered homosexuality evil.
7. Homosexual men want to be women; lesbians want to be men.
8. A person can be cured of homosexual orientation by counseling.
9. Homosexuals attempt to recruit others.
10. Scientific research has shown that homosexual orientation is a choice.
4. Show video “What if I’m Gay?”
Adolescence Unit 23
“What if I’m Gay?” Quiz Name:
1. At first, many viewers think Alan (the “late bloomer”) is the gay teen of the title rather than Todd.
Todd’s Dad says his high school classmate was the “last person you’d ever suspect.” Why do people
think they can identify who is or is not gay?
2. Todd’s Dad says people “teased and taunted him…back then you had to do those things so people
wouldn’t think you were just like him…the guy lost his friends just because no one dared to be seen
with him.” Have things changed? Explain.
3. Why does Alan remain friends with Todd once he finds out Todd is gay?
4. Why does Debra become concerned that there is something wrong with HER when she finds out Todd is
5. Why is Kirk so threatened by Todd? Why does he tell others about Todd?
6. When Alan tells Nancy that Todd is gay, she says, “The world is made up of
different kinds of people. Some of us aren’t afraid of those differences.” What is she saying?
7. Todd says that “life is going to be hard” for him now. Why? Do you think it is a
good idea for people do be openly gay?
8. Todd says, “Who I am is a human being, with feelings and ambitions and desires
Like everyone else.” What is he saying about sexual orientation?
9. Psychologists say that many people do not reach maturation until their 20’s. Is it
possible that Todd is premature in his labeling of his sexual orientation?
10. Alan says, “No one can really be happy with himself unless he feels free to be himself.” What does he
mean? Do you agree?"

January 19, 2007 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the heads-up on the CRC statement and the Examiner article. I spoke with Brian Porter's office, and was informed that he has asked the Examiner to publish a correction.

I just sent this letter to the Examiner reporter, with ccs to Brian Edwards and the BOE.


January 19, 2007

TO: Dana Levitz
The Examiner

FROM: David S. Fishback
Member, Board of Directors, Metro DC Chapter of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG)
Former Chair, Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development to the Montgomery County Board of Education

I just read your January 16, 2007 article on the health education curriculum in Montgomery County, entitled "Students required to take controversial sex-ed class." (pasted below).

Contrary to the headline and the text of that article, no student is required to take the lessons on sexual orientation or condom use. Rather, as MCPS has made crystal clear, students may only take those units of the health education curriculum if given permission by their parents/guardians, and those who do not take those units receive instruction in other health-related matters -- and that instruction satisfies the state health requirement for graduation. This is plainly presented at p. 4 of Superintendent Weast's January 9, 2007, report to the Board of Education, which I have attached for your convenience. Your article clearly must have taken statements by MCPS Public Affairs Director Brian Edwards grossly out of context.

I would strongly advise that you not take anything presented on this issue by the groups connected to James Dobson and Jerry Falwell at face value. Those groups have misrepresented the facts in the past, and apparently continue to do so.

In any event, it is essential that the Examiner apologize to Mr. Edwards and publish a correction to this egregious error. Reports that generate heat, but not light, do a great disservice to our community.

cc: Brian Edwards
Mongtomery County Board of Education

January 19, 2007 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The sexual orientation section, oddly enough, is about sexual orientation, which has nothing to do with disease."

If your "orientation" is same gender attraction, acting on the desires will significantly increase your risk of contracting a fatal and uncurable disease. So, it has something to do with it.

January 19, 2007 2:41 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...


You're absolutely correct. The three trans definitions are all wrong, so anything you can do to educate them would be helpful to the students.

January 19, 2007 2:45 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Anonymous said "If your "orientation" is same gender attraction, acting on the desires will significantly increase your risk of contracting a fatal and uncurable disease."

Wrong. Just as in heterosexual relationships there is no risk of disease in monogamous relationship. Risk is related to promiscuity, not orientation.

January 19, 2007 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Risk is related to promiscuity, not orientation."

And promiscuity is related to "orientation", to put it euphemistically.

Or "mental disease", to put it accurately.

January 20, 2007 9:35 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

I said "Risk is related to promiscuity, not orientation."

Anonymous said "And promiscuity is related to "orientation", to put it euphemistically.

Or "mental disease", to put it accurately."

That's not the case as I've shown in this thread

at January 20, 2007 1:47 PM and January 20, 2007 1:59 PM

January 20, 2007 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice design of blog.

August 13, 2007 3:38 PM  

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