Thursday, March 29, 2007

As Expected, No Big Deal

The Gazette yesterday reviewed the excitement of pilot testing of the new sex-ed classes, and concluded that it really wasn't all that exciting.
Health teacher Jody Tyler read the new scripted sex-ed lesson last week and the hotly debated field test of the revised health curriculum at Watkins Mill High School was over without much ado.

While the revised curriculum sparked a legal challenge and a battle among school advocates and some parents, all but a few students at Watkins Mill took part in the pilot program.

Watkins Mill Principal Peter J. Cahall didn’t hear much from parents — and even less form students.

"It came and went. It was so not a big deal," Cahall said. "It was there and gone before I even blinked."

Lon Hamann, president of the Watkins Mill Parent Teacher Student Association, also said there hasn’t been much of a stir among parents.

"It hasn’t been brought to the PTSA as a big issue yet," he said last week. Sex-ed pilot ‘not a big deal’ at Watkins Mill

OK, good. The fact is, the courses were carefully planned out, carefully designed by a team of pediatricians to make sure facts were medically correct, they were reviewed by a gang of lawyers to make sure nobody's religious beliefs or First Amendment rights were threatened, everything was thoroughly evaluated by a committee of citizens, it went through the bureaucratic mill at MCPS, was adopted unanimously by the Board of Education -- there was no reason to think there would be anything weird about it.

Oh, did I mention the whiners who stole information from the PTA directories and sent letters, emails, newsletters, and made robo-calls to the homes of families at the test schools? Did I say anything about the head of the American Family Association sending a newsletter around warning Montgomery County parents not to send their children to these horrible classes? Did I mention the wackos that walked around outside the schools carrying signs protesting "Unisex Bathrooms" and other scary things? Did I mention that the state school board still has the tedious task of reading the appeal and reviewing the curriculum to find out if there is really "covert politically correct code talk" between the lines of the new curriculum?

Naw, none of that matters. The school district did a good, professional job despite the background noise; they developed the courses following all the steps they are supposed to take. Now the classes have been tested, and it turned out, as expected, that it was no big deal.

This Gazette story carries the obligatory quotes from the "other side," a couple of CRC people are given this megaphone to express their irrelevant opinions. In general, the story is: business as usual, no big deal.


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