Thursday, March 22, 2007

Good Morning America Transcript

Good Morning America has this morning's story online, written up like a news story HERE. Watch (most of) the video HERE.

Here's the transcript of this morning's show about the Montgomery County sex-ed controversy, verbatim.
Transcript - Good Morning America, March 22, 2007

"A Whole New Sex Ed: Do you know what's being taught?"

Robin Roberts: ....those grainy sex education films. They're a thing of the past replaced with a new kind of sex ed class. Birds and bees are getting a new makeover. Not everyone is happy with it. Parenting contributor, Anne Pleshette Murphy, has the story.

Murphy: Today's children grow up inundated with messages about sex. From the Internet to television, children see, hear and learn more than ever. But what are they learning in the classroom?

Sex education in schools has sparked controversy since it's inception. How should it be taught, what should be taught? The question today - should sexual orientation be part of a sex ed curriculum?

Monica Rodriguez, SEICUS: Young people are growing up in a world where sexual orientation isn't as big of a taboo topic as it used to be for many people of different generations.

Murphy: Earlier this month, several schools in Montgomery County, Maryland launched a pilot program for 8th and 10th grade health classes that includes references to sexual orientation, homophobia, and transexuality. Some parents are outraged.

Michelle Turner: Starting at the 8th grade level, we are concerned about the ability of these 12 and 13 year olds to be able to fully grasp what is being presented to them.

Murphy: Michelle Turner co-founded Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum in late 2004 when the Montgomery school board first introduced sexual orientation into the classroom. She says the curriculum is factually inaccurate. Fellow Montgomery resident and father Jim Kennedy disagrees.

Jim Kennedy: Some people think that you can just not mention something and it will just go away.

Murphy: Kennedy and others strongly believe the program will help promote tolerance among students.

Dr. Justin Richardson, Psychiatrist: Well I think that given that some of these children who are sitting in these classes are going to grow up to be gay, I think that schools do have a responsibility to try to help those kids come to terms with themselves and their sexual orientation.

Murphy: Dr. Justin Richardson who's written on the subject of sex education is not surprised by the controversy this program is causing.

Dr. Richardson: Parents will continue to have a concern about what their child's sexual orientation is going to be. It's something that's out of their control and I think some parents at some level realize this and so they're naturally concerned about what are the other influences that may affect their child's sexual orientation.

Murphy: Currently there are at least seven states prohibiting a positive portrayal of homosexuality in schools. But sex education varies state to state and the actual curriculum is often decided by individual school districts. In Montgomery County, the debate rages on.

Turner: The schools, in teaching this curriculum are imposing their own moral rightness under the guise of tolerance in telling students that they have to accept individuals who are making choices that...that many kids have been taught are wrong or inappropriate.

Kennedy: I think for everyone to be more educated about this topic is a good idea. But it's not about....this is not a gay rights issue to me. This is about truth in education.

Roberts: And now our parenting contributor Anne Pleshette Murphy. Annie, sex education has been around for years. We all know about that. The controversy now seems to be about teaching children about sexual orientation. Parents, a lot of parents are concerned about this.

Murphy: Yes, they are but 93% of parents approve of sex ed being taught at schools and 73% of them think homosexuality and sexual orientation should be part of the curriculum. So it's gaining acceptance to put it mildly. But if you are worried about it, check out the curriculum. You have that option. You also have the option to opt out. You can Montgomery County they do not need to participate; they don't have to. So you can choose to opt out and the other thing is, in my opinion, it's much more important to check out the messages they're getting on-line, in the media, in movies and use those, you know opportunities as a teachable moment. You know, to share your values. That's where it gets shaped in the family, not at school.

Roberts: It's been shown that what kids learn at home is so invaluable. It really goes a long way.

Murphy: Absolutely and parents are the most important teachers, particularly when it comes to sex.

Roberts: All right. Thanks so much.


Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Real quick (since I have to run to class), one thing I did notice is that while Turner and you (Jim) are both identified on screen, name and affiliation, only Turner is introduced by name and affiliation on the audio. This would annoy me since the video part with the name and affiliation is flipping between the name/affiliation and the news story.

Just my two cents...

March 22, 2007 6:49 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Orin, I hadn't really noticed the video attributions, but I just looked again. It says something like "President, Teach the Facts Website."

Normally, when something like this happens, a newspaper article or something on radio or TV, or especially a mention by an A-list blog, we see a spike in our hit counter, and also in our petitions and requests to join the Yahoo group. Today's web traffic is actually slightly lower than yesterday's so far -- of course there are still a few hours left in the day, but clearly this show did not attract attention to our group's web site. I didn't really think the GMA audience would be quite the blog-readers, and even if they were, I think they're mostly getting their shoes on and heading out the door, not going to remember it by the time they get to a computer at work.


March 22, 2007 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You made us proud, Jim.

March 22, 2007 7:53 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Thank you, people. It all depends on the producers, the camera crew, the editors ... the executives. And of course we have the easy message to deliver: be kind and truthful, and have fun. People don't usually find much to argue with there.

Anyway I wanted to say, since I last commented that our hits were below yesterday's, they have now caught up. There is no spike like we usually see after any kind of publicity at all, so I don't think this show affected our traffic, but today's about like yesterday.


March 22, 2007 9:13 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

The reason I mention that is because many that "watch" those morning programs don't really watch in the sense that they watch a primetime tv show, like The Office. The morning crowd has the tv on and is listening to it in a way like they listen to the radio, so they are just getting the audio. It seems like a small detail, but it is a detail nonetheless.

And yes, though I mostly disagree with you, Jim, you did a very good job of communicating your ideas and coming across as a concerned parent and citizen. Congratulations.

March 22, 2007 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work! I hope this is the beginning of a counter-wave.

Here is a link to ab article on sex ed that I think you'll find relevant

March 23, 2007 7:09 AM  
Blogger JimK said...


I would not appreciate a teacher making up his own sex-ed curriculum and presenting it to a class of 8th graders, as this guy in Chicago did. He is claiming that he's young and ignorant, and people closer to the case than me seem to think he simply screwed up. Whatever, he's outta there.

Our curriculum here is carefully scripted -- maybe too scripted -- in order to make sure that everybody gets the same information, all out of sensitivity to parents who are very concerned about what their children are exposed to.

We would definitely not approve of teachers just bringing in their own materials and trying to get 8th graders to understand French-kissing and masturbation, with no oversight from the administration.

If anything, this story illustrates how much variety there is in education, and how much confusion. This guy's career would go the way of the Rockville Pregnancy Center's "gum game," if he tried this here.


March 23, 2007 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim and Co:

GMA has its own blog where viewers comment on the stories. There were several yesterday morning when I looked at it. You might want to check it out.

You made a generally good impression, Jim. I think the piece was generally tilted toward the correct side though.

March 23, 2007 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GMA segment showed there's a small vocal minority that whines about sex ed, but it clearly pointed out that 93% of parents want sex ed in our schools and that 73% of parents think the course should include facts about sexual orientation.


March 23, 2007 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"93% of parents want sex ed in our schools and that 73% of parents think the course should include facts about sexual orientation"

Clearly a poll whose pollers asked pollees the question is such a way that they'd get the answer they were looking for.

They didn't say what the responders want taught about sex or sexual preference. Polls have shown that over 90 per cent of Americans believe kids should be taught that extra-marital sexual activity is wrong.

The GMA piece, at the end, addressed those who were concerned about what kids were being taugt in school. It would be odd if they were targeting 7% of the populace instead of 93%. ABC hasn't been in business all these years by courageously bucking the common wisdom. They know what most Americans think.

March 23, 2007 8:17 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

... over 90 per cent of Americans believe kids should be taught that extra-marital sexual activity is wrong.

Anon, 1.what is the source for this statistic? in the world is it relevant here?

I hope that more than 90 percent of Americans teach their kids that extra-marital sexual activity is wrong.

Or are you saying the schools should be the ones doing that teaching?

Or are you suggesting that this curriculum somehow contradicts that desire?


March 23, 2007 8:28 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Anon's statistics- made-up like all of CRC's stuff.

March 23, 2007 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon, 1.what is the source for this statistic? in the world is it relevant here?"

1. The Kaiser Family Foundation 2004 survey of the general public, on page 12, question i, asked: do you think schools should teach that people should wait until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse?

93% answered yes.

2. It's relevant because the statistic quoted on GMA doesn't address what Americans mean by "comprehensive sexual education".

It's obviously not the new MCPS version, which doesn't mention the societal norm that sex outside of marriage is inappropriate. It's a glaring ommission.

You can't say it's a solely religious norm either since you can't really say 93% of Americans are religiously active.

March 24, 2007 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's obviously not the new MCPS version, which doesn't mention the societal norm that sex outside of marriage is inappropriate. "

The two new 8th and 10th grade lessons on sexual orientation and the new 10th grade condom demonstration lesson are to be added to the existing "MCPS version", which is the curriculum the suers support even though it doesn't mention "ex-gays." Nothing was removed from the old curriculum, which remains abstinence-based and still says:

"there are positive consequences of sexual activity for adults, but for most teens the negative results far outweigh the positive

Abstinence...Before marriage and for teens it is the best choice

Importance of Monogamy in Building Trust in a Relationship/Marriage

March 24, 2007 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kaiser Foundation survey is useless because no one can "know" what "marriage" or "sexual intercourse" means unless they are defined.

Gov. Bill Clements, a Rove client, appointed him to the East Texas State University board of regents. Appearing before the state Senate's Nominations Committee, a Democratic senator asked Rove about how long he had known the local FBI chief. "Ah, Senator," replied Rove, "it depends. Would you define 'know' for me?"


March 24, 2007 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

warning facts:

interesting that you didn't quote anything in the curriculum amendments

Rove trove:

most of the public, who aren't obsessed with this, also aren't familiar with the term "comprehensive sex ed"

March 24, 2007 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh brother, here we go again. These spin tactics are growing tiresome.

Sprigg complained the term "marriage" isn't in the framework, Jacobs complained "STD risks" are not mentioned in the additional 90 minutes of instruction called "Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality." As spin artists, it doesn't matter to them that the term "marriage" is all over the curriculum and that the curriculum has an entire section that discusses "STD risks." Since public opinion differs so much from their myopic view of human sexuality education, they have no choice but to try to fool the public about what is and is not taught to MCPS students in sex ed classes.

And now, here's Anon, dizzy from spinning as usual, complaining that something which is in the MCPS sex ed curriculum isn't in the 90 minutes of "Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality." It seems Anon just doesn't want this respect to be taught. I agree with State Superintendent Grasmick who said it is important for all students to learn this respect to reduce bullying and harassment. "The lessons at issue here address harassment problems as they relate to sexual orientation and gender identity. They emphasize tolerance and acceptance. They address ways to deal with bullying and harassment and how to prevent it.

And what a fine example of a BS statement Anon has crafted:

most of the public, who aren't obsessed with this [Anon is apparently talking about those who are so obsessed with "this" that they felt compelled to sue the MCPS BOE and file an appeal to the SBOE over it], also aren't familiar with the term "comprehensive sex ed".

In survey after survey that records public opinion about public school sex education, the category "Not Familiar With The Term Comprehensive Sex Ed" is not mentioned. Instead, most such surveys find:

Updated: 1:03 p.m. ET Nov 7, 2006
NEW YORK - Most Americans, regardless of their political leanings, favor comprehensive sex education in schools over abstinence-only programs, researchers reported Monday.

Currently, the federal government champions the abstinence-only approach, giving around $170 million each year to states and community groups to teach just-say-no sex education. This funding precludes mention of birth control and condoms, unless it’s to emphasize their failure rates.

However, critics point out that studies have failed to show that abstinence-only education delays sex or lowers rates of teen pregnancy.

This latest study, according to the authors, suggests that the federal government is out of step not only with research, but also with public opinion.

Of the nearly 1,110 U.S. adults they surveyed, 82 percent supported programs that discuss abstinence as well as other methods for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Half were in outright opposition to abstinence-only education.

Even among self-described conservatives, 70 percent supported comprehensive sex ed., while 40 percent opposed the abstinence-only strategy.

The findings “highlight a gap between policy, and science and public opinion,” said Dr. Amy Bleakley of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and lead author of the new study.

Whether this divide will influence policy-makers is unknown, she told Reuters Health. “We just want to bring this to their attention,” she said.

March 25, 2007 11:12 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home