Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Setting the Record Straight

Last week The Post published a letter to the editor that was just exactly, perfectly wrong on several points. Like, the writer said things like, "The recommendations for changes in the curriculum made by the advisory committee to the Board of Education were largely ignored," which is just wrong -- most of the committee's recommendations were adopted -- and "The new curriculum was not written by health-care professionals," which, again, doesn't everybody know this? The curriculum was developed by a team of pediatricians working with MCPS staff. The core of the curriculum was their work. I mean, this was wrong wrong.

This morning the paper had a letter from Carol Plotsky, chair of the citizens advisory committee:
As a pediatrician, I want to correct misinformation in the March 27 letter "Flawed Sex Education," about additions to the health education curriculum being piloted at several Montgomery County schools.

The recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Board of Education were not ignored. Eighty-five percent of the recommendations were accepted and incorporated into the final curriculum proposal. The principal proposals not included dealt with inclusion of materials stating that homosexuality is not a disease and other statements from the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.

The new curriculum was written by the superintendent's office with the direct assistance of pediatricians from Children's Hospital. The Citizens Advisory Committee is composed of representatives of various organizations and at-large representatives, all volunteers. It has 15 members, two of whom are students and 10 of whom are parents of current and former students in the Montgomery schools.

The curriculum is opt-in. For a student to take part, a parent or guardian must sign a consent form. Children whose parents do not choose to do so receive other assignments.

The statement in the curriculum that homosexuality is innate is supported by a citation included in the overall materials. Nothing was included in the curriculum that was not substantiated in the literature.

We will review teachers' comments after the pilot is complete and make modifications to the curriculum as needed.

Chair; Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development
Montgomery County Board of Education

It's sad that you have to do this, you have to keep repeating the facts to compensate for the background noise that tries to wash them away. What does the typical Post reader take away from this? How many people saw the first letter and not the second? How many people see the whole thing and shrug their shoulders, assuming it's another political tug-o-war? You hate to see how hard you have to work just to keep the facts on the table.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a struggle to keep the discussion honest. Many of us feel gratitude to you, Jim, for your daily efforts to do so. Today I felt similarly grateful to Dr. Plotsky for her letter.

April 03, 2007 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems all CRC and its supporters can do is misrepresent the curriculum and the process that brought it forward in their relentless efforts to bring it down.

Odd, I seem to recall something about "bearing false witness" being frowned upon in the New Testament. Oh yes, here it is:

Mt 19:16-19 "And behold, one came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." He said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

I wonder which is more sinful, to bear false witness yourself or to induce others to do it for you.

Oh! Look at that last thing Jesus mentioned. He said, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" with nary a concern about the sexual orientation or gender identity of the neighbor.

Imagine that!

Joyful Noises

April 03, 2007 3:02 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home