Thursday, May 31, 2007

Do Not Make the Americans Uncomfortable

I try to stay optimistic, really I do. But sometimes ...

From Georgetown University's paper, The Hoya:
Kambiz Fattahi (GRD ’08) was sitting in the first row of the commencement audience on the afternoon of May 18 holding a box of cookies for his graduating friend.

But he never got to see her walk across the stage. And he never got to hand her the cookies.

According to Fattahi, about five minutes after historian Bernard Bailyn, the keynote speaker at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ commencement in McDonough Gymnasium, concluded his speech lauding the American traditions of freedom and justice, two Department of Public Safety officers removed Fattahi from the ceremony. Fattahi, who was born in Iran, said that when he asked for a reason, the officers told him that his Middle Eastern appearance was making others at the ceremony uncomfortable and that they had received complaints about his presence.

“They said, ‘You are making some people nervous. We received some complaints,’” he said. “Truthfully, I just didn’t expect it.” DPS Removes Student from Graduation Ceremony

Took the guy out. Held him for a half an hour. Called Arlington to confirm his address. Went through his stuff.
“They kept saying things like, ‘Don’t put your hand in your pocket,’” Fattahi recalled. “They treated me like a suspect. … It was as if they thought they caught a fugitive.”

DPS does not allow its officers to speak to the media.

Yes, I can imagine why.
DPS Director Darryl Harrison arrived in the hallway after the officers verified Fattahi’s identity, but Fattahi said the police chief did not intervene when the two officers searched Fattahi’s bag. He added that they subsequently refused to return his business card, with one claiming that he had a friend in the BBC who he wanted to contact concerning Fattahi.

So this Iranian guy completely missed his friend's graduation.

Look, sometimes something makes you uncomfortable. Somebody might be different from you. Maybe they're from a different country. Maybe they're dressed funny, they have long hair, crooked teeth, acne, whatever. Maybe they're gay.

It's not a crime to make people uncomfortable. Sometimes it's a public service. People need to be uncomfortable sometimes. It's good for 'em.
Fattahi said he holds Harrison responsible for the incident because the guards were allowed to proceed under Harrison's supervision. Harrison declined to comment on his or the officers’ participation in the incident.

Having been detained for about half an hour, Fattahi said he returned to the ceremony after his friend was called to walk across the stage. He said that the guards followed him back to his seat and remained there to watch him.

Ironic that this happened just after the speaker was talking about American liberty and justice.

This guy's an American citizen. I thought maybe he was real scary looking or something, but I found his picture, which is above. I don't see what's so outstandingly terrifying about him. Do you think people actually complained, because a guy from Iran was in the audience?

Link to the BBC account of this incident (written by Fattahi) here: Does US insecurity put liberty at risk?

34 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Shameful, absolutely shameful. Georgetown has a lot to answer for here.

May 31, 2007 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really ridiculous. Hopefully the guy will file a suit and get some kind of settlement.

Recent poll revealed that Americans of Middle Eastern background actually are more sold on the American dream than the average American.

May 31, 2007 9:49 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 01, 2007 4:17 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

I am totally and completely shocked! One of the very bastions of tolerance, diversity and political correctness...

Georgetown University?...who would have known.

Still, the irony of it all is so thick as to be cut and served with a knife.

June 01, 2007 4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
I would say most protective services people are not too highly trained - Look at the guy who let the TB carrier back in the US- he decided to ignore the warning because the guy looked healthy. And why at the airport did one guy take away my yogurt but another guy let me keep my V-8?? Is yogurt a better ingredient for explosives as opposed to V-8? I actually knew the juice wasn't allowed- and I forgot- but yogurt in a commercially sealed container?

June 01, 2007 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in the sex ed debate should read the "de gustibus" column on page W13 of today's Wall Street Journal.

Columnist Naomi Riley opines that "whether you instruct them to refrain from intercourse altogether or to use a form of contraception, sex education is not a intellectual problem". Few women actually get pregnant out of ignorance. The reason they do: most women want to have babies.

Most comp ed programs don't just have a goal of reducing preganancy and disease, they also want teens to feel comfortable about their sexuality.

The whole thing is not an academic exercise but a moral one and belongs in the home rather than the school.

Also, referenced are 15 peer-reviewed studies showing the abstinence education leads to a reduction in teen sexual activity.

June 01, 2007 11:05 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anonymous, the article does not "reference 15 peer-reviewed studies showing the abstinence education leads to a reduction in teen sexual activity," it quotes a guy from the Heritage Foundation saying there are 15 such studies.

There aren't, unless you use the Heritage Foundation's "interesting" ways of looking at data. Like the one where they preferred self-report data, where abstinence-pledging respondents reported that they did not have an STD, even though lab tests showed they did.

I'm sure that Ms. Riley's opinion, that women get pregnant because they want to, makes for charming and challenging cocktail-party conversation. I also think it's bullshit.

JimK

June 01, 2007 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

andrea- not anon

Jim, why would you expect anon to tell the truth or even know a peer reviewed study- you are too kind.

June 01, 2007 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm sure that Ms. Riley's opinion, that women get pregnant because they want to, makes for charming and challenging cocktail-party conversation. I also think it's bullshit."

She is saying there is a part of the female psyche that wants, not to be pregnant, be to have babies. They become careless with birth control on purpose because they, on some level, feel that if they simply become pregnant and force the issue, that somehow things will work out. On becoming pregnant, however, they realize that raising a child is unfeasible and have it aborted. She notes that the vast majority of abortions are not because of rape, incest or health but for lifestyle convenience.

That's the theory she brought up. Don't know if it's true or not but how else to explain why so many women become pregnant and then have the child killed when birth control is readily available .

One thing is fer sure though. TTF's theory that it is because they haven't been made aware of contraception in public school is a real load of happy horsecrap.

June 01, 2007 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jim, why would you expect anon to tell the truth or even know a peer reviewed study- you are too kind."

You don't think Jim looked at the studies, do you, Andy?

June 01, 2007 4:41 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, if you followed my link in the previous comment, you would know that I have looked at that study very closely. I can't look at the others mentioned in this opinion piece because, first of all it is not clear that they exist, and second, if they do exist this writer did not mention what they were.

JimK

June 01, 2007 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I can't look at the others mentioned in this opinion piece because... this writer did not mention what they were."

Exactly, Jim. That's also why I couldn't look at them either. And that's why Andy's comment was fatuous.

The Heritage Foundation, however, has a better rep than TTF or the Gut-masher Institute. So does the Wall Street Journal. Read it fast before Murdoch takes over.

June 01, 2007 5:43 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "The Heritage Foundation, however, has a better rep than TTF or the Gut-masher Institute.".

Get real. The Heritage foundation was started by brewer Joseph Coors whose fortune relied heavily on federal natural resources subsidies and pollution-based profits. Coors was one of the largest polluters in Colorado.

In the 1990's the Heritage foundation published policy in its journal "Policy Review" which urged its followers 'to strangle the environmental movement,' which it declared 'the greatest single threat to the American economy,' dismissing global warming , acid rain, and other environmental crises as 'henny pennyism.' Its prominence as the leading voice for pollution-based prosperity helped it attract enormous donations from the automobile, coal, oil, and chemical companies.

Russ Bellant in "The Coors Connection" (1991) perhaps said it best: "The Heritage Foundation will continue to be a key element in the phalanx of rightist groups with an agenda of austerity for the poor, hostility to minorities and women, upward distribution of wealth for the rich, economic domination of the Third World, with repression and bloodletting for those who rebel."

The Heritage Foundation and its Townhall spinoff are dedicated to oppressing minorities, women and gays. Their reputation is anything but good - their work has been tragically counterproductive

June 01, 2007 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I note that Anon thinks he(IT?)can annoy me by calling me Andy. Actually, it was at one time and Andi and Andee and Andi(with a little heart- always- over the i). Working with a vast number of people it has been Allison, Adrienne, Andre-anything even not close. So sorry Anon, you can't bug me by trying to misuse my name- as my daddy used to say- you can call me anything you want- just not late to dinner.

June 02, 2007 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I wasn't trying to bug you. I think Andy's a cool nickname for Andrea.

June 02, 2007 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Russ Bellant in "The Coors Connection" (1991) perhaps said it best: "The Heritage Foundation will continue to be a key element in the phalanx of rightist groups with an agenda of austerity for the poor, hostility to minorities and women, upward distribution of wealth for the rich, economic domination of the Third World, with repression and bloodletting for those who rebel.""

If only Mao were still alive to give Russ a medal.

June 02, 2007 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually...I think Andy's a cool nickname for Andrea.

How long have you enjoyed gender bending traditionally female names to male?

June 02, 2007 1:26 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous likes to annoy people in general by questioning their gender.

June 02, 2007 6:57 PM  
Anonymous PTA said...

"TTF's theory that it is because they haven't been made aware of contraception in public school is a real load of happy horsecrap."

Once again, Anon delivers road apples. Long time readers of this blog are well aware that plenty of teens make through high school without ever learning how to protect themselves and their loved ones from STIs and unplanned pregnancies.

TTF has blogged about teens in south Texas, where the teen birth rate is among the highest in the country and where abstinence is often the only thing taught in the public schools. Some of the students got together and made their own movie about sex to teach their peers how to prevent teen pregnancy, a skill they were not being taught in their public schools.

"Experts attribute the high [teen pregnancy] rate to lack of knowledge about contraception and a cultural acceptance of young parents in a region that's 90 percent Hispanic.

The film is unusual because sex-education curriculum in Texas focuses on abstinence. Districts can discuss contraception in class, but the state advises against it. Most South Texas school districts do not.

The girls, all of whom are now attending college, said they would like to see Texas add information on contraceptives to its sex education policy.

"Hopefully the state will also realize the law they have -- it's not working," said Ramirez, now 19 and attending South Texas College.

David Champion, the Texas Education Agency education specialist for the region, said he saw value in the movie.

"If you talk to these teenagers, it's information that they need to know and they want to know," Champion said. "

http://www.teachthefacts.org/2005/05/do-it-yourself-sex-ed.html

TTF posted the Public Comment made by Matilda Young, an MCPS alumnus who addresssed the MCPS BOE in June 2005. Ms. Young attended Rice University at the time and reported:

"As a member of students at Rice University teaching sex education to college students, I can tell you that there are a lot of sexually active teenagers out there who don't know how to properly use a condom."
http://www.teachthefacts.org/2005/06/public-comments-at-6-27-05-mcps-boe.html

TTF also posted the Public Comment presented to the MCPS BOE by Letitia (Tish) Hall about her transfer to UMCP:

I transferred to College Park the year my daughter entered as a freshman. As an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in a "University 101" class, I worked with students who had never before known anyone not of their own faith or economic class, who feared their gay and lesbian classmates, who knew nothing about different methods of contraception. The University 101 class includes diversity training and condom demonstrations because experience proves that the students need it.
http://www.teachthefacts.org/2005/08/transcripts-of-public-comments-at-boe.html

When high school teens are not taught how to avoid unplanned pregnancies, unplanned pregnancies happen. When high school teens are not taught how to protect themselves from STIs, STIs happen. Abstinence at best is effectively practiced by about 50% of high school teens. It is of the utmost importance that all teens and young adults be taught how to prevent unplanned pregnancy and how to protect themselves from STIs before they become sexually active. If they don't learn these things until after they become sexually active, it's often too late.

June 05, 2007 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More happy horsecrap!

Anectodal malarkey that TTF would scream bloody murder about if used to prove a point they were against.

June 05, 2007 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Horsecrap -something with which the anon is very familiar.

June 05, 2007 9:27 PM  
Anonymous PTA said...

Here's some happy horsecrap from the CDC:

RISK FACTORS AND BARRIERS TO PREVENTION
Sexual Risk Factors

Early age at sexual initiation. According to CDC’s Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS), many young people begin having sexual intercourse at early ages: 47% of high school students have had sexual intercourse, and 7.4% of them reported first sexual intercourse before age 13 [4]. HIV/AIDS education needs to take place at correspondingly young ages, before young people engage in sexual behaviors that put them at risk for HIV infection...

Lack of Awareness

Research has shown that a large proportion of young people are not concerned about becoming infected with HIV [12]. Adolescents need accurate, age-appropriate information about HIV infection and AIDS, including how to talk with their parents or other trusted adults about HIV and AIDS, how to reduce or eliminate risk factors, how to talk with a potential partner about risk factors, where to get tested for HIV, how to use a condom correctly. Information should also include the concept that abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid infection.


http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/youth.htm

And here's some more happy horsecrap from the CDC: questions and rationales for those questions that the CDC plans to include in their Healthy Youth Questionnaire this year.

Sexual Behaviors That Contribute to HIV Infection, Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and
Unintended Pregnancies
QUESTION(S):

58. Have you ever had sexual intercourse?

59. How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?

60. During your life, with how many people have you had sexual intercourse?

61. During the past 3 months, with how many people did you have sexual intercourse?

62. Did you drink alcohol or use drugs before you had sexual intercourse the last time?

63. The last time you had sexual intercourse, did you or your partner use a condom?

64. The last time you had sexual intercourse, what one method did you or your partner use to
prevent pregnancy?

85. Have you ever been taught about AIDS or HIV infection in school?

RATIONALE:

These questions measure the prevalence of sexual activity, number of sexual partners, age at first intercourse, alcohol and other drug use related to sexual activity, condom use, contraceptive use, and whether high school students received HIV prevention education. Early initiation of sexual intercourse is associated with having a greater number of lifetime sexual partners.(48,49) In addition, adolescents who initiate sexual intercourse early are less likely to use contraception(51) and are at higher risk for pregnancy.(51,52) Each year, there are an estimated 9.1 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases among persons aged 15–24 years.(53) Gonorrhea rates are highest among females between the ages of 15 and 19 years (610.9 cases per 100,000 females) and males between the ages of 20 and 24 years (430.6 cases per 100,000 males).(54) In 2004, there were an estimated 4,842 cases of HIV/AIDS among persons aged 15–24 years.(55) Among high school students nationwide, 47% had had sexual intercourse and 14% had had sexual intercourse with ≥4 persons during their life and 34% had had sexual intercourse with ≥ 1 persons during the 3 months preceding the survey. During 1991–2005, a significant linear decrease occurred in the percentage of students who ever had sexual intercourse (54%–47%) and a significant linear increase occurred in the percentage of currently sexually active students who used a condom at least sexual intercourse (46%–63%).(9) In 2000, 73% of senior high schools taught HIV prevention education in a required health education course.(56)

RELATED NATIONAL HEALTH OBJECTIVES FOR THE YEAR 2010

25-11 Increase the proportion of adolescents who abstain from sexual intercourse or use
condoms if currently sexually active to 95%.(12)


http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/pdf/questionnaire/2007ItemRationale.pdf

June 06, 2007 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of this verbage refutes the perfectly apparent point that most teens already know about condoms, know how to use them and know what they are for.

Problem is, to be young is to feel lucky. No level of lecturing from sex ed teachers will change that.

To not acknowledge the truth of the situation is a lot of happy horsecrap.

June 06, 2007 12:07 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at June 06, 2007 12:07 PM

Anonymous, note that the above "verbiage" shows that teens don't believe they have to be concerned about HIV and STDs. Teaching them about the risk and how that is lessened with condomns provides powerful incentive to protect themselves. Also, contrary to your pollyanna attitude many teens don't know how to use condomns properly and can benefit from instruction.

By teaching teens to use condomns they learn that it is appropriate for them to use if they're going to be sexually active. Without that teaching teens may feel they should avoid birth control because that would be admitting to doing something wrong.

June 06, 2007 2:02 PM  
Anonymous PTA said...

"In 2000, 73% of senior high schools taught HIV prevention education in a required health education course [and 27% did not]." In the 7 years since 2000, Bush and his faith-based initiatives have funded increasing numbers of abstinence-only education programs and have required these programs to include no information about contraceptives (such as the effectiveness of properly and consistently used condoms to prevent HIV transmission) other than failure rates. In spite of the CDC's findings that "Adolescents need accurate, age-appropriate information about HIV infection and AIDS," Bush's anti-science cronies think teens just need to be told to abstain, even though many agree "No level of lecturing from sex ed teachers will" get anyone to abstain for long.

"During 1991–2005, a significant linear decrease occurred in the percentage of students who ever had sexual intercourse (54%–47%) and a significant linear increase occurred in the percentage of currently sexually active students who used a condom at least sexual intercourse (46%–63%)"

These findings demonstrate that between 1991 - 2005, abstinence instruction has cause a 7% reduction in sexual activity among high school students and that information about condoms has increased their use among sexually active high school students by 17%. Twenty four percent more teens were better protected from HIV in 2005 than were protected before 1991.

Both the abstinence and condom messages are necessary to help teens avoid HIV, other STIs, and unplanned pregnancies.

June 06, 2007 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, note that the above "verbiage" shows that teens don't believe they have to be concerned about HIV and STDs."

It's not lack of information causing this. It's a quality of youth that believes they are immune from danger. They will despite a lecture at the public school.

"Teaching them about the risk and how that is lessened with condomns provides powerful incentive to protect themselves."

Teaching them about the risk also provides powerful incentive to maintain sexual mores if phrased properly.

"Also, contrary to your pollyanna attitude many teens don't know how to use condomns properly and can benefit from instruction."

Well, the box does hae instructions. If they aren't going to read it, what makes you think they're going to perk up to a dull demonstration by some dreary sex ed teacher.

"By teaching teens to use condomns they learn that it is appropriate for them to use if they're going to be sexually active."

If they're sexually active as a teen, that's inappropriate. TTF pretends to think that. Or is that just PR?

"Without that teaching teens may feel they should avoid birth control because that would be admitting to doing something wrong."

So, in other words, you want to teach them that there is nothing wrong with teenage promiscuity. Thanks for admitting that. TTF usually feigns otherwise.

June 06, 2007 2:19 PM  
Anonymous PTA said...

Hmmmm, first it's

No level of lecturing from sex ed teachers will change that.

and then later the same day, it's

Teaching them about the risk also provides powerful incentive to maintain sexual mores if phrased properly.

So lecturing teens in health class is useless, but lecturing teens in health class with properly phrased risks is effective at getting teens to "maintain sexual mores."

OK, so let's hear some properly phrased risks that will cause teens to "maintain sexual mores." Then let's see the studies that demonstrate those particular phrases have been found to be effective at getting teens to "maintain sexual mores."

June 06, 2007 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So lecturing teens in health class is useless, but lecturing teens in health class with properly phrased risks is effective at getting teens to "maintain sexual mores.""

I didn't say it was effective. I said, in response to the imbecelic assertion of a TTFer that teaching risk provides "powerful incentive" for contraceptive use, that it would provide just as "powerful" an "incentive" for abstinence.

Let's just face facts here:

One if TTF's goals is to make teens comfortable with being sexually active.

If you don't believe it, reread the randy Randi ramblings above.

June 06, 2007 3:30 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, can you imagine if everything that was said in the comments of this blog was official TTF policy? That would make you a spokesman for the group.

To which we would say, "No thank you."

JimK

June 06, 2007 3:42 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "It's not lack of information causing this. It's a quality of youth that believes they are immune from danger. They will despite a lecture at the public school.".

You don't know that. And just the other day you were harping about what a good idea it was to have teens share gum to demonstrate the risks of sharing bodily fluids, you jump from one side of the fence to the other depending on whatever suits your anti-education whims.

Anonymous said "Well, the box does hae instructions. If they aren't going to read it, what makes you think they're going to perk up to a dull demonstration by some dreary sex ed teacher.".

If they're in the sex education class they can't avoid listening to the teacher, box can be easily avoided. Who in the heat of passion wants to stop to read instructions? Better to educate them when they're not eager to get at it and distracted.

Anonymous said "If they're sexually active as a teen, that's inappropriate.".

Be realistic, telling horny teenagers to forgoe sex altogether is going to be a non-starter in many cases. While you may not convince them to refrain its a lot less of a sacrifice for them to protect themselves and that's a choice they might realistically make. Studies show that students taught abstinence only are only slightly delay having sex and then are less likely to use protection.

Anonymous said "So, in other words, you want to teach them that there is nothing wrong with teenage promiscuity.".

Of course not, the idea is to teach them that if they are going to have sex (as many of them will) that its okay to use a condom. Some teenagers don't use a condom for sex because if they do then they feel like they planned the act and that makes it wrong whereas if they just give in to the spur of the moment they feel they don't have responsibility for "choosing" to have sex, they tell themselves they just couldn't help themselves. Your attempts to make teens feel guilty for having sex doesn't stop them from having sex, it stops them from using condoms.

Anonymous said "One if TTF's goals is to make teens comfortable with being sexually active.".

You just said a pile there anonymous. You want teens to feel guilty and anxious about having sex, hangups that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. I want teens to grow into adults who are comfortable and responsible with their sexuality. And I most certainly don't speak on behalf of Teach The Facts, I speak only for myself.

June 06, 2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you jump from one side of the fence to the other depending on whatever suits your anti-education whims"

No one's talking about "education", Randi. This whole debate is about a lecture concerning what the student should and should not do and think. Tolerance yada-yada groups want a monopoly on the podium.

I'm sorry. I thought you knew.

"If they're in the sex education class they can't avoid listening to the teacher, box can be easily avoided."

Randi, allow me to share a story. When I was high school student in Montgomery County in the early 70s, we used to pass a joint around in the back of class. The teachers aren't any better at commanding attention these days.

"Who in the heat of passion wants to stop to read instructions?"

Or stop to put on a condom?

"Better to educate them when they're not eager to get at it and distracted."

There you go again, Randi. We ain't talking education here.

"Be realistic, telling horny teenagers to forgoe sex altogether is going to be a non-starter in many cases."

OK, let's tell them to be sexually active. At least we can say they listened.

That's something.

"While you may not convince them to refrain its a lot less of a sacrifice for them to protect themselves and that's a choice they might realistically make."

They're invulnerable. Why would they listen?

"Studies show that students taught abstinence only are only slightly delay having sex and then are less likely to use protection."

Studies compile statistics about broad generalities. Some methods work and some don't. In any case, we need to determine a goal and then pursue, not change the message because we haven't been able to convey it yet.

"the idea is to teach them that if they are going to have sex (as many of them will) that its okay to use a condom."

So you think there are a lot of kids who have no moral reservations about having sex outside of marriage but are concerned about the morality of contraception.

Have you been tested for Alzheimer's?

"Some teenagers don't use a condom for sex because if they do then they feel like they planned the act and that makes it wrong whereas if they just give in to the spur of the moment they feel they don't have responsibility for "choosing" to have sex, they tell themselves they just couldn't help themselves. Your attempts to make teens feel guilty for having sex doesn't stop them from having sex, it stops them from using condoms."

Amazing!

"You just said a pile there anonymous. You want teens to feel guilty and anxious about having sex, hangups that will haunt them for the rest of their lives."

Actually, polls show commencing sexual activity at an early age is what haunts many.

"I want teens to grow into adults who are comfortable and responsible with their sexuality."

Yeah, we got it.

"And I most certainly don't speak on behalf of Teach The Facts, I speak only for myself."

I've yet to hear any of them raise a whisper of divergence from your views.

June 06, 2007 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you jump from one side of the fence to the other depending on whatever suits your anti-education whims"

No one's talking about "education", Randi. This whole debate is about a lecture concerning what the student should and should not do and think. Tolerance yada-yada groups want a monopoly on the podium.

I'm sorry. I thought you knew.


Maybe you're not talking about education, but everyone else here is. This whole website is about the Montgomery County Public School system's revision of its family life and human sexuality curriculum.

"If they're in the sex education class they can't avoid listening to the teacher, box can be easily avoided."

Randi, allow me to share a story. When I was high school student in Montgomery County in the early 70s, we used to pass a joint around in the back of class. The teachers aren't any better at commanding attention these days.


That must have been science class.

"Who in the heat of passion wants to stop to read instructions?"

Or stop to put on a condom?


Ever consider donning one as part of the fun, Mr. Speedy?

"Better to educate them when they're not eager to get at it and distracted."

There you go again, Randi. We ain't talking education here.


Op cit

"Be realistic, telling horny teenagers to forgoe sex altogether is going to be a non-starter in many cases."

OK, let's tell them to be sexually active. At least we can say they listened.

That's something.


About half of high school seniors are sexually active and the other half are abstainers. The active half needs to KNOW how to protect themselves and the abstainers need to LEARN how to protect themselves so when the time comes for them to become sexually active, they'll know how to be safer.

"While you may not convince them to refrain its a lot less of a sacrifice for them to protect themselves and that's a choice they might realistically make."

They're invulnerable. Why would they listen?


People who believe they are protected by invisible mythical creatures often assume this protection renders them invulnerable. Rational teens know they are fragile humans and are eager to learn.

"Studies show that students taught abstinence only are only slightly delay having sex and then are less likely to use protection."

Studies compile statistics about broad generalities. Some methods work and some don't. In any case, we need to determine a goal and then pursue, not change the message because we haven't been able to convey it yet.


Some studies do compile statistics about broad generalities, but many studies are highly specific. No one's changing any unconveyed messages. The message of sex education is how humans reproduce and avoid illness. It is important for teens to learn how to protect themselves from making babies until they are ready and from disease.

"the idea is to teach them that if they are going to have sex (as many of them will) that its okay to use a condom."

So you think there are a lot of kids who have no moral reservations about having sex outside of marriage but are concerned about the morality of contraception.


Teens who have sex are not generally in the procreation mode so using a condom will help them prevent unplanned pregnancies as well as STIs.

Have you been tested for Alzheimer's?

No. Did you learn to bully people smoking dope in science class?

"You just said a pile there anonymous. You want teens to feel guilty and anxious about having sex, hangups that will haunt them for the rest of their lives."

Actually, polls show commencing sexual activity at an early age is what haunts many.


Being rejected by your family, church, and community and being forced into dangerous treatment to try to change a fundamental part of who you are haunts many a lot worse.

"I want teens to grow into adults who are comfortable and responsible with their sexuality."

Yeah, we got it.


And you don't want kids to grow up comfortable and responsible with their sexuality. You want kids to be as hung up about sex as you are. People with hang ups about sex include Ted Haggard, W. David Hager, Mark Foley, Michael Johnston, and the like. If more people were comfortable and responsible with their sexuality instead of hung up about it, this world would be a much better place.

"And I most certainly don't speak on behalf of Teach The Facts, I speak only for myself."

I've yet to hear any of them raise a whisper of divergence from your views.


TTF views are clearly stated on TTF's HOME page:

Who we are
We are parents and supporters of students in Montgomery County, Maryland, who are committed to promoting tolerance and fact-based education in our public schools.

Why we are here
We are here to support a 21st century sex education curriculum for MCPS students. While continuing to stress the importance of abstinence for teens, we support a new curriculum that will expand upon the old one by providing our students with current knowledge about how to protect themselves, based on the latest science and advice from the medical and scientific communities. Also, based on mainstream science, we support a new curriculum that recognizes that sexual orientation is not a choice, and that homosexuality is not a disease.

You can inform yourself about the most recent drafts of the curricula by clicking HERE.

Stand up for what's right
Across the nation and in our own back yard, religious extremists are attempting to impose their beliefs on all of our children, and to dictate what our children learn about themselves, their bodies, and about the people around them. We need your support in opposing those who are trying to intimidate the school board, and who insist that the curriculum reflect their specific beliefs about the morality of particular behaviors. Click on "Take Action" above to find out more about what you can do to help.

About this site
This web site provides documents, resources, links, and contacts to help you stay informed, and to help you to make your voice heard.

June 07, 2007 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Maybe you're not talking about education, but everyone else here is. This whole website is about the Montgomery County Public School system's revision of its family life and human sexuality curriculum."

Wake up. The selective facts are chosen for the purposes of advocacy of normalization of behavior that has been not considered proper throughout history for most of the world. Facts that don't advance that cause are excluded.

June 07, 2007 9:39 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said No one's talking about "education", Randi.

As another commenter pointed out, that's precisely what this blog is about - you're out to lunch.

Anonymous said "When I was high school student in Montgomery County in the early 70s, we used to pass a joint around in the back of class.".

Sounds like you smoked a few before you started writing on this thread. Obvously that would be a rare exception if it happened at all - pretty hard to believe the teacher wouldn't notice it and take action, but of course wild tales are nothing new for you.

Anonymous said ""Who in the heat of passion wants to stop to read instructions?"

Or stop to put on a condom?".

The less that's involved in being protected the more likely they are to do it. Once teens are educated about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing disease they're more likely to use them.


Anonymous said "There you go again, Randi. We ain't talking education here.".

You may not be, but we are.

Anonymous said "They're invulnerable. Why would they listen?".

Nonsense, teens once educated teens are well aware that they risk disease and unwanted pregnancy if they don't use condoms. Many teens are under the impression that you can't get pregnant the first time you have sex.

Anonymous said "Studies compile statistics about broad generalities. Some methods work and some don't. In any case, we need to determine a goal and then pursue, not change the message because we haven't been able to convey it yet.".

By your own logic its pointless to try to teach teens abstinence - according to you teens won't listen because they consider themselves invulnerable. In any event, abstinence only has been tried for decades in all manner of approaches, if it was going to work it would have, it hasn't whereas comprehensive sex education has.

Anonymous said "So you think there are a lot of kids who have no moral reservations about having sex outside of marriage but are concerned about the morality of contraception.".

Don't be absurd, teens aren't going to use condoms out of moral concerns they're going to do it out of a desire to prevent unwanted pregnancy and disease. Have you been tested for alzheimers?

Anonymous said "Actually, polls show commencing sexual activity at an early age is what haunts many.".

No, teaching them that they shouldn't be comfortable with their sexuality, what you advocated, is what's going to haunt teens all their live. Once you learn to feel bad about being sexual you don't easily overcome it.

Anonymous said "Wake up. The selective facts are chosen for the purposes of advocacy of normalization of behavior that has been not considered proper throughout history for most of the world. Facts that don't advance that cause are excluded.".

Sexual behavior is normal anonymous, for both gays and straights - no one needs to normalize it. If you want to get right down to it what's unnatural is attempting to license and regulate sexual behavior. Not that some restraint is necessarily a bad thing. It's sad that you feel a need to pass your sexual hangups onto others. Just because you're uncomfortable with your sexuality doesn't mean others owe it to you to feel the same way.

June 07, 2007 2:04 PM  

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