Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Sentinel Nails It Again

Funny how it's not real big news when, after three years of battling, the ant-gay groups lose. A couple of newspapers put a few paragraphs in the middle of their local-news-that-doesn't-deserve-its-own-headline section, that was about it.

The Sentinel has been quite consistently good over the years at seeing the real story and getting it out. The real story is in the first line of this article: Sex-ed classes are going to be taught this year after all. After all the CRC has done to block them, all the picketing, the robo-calls, the lies, the lawsuits ... after all of that, this semester's MCPS students are actually going to get the health classes.

It may come out one of two ways. If the CRC is correct, shortly after the classes are held Montgomery County will be overrun with gay teenagers. You'll see them everywhere, doing whatever that gay thing is they do, and Montgomery County will become a magnet for gay people everywhere who want to come be part of the new Gay Majority.

Or ... maybe that won't happen. Maybe some adolescents will sit through a couple of health classes, learn a couple of things they didn't know, maybe some things they wondered about will be answered, and if we're lucky they'll be a little more tolerant, empathic, and respectful than the generation before them was.

Here's The Sentinel's story from this week.
Sex education gets judge’s nod of approval By Drew Pierson Staff Writer

Sex-ed classes are going to be taught this year after all.

On Monday, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge said he would not issue a stay on a controversial sex education curriculum that will begin this year for some students in Montgomery County Public Schools.

In September, three groups opposed to the revised sex education curriculum approved unanimously by the Board of Education in January asked for the stay - essentially, to not teach the classes - until their appeal in the County Circuit Court was heard this January.

The revised curriculum, which will be taught in two health classes for eighth and 10th grade students, would allow instructors to discuss homosexuality for the first time, and to say that homosexuality is innate if the instructors are asked.

"We've said all along that there was no merit to their [Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum's] argument, and it's pretty clearly based on the judge's ruling that he concurred there was not a need for a stay in this case," said Brian K. Edwards, chief of staff for Superintendent Jerry Weast. "So now we're looking forward to the January hearing."

The three groups, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC), Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), and the Family Leader Network, already had one appeal, which the Maryland State Board of Education rejected this summer.

"This [the revised curriculum] violates a student's rights under the First Amendment to hold his or her own belief and even to express it," said John Garza, president of CRC.

The CRC Web site states: "The proposed health curriculum contains factually inaccurate and unsupported statements that endanger the physical and emotional health of students … Further, the curriculum itself is biased and fails to present controversial subject matter with the reasoned viewpoint neutrality required by law."

Maryland state law required MCPS to include information on "sexual variation" in its sex-ed curriculum, and in 2004 the Board approved the revised Family Life and Human Development curriculum for field-testing the following spring.

In 2005, CRC filed a lawsuit against MCPS just days before a pilot sex-ed program was to take place, in which that judge ruled in favor of CRC, forcing MCPS to reword its curriculum.

The facts here are mostly right, no need to pick at the story.

MCPS was very careful with this curriculum, too careful to my mind but they did what they had to do. And now it's going into the classroom.

I don't know how these things go, like, back in the judge's chambers. But at some point it must happen that you've worn out your welcome. The CRC told Fox News they would take this all the way to the Supreme Court. Maybe they will, I don't know, at some point though there must be some legal concept of the frivlous lawsuit, where stuff gets kicked off the list before anybody wastes their time with it. It has been established: there's nothing there.


Blogger Christine said...

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October 13, 2007 11:14 AM  

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