Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tempest Blows Through Teapot, Waves Subside

The Montgomery County Public Schools' Citizens Advisory Committee for Family Life and Human Development met last night to review materials for the middle school health curriculum. I am a member of that committee. Interestingly, though the Citizens for a Responsible Whatever and PFOX had won the right to have representatives on the committee, neither one of them showed up for the meeting. Probably standing in front of grocery stores lying to people about perverted men in ladies rooms.

School administrator Betsy Brown filled us in on progress with implementation of the new sex-ed classes in eighth and tenth grade.

You remember that students only participate in the classes if their parents fill out a permission form. All the middle schools have now had the Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality units, and 95 percent of students participated. That means only five percent either didn't get permission or lost the slip -- and, yes, that does happen in eighth grade.

In the tenth grade classes, 97 percent of students participated in the new classes.

It doesn't sound like there was any controversy to speak of. Every school held a meeting for parents before the classes were scheduled. Ms. Brown said typically about two percent of parents attend those, and that was about the percent that came this semester. Most high schools had attendance by zero-to-three parents, but one school had 46 parents show up, another had 26, one had 22 -- the rest had ten or less. Again, we didn't hear about any riots in the auditoriums or anything. She did mention that she attended one of the meetings where some parents arrived in an angry mood, but they thanked her for the information before they left, and 97 percent of the students at that school took the classes (she was careful not to tell the committee which schools she was talking about).

So ... after years of defending themselves from spurious attacks, the school district was finally able to update its curriculum and implement it. Nobody freaked out, no students turned gay as a result of exposure to some facts about sexual orientation, no boys decided suddenly to turn into girls or vice versa. The kids shuffled into health class, they learned some vocabulary terms, they thought about tolerance, empathy, and respect for a couple of hours, they shuffled off to their next class.

There is still a judge's decision pending, and then the inevitable appeal after that, and so on, as this thing drags on -- there's never really a point where you can close the cover and put it back on the shelf, this book stays open, and we have to remain vigilant, because the proponents of ugliness don't know when it's time to stop. But we can congratulate the school district at this point for staying on-task, for not backing down, for fighting back to get the children of our county the education they deserve.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what an old friend of TTF is up to these days:

"If you were watching "Hannity and Colmes" last night, you might still be scratching your head. Their guest was Ann Coulter, and she treated the television audience to a new standard of "conservative" posturing. No, she wasn't offering her usual schtick against liberals. What threw the hosts for an utter loop was her unexpected embrace of Hillary Clinton. Just how much does she, like Rush Limbaugh, hate John McCain? By way of comparison between him and Hillary Clinton, Ann said the following:

"She's more conservative that he is."


"I will campaign for her if it's McCain."


"She lies less than John McCain. She's smarter than John McCain." "

February 01, 2008 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Hillary!

February 01, 2008 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Parents: Please don't teach us hate.

February 01, 2008 9:19 AM  

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