- Cheryl Armstrong
The Truth About Life
Updated: Apr 23, 2022
With most Legislators in agreement, and with a stroke of the Governor’s pen,
Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) passed into law, then into the hands of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Education (OSPI), and then into the laps of our local School Boards.
OSPI has provided School Boards with a list of instructional publications –curriculum titles -- which OSPI has “reviewed” and deemed “acceptable” for the newly-mandated teachings about sexual health. School Board members are now charged with the awesome responsibility of choosing the sexual health curriculum and resources – the instructional materials – which best fit the needs of the students in the community they serve.
Parents too have an awesome responsibility to observe and to know what is being taught with regard to sexual health. After all, teaching about the human body, its care and keeping, how the reproductive system operates – this has been the responsibility of the school and the classroom teacher.
But all has changed with the passage and implementation of Comprehensive Sexual Education. The state requirements have changed. The instructional materials have changed. The resources and strategies have changed. Even the writers and publishers have changed: no longer are McGraw-Hill, MacMillan, Houghton-Mifflin, or Harcourt-Brace the publishers of classroom curriculum. Enter “Advocates for Youth” and “Planned Parenthood,” two of the state’s preferred newcomers to school publishing.
Let’s see what these new curriculum publishing companies have to offer. Four instructional materials titles our state has reviewed and deemed “acceptable for classroom use” are: FLASH (adopted for use in some Seattle schools); KNOW (adopted for use by Wenatchee School District); GET REAL (adopted for use in Methow schools); and RIGHTS-RESPECT-RESPONSIBILITY—3RS, are a few among others.
And what are some of the teachings deemed “acceptable for classroom use” by our state education leaders? Comprehensive Sex Education classroom teaching, discussion, illustrations, video presentations, and role-play may include one or more of the following:
• Use of a “penis model” as “ideal for demonstrating condoms.” Suggests “rolling a condom onto your fingers” for practicing proper condom use. (KNOW, Condom Overview, p 6, grades 7-8)
• Discusses “pulling out (withdrawal)” as a method to avoid pregnancy,
STDs and HIV. Explains in detail to 14-year-old students how “pulling-out” can be accomplished. (FLASH, 3rd edition)
• Suggests abortion as an option to end a pregnancy. (GET REAL, middle to high -school students)
• Explains that “sex between consenting people … can feel good and bring a couple closer.” (3Rs, 6th grade book, ages 11-12, optional lessons)
• Asks students, “When do you think someone is ready to have sex-- oral, vaginal, or anal sex – with their partner?” (3Rs, high school book, p 25)
• Suggests “mutual masturbation” since it “carries no risk for STIs.”
(3Rs, 8th grade book, p 78)
So, in fact, Comprehensive Sex Education’s instruction and teaching about sexual intimacy and sexualization has crept into our schools’ curriculums, approved and yes, mandated, by our education leaders in Olympia.
School Boards, as the gatekeepers of our schools, should dig deep to find out what CSE is all about and to recognize its far-reaching implications for our students and ultimately for our community and our culture.
Teaching children about sexual intimacy is the right and responsibility of parents and families. We must stand up and stand against Comprehensive Sexual Education in our tax-funded public school classrooms, because:
“A society that does not prioritize the well-being of children will not ultimately survive.”
--Nancy Pearcey, author of Total Truth and Love Thy Body
By Cheryl Armstrong, retired school teacher, Wenatchee School District