By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A school board meeting in Helena, Montana was filled to capacity Tuesday night with parents concerned about a new sex education program aimed at children as young as kindergarten.
Fox News is reporting that the program, which included input from Planned Parenthood, will begin in kindergarten when children will be taught terms for male and female sex organs. In first grade, they will learn that sexual relations could happen between two men or two women. By the age of 10, student instructions will include the various ways people can have intercourse, be it vaginally, orally or through “anal penetration,” according to the proposal.
“As educators and as parents and as communities, we need to be more proactive in helping inform our students at an appropriate age what the risk factors are associated with their own behaviors so that they can make better decisions about their well-being,” Dr. Bruce Messinger, the Superintendent of Helena Public Schools, told Fox News.
The Montana Family Foundation, which is fighting the proposed program, told Fox News its biggest concern is teaching graphic sexual detail to kids who are not emotionally able to process or comprehend it.
“The problem is they think it would be age appropriate to teach different sexual positions and different sexual variations to 10 year olds,” said Jeff Laszloffy of the Montana Family Foundation.
“I think the reason it is such a concern is it tramples parental rights, it places government squarely between parents and their children,” Laszloffy said.
Thus far, the program has not been received well from teachers, some of whom are seeking legal advice about whether or not they can be forced to teach it, and parents who are threatening to pull their children out of the public school system.
This explains why emotions were running high at Tuesday night’s meeting where 300 people jammed the Front Street Learning Center auditorium and another 100 stood outside listening to an audio broadcast of the proceedings.
According to the Helena Independent Record, a proponent of the program and district health officer, Melanie Reynolds, said early education was needed because of the national epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, some of which are striking children as young as 14.
Another attendee, Angela Helland-Hansen, told the board that she was surprised to see that staff from Planned Parenthood were included in the committee that developed the document.
“Why are we allowing Planned Parenthood to help with this when they stand to profit from these people who will be their future clients?” the Record reported.
Two middle school girls said an abstinence-based program would be more effective to reduce teen pregnancy and disease than what is being proposed, the newspaper reported.
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