Monday, May 09, 2005

Sex Ed in Montgomery County Maryland

Having formerly lived in Montgomery County Maryland and being much more interested in education now that my daughter is approaching school age, I have been following what goes on there quite a bit. I have previously reported on the liberal insanity revolving around the sex education curriculum. One of my favorite commentators, Prof. Volokh, posted this in response: "[T]eaching should at least comply with the Constitution, avoid falsehoods, and avoid fallacies. Good motives don't justify bad teaching."

Prof. Volokh also links to a U.S. District Court case brought by the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum which, at least for the time being, has delayed the implementation of an overly morals based sex ed curriculum.

I encourage several aspects of this sex education curriculum, particularly those endorsing tolerance in general of minorities, including minorities based on sexual identification and orientation. I also believe that schools can have a role in teaching the biology of sex. But many of the items in this curriculum are morals based. In addition to being morals based--by morals I mean going beyond the normal "Golden Rule" morality--the documents used to support this curriculum indicte several organized churches for their viewpoints, particularly Baptists. (See some of the quotes from the Court opinoin. While not a Baptist, if I were a parent in Montgomery County and I were a Baptist, I would be suing for defamation. I might not win since it is not directed to me personally, but I would be pretty mad.

For years I have been observing Montgomery County moving so far to the left as to make the normally liberal Maryland look downright centrist. But the problems of a left-leaning education system teaching morality lies in the usurpation of the family as the primary morals educator. leaving aside the issue of many parents abdicating their role as moral instructors for children, I have a problem with my tax dollars being spent to demonize biblical interpretations of a given faith (even one I don't subscribe to) and taking for themselves the role of moral arbitor.

School Boards have a duty to ensure our children leave high school with a worthy education, produce thinking citizens engaged in their community, and create a citizenry with the basic understanding of the world. But this particular curriculum inculcates children with information that, at least in some regards, is patently false. One Montgomery county official made a comment that the county is "like Kansas" in that conservative minded parents are highjacking the teaching of kids. I don't see how being involved in what is being taught their kids is highjacking anything. Is that not what we want parents to do--be engaged?

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