Is there room for a shade of grey in a black and white world?

I was noticing tonight on my RSS feed bar (the one on the left) that Sibby was going off on the South Dakota Department of Education and seminars that they have put on regarding sex-ed for special needs students.

As a parent, I too am concerned about making sure that what is taught is age appropriate, and within the boundaries of my values.

But the topic of special needs students threw a bit of a wrinkle into the whole thing. That's my wife's bailiwick, not mine. She's been involved in special ed at the local, state, and national level, so I did what any smart person would do, I asked her.

The explanation of the program that has Steve so exercised? Apparently it's designed to enable instructors to teach some basic sex-ed to special education students. And that's about it.

As I'm told, we're not talking about a curriculum that involves resource materials instucting in the finer points of same-sex relationships and bestiality to young children - the stuff that has Sibby and others so worked up. That would get me cranked up too.

What I'm told is that this is to help show instructors how to convey some basic information to young adults who are still in the educational system (and as special needs students, they remain so until age 21 - *I think*). Basic as in; these are the parts, this is what they are for, this is appropriate, this is inappropriate, etc.

In some cases, there is parental involvement. But in many other cases, I'm told the parents might not be around. If not the teachers, who teaches them? And what are the consequences if nobody does?

How did many goverment agencies across the country handle things like this in gentler times? As barbaric as it sounds, the option was forced sterilization. And it's not like this only occurred back in the 1920's, or during the eugenics crusade of Adolph Hitler; it's a practice that still on occasion happens today.

In a world where many of us look at things in terms of black and white, allowing teachers to instruct young disabled adults on a few basic things they should know about their bodies to function in polite society is one of those grey areas that we can probably let slide in the greater debate. That greater debate being - what practices are appropriate and what to expose children to (and at what age) in teaching sex ed?

It shouldn't be about preventing young adults from participating in society.


Anonymous said…
You are very trusting of what the flier states will be taught to these young, disabled students. As a parent, I don't appreciate that the State Dept. of Ed. needs to teach teachers how to "handle" me and labels me as "resistant".
Do the parents in Sioux Falls need to be "handled", and are we "resistant"? The SD State Dept. of Ed. had a link to only one middle school curriculum, thereby implying that they endorsed it. What is that curriculum like? It implies that every 11-14 y/o child is sexually active. It repeatedly makes reference to mutual masterbation, oral and anal sex, saying that it is "safer sex" as long as a condom is used. It tells 11-14 year olds that plastic food wrap and dental dams are safe when used as a contraceptive. It says that sharing dirty needles is unsafe, as if using clean needles to shoot up is safe. It sends our children to graphic, sexually explicit websites where, with 2 clicks of the mouse, the children can learn all about having sex with animals and foods.
The Dept. of Ed. is still pushing Reducing the Risk, which is just another raunchy comprehensive sex ed. curriculum, published by the same company that published the Sioux Falls materials (ETR Associates).
If you would see the note that the Sioux Falls schools sent to parents regarding what is taught in sex ed., and then actually saw the materials, you would never guess the two things went together. Now do you understand why we are "resistant"? They offer a course to teachers on how to "handle" us because we don't want our children to be exposed to the above information?
The Dept. of Ed. and local school districts are undermining the rights of parents. They think they are the "experts" and can thus get by with doing whatever they want, even if it is morally and physically harmful to our children. The parents have had enough of this crap. Local school districts are ignoring the parent concerns. You are now seeing the results of the State Dept. of Ed. and local school districts indiffernece by the activity going on in Pierre.

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