“Fear Mongering: The deliberate attempt to induce fear in a person or group.”
Ms. Werness engaged in this in her announcement of a rally at the capitol against sex education in public schools. I’m disappointed in her letter as well as the newspaper’s willingness to print it. We have enough fear mongering in media right now.
As someone working in the education system in Minnesota, I can say the letter writer’s assertions are wrong. No curriculum would encourage relationship between any people, anytime, of any age. That is actually illegal and I’m disgusted that someone would even suggest that’s being taught in schools.
Is there “inclusivity” in the curriculum regarding homosexual relationship or those occurring between different ethnic or cultural groups? Possibly. I challenge her homophobia and racism, though, and say every district should be teaching that. Suicide amongst our LGBTQ students is at epidemic levels because of people like the letter writer. Transgender students are 400% more likely to attempt suicide. I hope sex education program would promote inclusivity for our children. And to say that the curriculum “will remove all protective barriers for our children” is also inaccurate, because, again, that is illegal.
Schools do not promote “free love” philosophy. Universal curriculum in the biology of sexuality is a must. In my role as a school social worker I’ve spoken with numerous kids who lack the most basic of information of how bodies function, how babies are made, how they can get sexually transmitted infections or the risks of different behaviors. Arming all students with this basic information not only protects the student it also has positive long-term societal impact.
It’s a harm reduction model, not encouragement to go out and do the behavior. We use harm reduction all the time with kids — wearing a seat belt doesn’t keep kids from speeding, nor does it give them free rein to do it, but it decreases their chance of death in an accident. Universal sexual health instruction is the same concept. Assuming kids learn their values from school rather than families doesn’t give parents their due respect — universal instruction doesn’t change that. — Julie Beaufeaux, Otsego