Editor's note: This is Part II in a series. Part I can be found here.
As outrageous as it is to hear about the new sex-ed curriculum for New York City schools, beginning with middle schools, there are some school districts for which the program does not start early enough. And so, in June, 2010 the Provincetown, Massachusetts school board voted unanimously to begin distributing condoms to elementary school children upon the student’s request, beginning in first grade and without parental knowledge or consent. (What possible use could a 6-year-old have for a condom?)
After a public outcry, the district agreed to consider restricting condom distribution to grades five and up, meaning, to kids as young as 10. According to the official policy, “the school nurse is to give counseling and abstinence information to a student prior to handing out the condom,” although without parental knowledge or consent.
Is this so far removed from my fictitious account of a school handling out needles to kids shooting drugs (see the beginning of Part 1)?
As for the question of criminality, the age of consent in Massachusetts is 16 (under certain circumstances, it is 18), and in answer to the question posed by a 16 year-old boy who was having sex with his 13 year-old girl girlfriend, the SexLaws.org website explained that, “Any sexual conduct with a child age 13 [is] a very serious matter in Massechusetts [sic] whether you are a minor or an adult” (their emphasis).
Doesn’t that mean that this school’s condom distribution is contributing to criminal behavior, not to mention to dangerous and harmful behavior? How can this be allowed?
In a recent article for American Thinker, family activist Linda Harvey notes “that America as a whole is still horrified by child sexual abuse” yet she points to books recommended by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, better named the Gay, Lesbian, Sex Education Network) that recount the sexual experiences of boys as young as 13 with men more than twice their age. How is this not criminal?
Think about it. We are rightly outraged when we hear of the alleged acts of child rape by trusted adults (such as Jerry Sandusky at Penn State), but is there not a rape of a different kind – at the least, an assault on innocence – when schools show virtually pornographic movies in sex-ed classes or conduct lessons in which girls put condoms on boys’ fingers? (For a shocking report, see this article by Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Policy Institute.) And in the countless cases where these kids are anything but innocent, at the least, these schools are condoning, if not actually encouraging immorality.
One mother posted this on my Facebook page: “I visited the sex-ed teacher at the high school our children were going to attend in 1992. I had heard stories about some of her techniques and was very concerned. When I asked her about modesty, she told me that is something she tries to get the kids over as quick as possible. My daughter brought home the curriculum from the class and I was appalled. There were several pages of vocabulary they would have to know, including every perversion I had ever heard of and some that I never heard of. The definition they had for virgin was someone who had never had the opportunity to have sex. The list included polygamy but not monogamy. It even said that sometimes it is beneficial for a marriage if there is an affair.” And that was back in 1992.
On November 30th, a high school teacher from New York City called into my radio show, wanting me to know that things were far worse in the schools than I could imagine, from the way the kids dress and act to the fact that many of them spend far more time playing terribly violent (and often sexually charged) video games than reading books.
He also told me that in his school, there is a table in the hallway with condoms and lubricants. The students can take them freely, as desired. (Does this surprise you?) The other day, a student put a pile of Gideon’s Bibles on the table, also for the students to take freely. As a result, there was outrage in the school – outrage over the presence of the Bibles, not the presence of the condoms.
Is it an exaggeration to say that we need a massive moral and cultural revolution?
During that same broadcast, I received another called from a man in New York City who was involved in teaching sex education to high school students. As part of the program, he tells these students which condoms work best, among other things.
When I asked him, “Then shouldn’t you also teach the kids about responsible drug use and give out clean needles to intravenous drug users?” he responded, “Yes, we also teach about them drug use as well as where they go for clean needle exchanges.”
It looks like my fictitious scenario was not so fictitious after all.
We need a revolution.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.