All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Sunday, August 26, 2007

How about opting IN instead of OUT?

I too was outraged by the idea that 6th graders (and up) are to be taught about oral sex and that parents need not be upset by this because they can "opt out". Opting out, however, is never an easy process. The administration knows that and they are counting on you not doing it. (This type of curriculum is one of the many reasons parents choose private education or homeschooling.)

If you notice in the last paragraph on first page (I got this from Cindy Kilkenny's Brookfield City News), to opt out, you need to make a request in writing on a special form, and you must fill out a form for each lesson.

The exact dates of the offensive classes are not known—they are only approximate, which makes keeping track of the lesson in question much harder. (The letter also stated that the curriculum would be available for parent review on the district web site. I could not find it...yet.)

Frankly, most of what is on the list of student outcomes are things I would rather be the source for than the school system. Do we really need to teach kids that some people vomit to lose weight? Notice that abstinence is not taught until grade 8. Shouldn't we be teaching that abstinence is one of the best ways to prevent disease, pregnancy, and poverty anytime reproduction is taught?

I also found it rather interesting that under Peer Pressure/Relationships (Grade 6), point #2 discusses "Impact of peer pressure". It is ironic that they are counting on peer pressure to keep your child enrolled in their program!

What can you do?

If I was the parent of an Elmbrook school age child, I would contact every parent of my child's friends and join together to "opt out" en-mass. If your child has some friends opting out with him/her there will be little reason for them to feel they are unique. It will also make it known to the school district that you do not approve of this type of curriculum.

There are two schools of thought on this. The one most school districts take is that children will hear about all this anyway so they need to "teach" our children all about every aspect of human behavior: drugs, sex, smoking, drinking, self-destructive behaviors, etc.

The D.A.R.E. program would be a good example of this type of program in younger grades. Judging from the numbers of young people I see smoking and those I hear about underage/binge drinking and doing drugs, I would say that type of instruction does not work.

Familiarizing children with forbidden subjects and topics does just that—makes them more familiar and less forbidden. Familiarization removes the taboo.

The other method of instruction is to teach a standard of acceptable behavior as based on absolute truth. For me, that is the biblical standard of Judeo/Christian values—the same values our Founding Fathers formed this nation on.

We have ratings for TV shows, movies (although PG-13 seems more these days like the former R), video games, and music. Parents try to monitor or filter the Internet. Seems a shame that after all these efforts our school system usurps the parents rights to protect their children from objectionable material by implementing subjects their children could not be exposed to in the public movie theater!

I favor the teaching the absolute truth and the moral principle that King David penned in the Bible: "I will set no base or wicked thing before my eyes." Psalm 101:3. That is pretty simple and I think is something most parents want. If some parents don't want those principles, then why not make them "opt IN" to Elmbrook's Human Growth and Development Program and leave the rest of us alone.