A new policy approved by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will require all public school students to participate in sex education instruction, beginning in kindergarten. According to the CPS website, the new mandate, passed on February 27, will require each student to receive “minimum instructional minutes” of sex-ed information that is “medically accurate” as well as (supposedly) age-appropriate.
“It is important that we provide students of all ages with accurate and appropriate information so they can make healthy choices in regards to their social interactions, behaviors, and relationships,” Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in the CPS announcement about the policy. “By implementing a new sexual health education policy, we will be helping them to build a foundation of knowledge that can guide them not just in the pre-adolescent and adolescent years, but throughout their lives.”
In its announcement, the CPS explained that in the earliest grades students “will focus on the family, feelings, and appropriate and inappropriate touching, while students in fourth grade will learn about puberty, including the physical, social, and emotional changes that accompany it, and the causes and transmission of HIV infection.”
After that, instruction gets more intimate, said the announcement, with content in grades five through twelve including “information appropriate for each grade level on human reproduction, transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), healthy decision-making, sexual orientation and bullying, and contraception, including abstinence.”
The announcement emphasized that “as is the case under the current CPS policy, parents and guardians are able to opt out of having their children participate in the sexual health education instruction.”
The CPS noted that the plan was developed by the Chicago Public School Office of Student Health and Wellness, with help from a consortium of community action groups, including Mikva Challenge, the Chicago Department of Public Health, the University of Illinois-Chicago, the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health — and, not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
Stephanie Whyte, the CPS chief health officer, told the Chicago Tribune that the new sex-ed policy was prompted by statistics supposedly showing that a majority of the district's students are sexually active. “Fifty-two percent of our students have had sexual intercourse,” Whyte said, pointing to the school research. In addition, the CPS announcement said the new policy is designed to align with the Obama Administration's 2010 national HIV/AIDS strategy.
Not surprisingly, the announcement was met with stern opposition from conservative, Christian, and pro-family leaders, who especially criticized the policy's intrusion into younger grades. “They're very much pushing an extreme agenda across the board, both to normalize sex and begin the conversation earlier,” Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, told Baptist Press News.
Huber challenged the idea of an “age appropriate” measure for sex education that would take the curriculum into kindergarten and lower primary grades. “The groups who are promoting those standards would essentially define age appropriate as anything that can be cognitively understood even though it's not developmentally appropriate,” she said. “So really there are no limits to what you can share as long as you make the vocabulary elementary enough.”
Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council told the Christian Post that the notion of early-childhood sex education “is part of the legacy of Alfred Kinsey, and the belief that 'children are sexual from birth.' This is a false and pernicious idea that introduces words, thoughts, and concepts to children long before it is developmentally appropriate for them. This premature exposure may contribute to early sexual activity, when we should be working to prevent it.”
Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, the state's leading pro-family group, told The New American that in addition to promoting and encouraging sexual activity at an earlier age, the re-vamped CPS sex-ed policy will doubtless indoctrinate children into embracing homosexuality as a normal lifestyle. Higgins pointed out that “comprehensive sex ed dogmatists believe it’s appropriate for kindergartners to learn about families that are headed by homosexuals, whereas many parents believe that no child in early elementary school should hear anything about homosexuality. What’s worse, comprehensive sex ed proponents will present these disordered family structures positively.”
Higgins said that “it is not the obligation of public schools to teach about every sexuality-related phenomenon that exists, and it is neither the obligation nor the right of public schools to affirm phenomena, like homosexual relationships, that many believe are immoral.”
If comprehensive sex-ed proponents have their way, the type of curriculum CPS is foisting on its students may well become the norm nationwide. In January 2012 a group calling itself the “Future of Sex Education” unveiled its k-12 “National Sexuality Education Standards” that Higgins warns is nothing less than a plan to “usurp local control and impose liberal assumptions about sexuality on our nation’s children.”
Predictably, the groups involved in designing the standards include the radical Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the equally radical Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, and the National Education Association.
Higgins said that under such a streamlined, nationalized sex-ed curriculum, “it is likely that, starting in kindergarten, not only will children will be introduced to disordered family structures, but they will also be introduced to the idea that 'gender' is constructed by society. This paves the way for teaching kids positively about gender confusion (and cross-dressing), which will likely take place in grades 3-5.”
Schools in Massachusetts are already well on their way to embracing the spirit of such a curriculum. As reported by The New American, in February the Massachusetts Department of Education “issued a directive for how schools should deal with 'transgender' students, including the rule that students who claim that they identify with the opposite gender must be allowed to use the opposite-sex restrooms and locker facilities.”
Higgins told The New American that her advice to the parents of kids in the Chicago schools is to make plans now to opt their children out of the city's dangerous new sex-ed curriculum, which is slated to be adopted in 2015. “Teach your kids at home,” she advised.
She predicted that teachers slated to instruct in these classes “will not be experts in child development, psychology, ethics, morality, theology, and biology — all of which subjects are critical to education on sexual health. And they will have been inculcated with non-factual progressive beliefs about sexuality, beliefs which are awash in ignorance.”