On Friday, April 6th, Brad Seng spoke to the students at Southern Hills Middle School in Boulder, Colorado about sex education.
[Laura Binegar's] daughter described an activity where students spit food into water glasses, then were asked if they would rather drink from a clean glass or a dirty one.
The water glass activity, [Seng] said, is a way to engage students. He said students drink the water while eating a snack and mixing some of their snack in the water. Then they exchange glasses. He asks them to drink the water, prompting students to say, “No, it looks nasty.”
“It’s a way to show them that, if they decide to be sexually active outside of a long-term committed relationship, they’re putting themselves at risk,” he said.
Because having sex with people you’re not in a committed relationship with means you’re a dirty, dirty person and no one will ever want to be with you.
Actually, Seng didn’t even use the word “marriage” in that soundbyte. So is he ok with pre-marital sex? We never find out…
No surprise why Seng is sex-negative, though: He’s the “abstinence educator for Boulder’s Real Choices Pregnancy Care Center.” It’s an anti-abortion Christian group.
Here’s what they say about sex:
… Sex was God’s idea, so we know it’s good. God planned sex as a special pleasure for a husband and wife (that’s why it feels good). Sex is also a way to make their commitment to each other even stronger. Unfortunately, today a lot of people don’t want to think about that. They only want to think about the “it feels good” part. Waiting to have sex until marriage doesn’t mean that you can NEVER have sex — it just means waiting until you can enjoy every aspect of sex without having to worry about all the reasons you shouldn’t be having sex.
Right off the bat, lies. They want to scare children into believing a physical relationship before marriage is 100% bad by feeding them lies about what the Christian god thinks.
So why did the school invite Seng to speak to the kids instead of, say, someone who actually knows what s/he’s talking about? What, are there no sex educators in Boulder? No one who studies this stuff or writes about it? No one with an advanced degree in the subject? No one who can give students an honest account of why having sex can be both good and bad and how they can take steps to be as safe as possible?
Maybe the administrators don’t know any better.
Or maybe they’re Christianists themselves.
Binegar is rightfully furious:
“I trusted the school,” Binegar said. “They’re telling teenage girls that they’re dirty and bad. It sounds like it was just awful. I don’t understand what the message was.”
Binegar took her concerns to Southern Hills Principal Terry Gillach, saying she was told that Seng is a “great guy” and the school would continue to use him as a speaker.
Gillach said he only saw a small part of the presentation but, based on the teacher’s description, it was “completely innocuous.”
“He never talks about religion,” Gillach said. “He talks about abstinence with kids. It’s one method of the many other options students have.”
In other words, Seng doesn’t talk to kids about condoms or birth control or the value of exploring your sexual identity — only suppressing it with abstinence.
Binegar writes on her own blog a couple of important details the news article left out:
In his presentation… he did a demonstration with dirty food spit into water glasses and a clean water glass. He also told the kids he lost his virginity and then got it back. A few kids said he used the word “faith”.
Why the school felt the need to bring in an outside speaker to miseducate the students, I don’t know. Maybe the administration thought the school’s staff would fuck everything up by teaching students comprehensive sex ed.
They can start making up for it by sending a letter home to all parents apologizing for bringing in an unqualified person to give a sermon instead of a proper lecture.
Seng doesn’t think he did anything wrong. In fact, he’s resorting to the Christianists’ Last Resort as an excuse:
Seng said he’s spoken to classes at Southern Hills for five years. There haven’t been any other complaints about his presentations, according to the school principal and the school district.
As we learned from the Jessica Ahlquist case, just because something is tradition and happens without incident for a long time doesn’t make it right. Sometimes, people are afraid to speak up because they know they’ll only paint a target on themselves.
Thankfully, Binegar isn’t one of those people.
Binegar said inviting a speaker from a Christian organization violates the separation of church and state.
“It’s very clear that he’s pushing Christ,” she said.
Or “Christian values,” anyway, and those aren’t any better.
I’m not sure if any church/state group can do anything about his talk to the middle school, but it turns out Seng isn’t done preaching yet. He’s speaking at Boulder’s Fairview High School on May 2nd. Don Stensrud is the principal and you should let him know Seng has no business screwing up the sex education of public school students.
(Thanks to @303dk for the link)