Obama Sex Ed: McCain right, Behar wrong?

A couple of days ago, John McCain appeared on the always-execrable morning program, The View. During his visit he had to endure Whoopi Goldberg asking him if she – under a McCain presidency – would have to “worry about being a slave again?”, he also had to deal with Joy Behar declaring that McCain was “lying” in campaign ads that suggested Barack Obama voted in favor of legislation to approve sex ed in Kindergarten.

Behar didn’t ask him, in mannerly fashion, if he had a basis for making that claim; she clearly could not trust his answer. Instead, she simply told McCain that he was “lying.” And in the manner of that program, the overtalking was continuous and loud, so his answer was drowned out. McCain’s answer was, “it’s not a lie.”

Curious about it, Amy Proctor went to the McCain/Palin website and rather quickly found a wealth of links concerning Obama and Education, including this:

The SEICUS Guidelines For Children Between The Ages Of 5 And 8.

* The Full Text Of S.B. 99 Included Changes That Would Offer Sex Education To Children Beginning In Kindergarten. “Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.” (S.B. 99: Illinois Senate Health And Human Services Committee, Passed, 7-4-0, 3/6/03, Obama Voted Yea) -[emphasis mine-admin]

My question, and perhaps the answer is in front of me, but it’s late and I’m not seeing it: Are these guidelines in the pdf. the exact guidelines that Obama voted for in 2003? If they are then McCain’s camp certainly is not lying. But they may want to re-do their ad to make the truth plain.

The Obama camp claims that the curriculum Obama voted on limited Kindergarden sex ed to concepts of “good touching” and “bad touching” – things that will help them recognise sexual predators. If this pdf represents Obama’s vote, it goes far beyond that. Read the guidelines for Level 1 (Kindergarten through 3rd grade).

We hear often from educators that “children learn differently” and that every child cannot learn the same material in the same way, and one of my problems with sex ed is that the “different learners” theory is tossed out the window when it comes to that subject. Suddenly every child is “ready” to learn a very delicate curriculum in precisely the same way, at the same point in their growth and maturity. I ask which is it, do they all learn differently, or do they all learn the same way? It can’t be both.

Moreover, it seems that this curriculum goes far beyond protecting children from predators. Most of what it covers is not so much “objectionable” as seeming – to me at least – to be the stuff a parent can best judge when to discuss with their child. In our family, one of my sons wanted lots of detail, and I answered him simply and honestly, until his questions ran out. The other son didn’t want details, and was satisfied with age-appropriate, minimal information expanded on over time. My knowledge of my kids helped me to discern what they were ready to hear about, and capable of processing, at any given time. No teacher – no matter how gifted – would be able to tailor a delicate curriculum to the appropriate sensibilities of each student.

In some public school districts, it is difficult for parent to even learn what their children will be taught in sex ed. A few years ago a parent I knew was livid to learn that students were not allowed to bring home material from the sex ed classes. The school seemed to think the parents could not be helpful to them.

And perhaps this is the real problem with sex ed in the schools; parents are not included or consulted about the curriculum. They’re simply told what it is and denigrated if they request participation in the formulation of lessons, or opt their kids out of the classes. Perhaps if schools involved a cross-section of parents in the planning, there would be less overall contention on the issue.

I’m not against a comprehensive and sensible sex ed program in schools; I think some sort of program is necessary, but that they’re not particularly effective in their current forms (and those participating in my utterly unscientific and random poll seem to agree with that). And too, I will always believe that the best place for children to learn predator awareness and healthy attitudes about their bodies and sex, is at home. This isn’t 1950 anymore, and I simply don’t believe that most parents are cringing in anticipation of having “the talk” with a child (and in truth, it’s never “a talk” it’s an ongoing dialogue), or flailing about stupidly trying to use euphemisms…but then again, I’m not the most social of creatures; I could be wrong.

In any case, if this guideline linked to at the McCain/Palin site is representative of what Obama consented to, then Joy Behar was wrong, and so are all of the pundits and talking heads repeating her claim. I won’t hold my breath waiting for any of them to admit it.

O/T but interesting: Clarice Feldman on Obama’s lost years. He doesn’t get questioned on this stuff, so we may as well learn as much as we can without the MSM, right?

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