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Thursday, June 16, 2011

School Surveys 7th-Graders on Oral Sex

“Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” — George Washington

Fox News reports: “A middle school in Massachusetts is under fire for requiring children to complete a graphic sex survey — without parental knowledge or consent — that included questions about sexual partners and oral sex.

“The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization, filed a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Education against the Fitchburg School Committee. They are representing the two middle school-aged daughters of Arlene Tessitore.

Tessitore said her daughters, both students at Memorial Middle School, were told they had to complete a Youth Risk Behavior Study.

“Kids were actually told to sit down and take them,” said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “The parents here are very upset.”

Whitehead said the girls were deeply disturbed by the subject matter of the study – including questions about suicide, drug use and sexual behavior.

“One of the questions is, ‘have you ever had oral sex,’” Whitehead said. “You’re talking about kids who probably don’t even know what oral sex is.”

He said the survey also delved into even more graphic language.

“It’s adult material,” he told Fox News Radio, noting that one question asked students what method they used to prevent pregnancy during their last sexual encounter.

“It goes down a whole list, including birth control pills, condoms and one of the answers is ‘withdraw,’” Whitehead said. “Adults know what this is, but kids have to imagine or go online to find out what it means.”

Principal Fran Thomas told Fox News Radio that students were indeed given the survey – and admits it was graphic. But Thomas said the school has nothing to do with the content and they were required to administer the survey to fulfill a grant requirement.

“I can take no responsibility for what’s on that survey,” Thomas said. “It’s not generated by the school system.”

Thomas said the survey was funded by a federal grant and administered by LUK Inc., a local social services agency — in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control.

The organization’s leader did not return numerous calls for comment. But according to its website, LUK, Inc.’s mission is to “challenge and support youth & families to recognize and fulfill their unique and productive potential through community-based prevention, intervention and education services.”

A spokesperson for the CDC denied any involvement in the Fitchburg sex survey. The CDC said only seven states and six urban districts include sexual identity questions on their YRBS surveys – and the questions are optional.

But Principal Thomas disputed that notion.

“It was not optional,” he said. “It’s part of a grant that they applied for and the district said you have to administer this survey.”

According to Whitehead, parents were sent a “passive consent” opt-out form. However, Tessitore said she never received the form and never gave permission for her daughters to take part in the survey.

“It was a case of the school telling parents what they were going to do,” he said. “If parents want their kids to answer these kinds of questions as federal law requires, they should give written consent. But if they don’t give consent, I don’t think public officials should be asking children such questions.”

Thomas said he understands the concerns expressed by the parents. But should the middle school be asking children questions about oral sex?

“That’s not a question I’d be asking,” Thomas said. “That’s not information that needs to be gathered in an indiscriminate manner – asking every single student these sorts of questions.”

Thomas said it wasn’t appropriate. “I think there are many things that schools are called upon to do because they think they’ve got a captive audience,” he noted.

Whitehead wants the Department of Education to step in and demand that the Fitchburg school follow the law when it comes to parental consent.

“Parents send their children to public schools to receive an education; not to become subjects of governmental data mining,” Whitehead said.”

You can view the video report by clicking here.

This is another example of our public schools being coerced by federal dollars from an out of control Department of Education. We are allowing left wing loons in the federal government along with cowardly school boards and whacked out professors to run wild with our children.

I have a granddaughter entering the 7th grade this fall and know her mother would go ballistic should such a survey be given to her daughter. This is just one more argument for school choice.

What is “passive consent?” It is blatant irresponsibility for an adult principal to believe that sending a note home with the student and not receiving a reply from the parent would constitute consent. When my children were going to school and the class wanted to go on a field trip we were required to return a signed consent form for them to go. If we did not return the signed consent form the kid did not go. Of course there was ample time to return he form and the teachers would remind their students to bring in consent form it they wanted to go. The student would then nag the parents to sign the forms. There was no such thing as a passive consent — the liability was too great in case of an accident.

This is just a copout by the principal, a CYA if you please. The principal was so eager to get his hands on hose federal grant dollars so they would not have to lay off any teachers or cut costs he was willing to sacrifice the kids on the altar of federal Department of Education dollars. This is how federal coercion works.

There is something else subtle and disturbing that is happening under parents' radar. Growing numbers of progressive educators are twisting a four-thousand-year-old concept in order to induce schoolchildren to adopt amoral worldviews. A trend gathering steam nationwide teaches conflict resolution based on "restorative justice." Though traditionally applied in criminal situations, progressives are adapting the technique to the classroom.

Restorative justice is no new concept. Dating to two millennia B.C., the original approach eschewed a generic legal code, downplayed government-administered punishment, and encouraged victimizers to make amends to victims. Offenders apologized and did whatever was necessary to make up for the offenses.

But now across America, as in Seattle's Small Schools Project, educators are selling restorative justice as "a radically different approach to school discipline/classroom management." The approach is especially contorted in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The school district's website doesn't define restorative justice but states that students are taught "team building, conflict resolution, mediation, intrapersonal and interpersonal skills" in order to, among other objectives, engender "respect for everyone involved" in conflicts. A Santa Fe Restorative Justice Coordinator described the approach as "an alternative to traditional school discipline" that "involves all [conflict] participants" and "focuses on repairing harm."

Chuck Rogér writes in American Thinker:

“High-minded intent. But any disciplinary "alternative" that puts "respect" for miscreants on par with justice for victims warps the very concept of justice. Coercing mistreated Ramon into respecting an abusive Joseph deals Ramon an injustice.

Indeed, the Santa Fe approach is divorced from justice. Mary Louise Romero calls her Santa Fe High School restorative justice class "an open house for the heart" in which children find "a connection to a deeper place." In one exercise, Romero encourages victims and bullies alike to "share" feelings of "loss, happiness, love, heartbreak, being misunderstood, being alive and so on." Having overseen a program aimed at helping young people and reducing juvenile crime, Romero seems sincerely motivated. But fanciful notions that morally equate victimizers and victims aren't likely to discourage victimization. Santa Fe-style restorative justice is about nonjudgmentalism, not justice.

In a similarly progressive vein, a Multnomah County Oregon restorative justice program touts principles that "emphasize healing over punishment, inclusion over exclusion, and individual accountability with a high level of community support." In Chicago, the Power-PAC Elementary Justice Committee claims that restorative justice balances "the needs of the community, the victim and the offender by involving the community in figuring out how to repair the damage done." In Colorado, enthusiasts dedicated to "healing relationships" champion "community circles" to build a "restorative path" for formerly incarcerated criminals.

These approaches are designed for failure. It is flat-out dishonest to teach children that the world doesn't judge, but instead waits patiently for emotional "healing" to occur. Conditioning victims to be sympathetic to the "needs" of offenders is breathtakingly abusive to the victims. Silliest of all, promoting "community circles" to create a "restorative path" for lost souls constitutes otherworldly nonsense.

But the world envisioned by progressives is filled with morality plays that mock truth and common sense. The mockery centers on denying two facts: that genuinely nasty people walk among the good and that the two camps are morally light years apart.

The denial practiced by self-anointed visionaries can assume spectacular form. In an exhibition of naïveté, a San Francisco law enforcement agency decrees that restorative justice develops and strengthens "empathy skills in order to allow offenders to confront the effects of their crimes." But reality dooms the approach.”

Rogér concludes:

“Sadly, in-school restorative justice programs are far from exclusive to Santa Fe. A restorative justice coordinator in Colorado, which hosted a summit for advocates of the technique, calls the state "the Mecca for youth-led restorative justice." The technique has also deeply invaded schools in the Northeast, on the West Coast, in Minnesota and Illinois. (Links to resources describing school and community restorative programs provided here.)

What will come of a generation taught that the world should judge no action and readily forgive nastiness? The question demands clear thinking. Yet throughout America, restorative justice is increasingly shaping children in ways destined to hatch chilling answers.”

Sex surveys for 7th graders, restorative justice, eliminating the Pledge of Allegiance or the reading of the Preamble to the Constitution from the classroom are all trends sweeping our government schools. Trends that will lead us down the road to an Orwellian tyranny. I suppose these children will be taught that Casey Anthony should receive healing restorative justice if found guilty of murdering her two-year old child.

I recall an incident while working in Sri Lanka. I had a driver with a photo of a young girl pinned to the visor above his head. When I asked if that was his daughter he turned and with a broad smile replied yes. When I asked what grade she was in he told me he was working three jobs to send her to a private Christian school. He told me he wanted her not only taught in English, but that he wanted her to receive an education founded in moral values. Perhaps was all need take my drivers advice and eschew the government school system. All it is today is a safe harbor for union dolts, progressive academics willing to experiment with your children and teach Marxists and anti-American ideology.

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