Opt out of sex ed

This is not the same basic sex education of yesteryear that most parents grew up with.

Federal Way Public Schools has begun a unified, more comprehensive sex education pilot program May 29 for fifth-eighth grades, which includes the HIV state overviews. The program consists of one to two days at the fifth grade level and four days at the sixth through eighth grade level, using portions of the FLASH and KNOW curricula. High schools will continue their regular HIV, FLASH, and KNOW CSE programs.

The programs include refusal skills exercises. Young people practice saying “no” to various situations including sexual ones. Many parents find these peer to peer role playing exercises inappropriate.

The programs also include contemporary “identity” theories and trends and make a distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation. For example, our young people are being taught that there is a difference between their chosen or assigned gender identity (boy, girl, both, or neither) and their sexual orientation (straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc.).

Sex acts for all sexual orientations are described in more and more detail at successive grade levels as students progress through the program. Condom descriptions and demonstrations are given for a variety of sexual expressions including those that are objectionable to many parents.

This is not the same basic sex education of yesteryear that most parents grew up with.

The FLASH curriculum itself, a CSE, Comprehensive Sexuality Education program, recommends referrals to local health clinics when determined “appropriate,” including those which provide abortions, even without parental notification or consent.

Parents may opt their children out of all or part of these lessons as desired. In order to do that, they must fill out an “opt out” form from the school district offices or from the Pacific Justice Institute and turn it in annually. In some locations, parents are choosing to keep their children home during the designated sex education days. In California, many people in a majority of counties took their children out of the schools during the sex education month.

Those parents who feel they cannot in good conscience live with the decisions the school district made should be given clear opportunities to “opt out” of the sexuality education. If parents missed the required parent’s curriculum review night, copies of the curriculum may be available to view at the district offices.

I would like to encourage all parents to consider opting their children out of the programs (or the parts they object to). Please take a stand to protect your children.

Maureen Bernardy

Federal Way

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