Sunday, August 30, 2020

Oklahoma government funds controversial sex-ed curriculum


Oklahoma government funds controversial sex-ed curriculum
by Ray Carter -- Director, Center for Independent Journalism

(August 28, 2020)  Many “age-appropriate” and “abstinence-based” sexual education courses in public schools are far more graphic than parents realize, and often stretch the meaning of the word “abstinence” to include a wide range of sexual activity, according to experts.

One sex-ed program criticized by officials is allowed in Oklahoma schools and funded by a state agency.

“The best-kept secret in every state is what’s actually being taught to the children,” said Sharen Slater, president of Family Watch International. “Because they know if parents find out, they’re going to go crazy and they’re going to try to stop it.”

Slater was among several officials who spoke at the 2020 Protecting Children in Education Summit, a recent virtual event hosted by The Heritage Foundation. The forum focused on how citizens can oppose “the sexualization of children through laws and policies that impose medically unsound comprehensive sexuality education and sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum on schools.”

Slater pointed to the “Making a Difference!” curriculum as one that many parents would find troubling. She said one activity sheet for the program asks students to define abstinence and states that students’ possible answers may include “all sorts of sexual acts, promoting them as abstinence.”

“The best-kept secret in every state is what’s actually being taught to the children.”


The Oklahoma State Department of Health lists the “Making a Difference!” program as one the agency offers “to schools and youth-serving organizations in Oklahoma, Tulsa, and 24 other counties with high teen birth rates through the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Maternal and Child Health Service (MCH).”

Family Watch International and several other organizations have jointly critiqued the “Making a Difference!” program online, saying that “hundreds of times throughout this curriculum, abstinence is defined, not as abstaining from sex but rather only as abstaining from ‘unprotected sex.’”

The critique states that “Making a Difference!” includes no “warnings about the harmful effects of early sexual debut.”

A proposed brainstorming session for students, listed on page 63, asks youth to discuss “some of the ways people express their sexual feelings to themselves or other people” and suggests students’ answers could include oral sex, grinding, anal sex, touching each other’s genitals, vaginal intercourse, and “saying ‘I like you.’”

“Making a Difference!” is intended for children ages 11 to 13.

A proposed case study to instruct children on how to “practice negotiation and refusal skills” and engage only in consensual sexual activity involves a 13-year old child. Family Watch International’s critique of the program states, “While this may be appropriate for adults, children of minor age should never be encouraged to ‘consent’ to sex.”

Page 38 of “Making a Difference!” indicates students may be discouraged from discussing class content with a parent or guardian, stating, “Confidentiality rules: Do not talk about what we hear in the class outside the group.”

Read the rest of this article at this link.

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