Kindergarten through 2nd grade.
That’s the grade at which the National Education Association (NEA), the Future of Sex Education Initiative and a coalition of sex-ed groups want children to start learning the names of body parts and alternative family structures.
The recommendations are outlined in the National Sexuality Education Standards released on Monday to school districts nationwide. Although they are non-binding, having the weight of the NEA behind the recommendations could give them the gravitas needed to quickly — and quietly — be implemented around the country.
CitizenLink Education Analyst Candi Cushman says it’s important for parents to understand that this is a public relations effort for activist groups and private associations. “This is not a government mandate,” Cushman said. “Schools are under no obligation to carry out these so-called standards.
“The unfortunate reality is that these guidelines could still be used by some schools and liberal education officials as leverage to undermine parental rights and expose children to controversial sexual teaching against their parents’ will,” Cushman said. “We’ve seen this happening in other states. Yet oftentimes, these efforts were blocked when parents spoke out.”
The “soft-sell approach” by the coalition is purposeful, said Chad Hills, CitizenLink’s sexual health policy analyst. “If parents knew who was on the advisory committee that crafted these recommendations, they’d take immediate action (see TrueTolerance.org).
“Explicit, anything-goes sex-education groups would have our children and youth believe there are no values, principles or moral foundations associated with sexuality,” Hills said. “We disagree. Sexuality is an inherent part of our humanness in God’s design.”
According to the Future of Sex Education website, Advocates for Youth — formerly known as the Center for Population Options — Answer and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States(SIECUS) envision a “future without federal abstinence-only-until-marriage funding … (as they seek) how best to advance comprehensive sexuality education in schools.”
Cushman says one way parents can be proactive in protecting their children’s innocence is to make school officials aware of the tools on Focus on the Family’s website, TrueTolerance.org, which houses carefully researched legal memoranda, as well as helpful data regarding how they can approach issues in a way that respects parents’ rights and students’ religious freedoms.
“No national, special-interest group should control how local schools address these issues,” she said. “This should remain the domain of local communities — parents and school officials are the most qualified to develop good policies based on their communities’ needs.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Parents and educators alike find TrueTolerance.org a helpful and trusted site.
Examples of Educational Materials Provided by Advocacy Groups.
Resources from the National Abstinence Education Association: