07 Nov Something Wicked this Way Comes
Something Wicked this Way Comes…
A 1962 fantasy novel, later made into a Disney movie, borrowed its title from Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” It was the story of a traveling carnival who arrived at idyllic, unsuspecting “Green Town,” offering promises of restored youth and dreams. But it wasn’t too long before the citizens of Green Town tragically learned that “for every wish there will be a price, and for every desire there will be a cost”– a cost that almost destroyed their community.
If truth is stranger than fiction, some parents in Las Vegas, Nevada might relate with the idea of “something wicked” coming into town. However, unlike the residents of fictional Green Town who weakly submitted, when Las Vegas residents saw a threat to their children, hundreds of them courageously stood up in opposition.
In September, the Clark County School District considered replacing their existing abstinence-based sex education with a comprehensive sex education curriculum based upon the SIECUS “Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education” for kindergarten through 12th Grade. The proposed guidelines were so offensive that a high school student told the school board, “I think I went through about 20 pages and I couldn’t continue with it because some of the stuff was just too disturbing to me at [my] age, and I’m 17-years-old.”
Concerned parents filled every seat in the School Board Meetings and spilled out into the halls, waiting for an opportunity to speak. One parent said, “Words can not even begin to describe my shock when I read what is being suggested to be taught to my daughter at age 5.” Another parent said, “I was sick to my stomach. My wife and I read it. We’re sick to think elementary age kids would be exposed to these types of things.”
After much public outcry, Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky wrote a public letter of apology, “asking our community to forgive how we handled this situation.” But the situation is not over yet. A comprehensive sex-ed bill that died in the 2013 Nevada legislative session is coming back in 2015. AB230 would change Nevada’s current “opt-in” policy to “opt-out,” and allow Planned Parenthood to teach comprehensive sex education in the schools.
This statewide option supported by Planned Parenthood would do essentially the same thing as the previous SIECUS proposal, only on a larger scale. As one parent told the school board, “SIECUS is supported by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood openly supported AB230. It is the same. It is a shift to teach sexuality education.”
In response to these worrisome proposals, over 600 Las Vegas parents have recently formed Power2Parent to help parents get informed and get involved. We applaud their efforts!
Parental involvement can make a huge difference. Because of parental involvement, the Gilbert [Arizona] Public Schools board is now removing a page from a biology textbook that instructs students how to have an abortion. The textbook states, “If a pregnancy has already occurred, the drug mifepristone can induce an abortion during the first seven weeks of pregnancy.” The decision to edit the text has attracted national attention, and all of this came about after one “parent had raised concerns that the textbook being used the text was not compliant with state legislation.”
What is wrong with comprehensive sex education?
In addition to the risk of exposing young children to explicit sexual concepts, it simply does not work. For example, an American CDC study revealed that contraception education and availability was not effective in preventing many teen pregnancies. In fact, almost half of the teens who gave birth were using contraceptives when they conceived.
England has experienced similar results. Dr. Monique Chireau of Duke University reports, “Despite 10 years of intensive efforts using typical prevention strategies including expanding sex education, increasing availability of contraception, increasing access to abortion (without parental consent) the teen birth rate continued to rise at 4% per year, and 50% of teenage pregnancies in Britain end in abortion.”
In short, there is no such thing as “safe sex” for unmarried teens.
We expect our schools to teach the best practice in every other subject. Abstinence education–or “sexual risk avoidance education”– is the best practice in this subject. We don’t teach kindergarteners how to play with fire safely, we teach them fire-playing abstinence. We don’t teach teens how to drink or do drugs safely, we teach them drug and alcohol abstinence. We teach abstinence from virtually every behavior that hurts individuals and society. Is there anything more potentially harmful than the life-long consequences of early sexual activity?
Comprehensive sex education undermines happy marriages.
Cassandra Hough, Princeton graduate and a founder of the Love and Fidelity Network, recently wrote an excellent article arguing that comprehensive sex-ed programs “undermine happy marriages.” She explains how they prepare young people “not for the not for the fullness of friendship, intimacy and love, but for casual relationships and recreational sex.”
“These programs assume young men and women cannot and will not abstain from sex before marriage, and therefore emphasize ways to reduce the risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
“Comprehensive sex education. . . may purport to aim at sexual risk reduction, but it effectively instructs young men and women in sexual risk-taking. It sets up abstinence as an unrealistic ideal and. . . encourages condom use as a means of reducing risk while simultaneously normalizing behaviors that make the incidence of sex more frequent and that create environments of increased vulnerability. In reducing sexual safety and responsibility to the use of a condom and the acquisition of consent, comprehensive sex education sends the inaccurate and dangerous message that these two precautions allow one to have lots of sex without consequences.
“As if this weren’t bad enough, comprehensive sex education programs. . . regularly disconnect sex from the context of a committed, loving, exclusive relationship (i.e. marriage). This saturates the young imagination and whets the appetite not for a relationship but for sex itself, disconnected from any person or commitment of love. Contemporary sex education prepares young men and women not for the fullness of friendship, intimacy and love, but for casual relationships and recreational sex.” (Click here to read more)
As in “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” the traveling carnival of comprehensive sex education requires adults to stand against its many false promises. In the story, it was the weakness of the parents that placed their children in danger.
One reader of the novel noted that the “adults were weak with temptation and worn down by regrets. If The Shining terrified me with the possibility that my own father might try to kill me, Something Wicked posited something much more frightening and much more likely– that he wouldn’t be able to save me if someone else did.”
Parents, please be on guard and ready to protect your children’s innocence when “something wicked” your way comes.
Laura Bunker, President
United Families International
Here’s What You Can Do
1. Begin today by reviewing the content of the textbooks used by your children. You can shortcut the process by going directly to the Index of most texts and looking under the listings of: “Homosexuality,” “Sexuality,” “Family Life,” “Religion,” etc.
2. Send United Families International (firstname.lastname@example.org) the name of text, publishers, and a scanned pdf file of the pages or send the exact quotes with source. UFI will then post the submissions on our website along with a data base listing “Acceptable” and “Unacceptable” text books.
3. Contact other like-minded individuals and alert them to the problem. Together, go to your district and ask to see copies of the textbooks that are being used in all courses. Begin a systematic review of all textbooks.
4. Go directly to your school board members and request a meeting to explain the unacceptable nature of text books being used. Ask the Board Members what their plan of action is to correct the problem.
5. Research your state’s statues and laws that preclude this type of material from being taught in the school. Chances are that there are laws that will be on your side and will support your parental rights in this area.
6. Be pro-active. Inform the district that you would like to be part of a parent curriculum review board that will preview all books before they are purchased by the district. As a parent, it is your right to be involved in these decisions!
7. Keep United Families informed of your efforts so we can share your success with others.
Public schools belong to you. Together we can protect our most precious resource–our children.
Take Out the Textbook Trash!