Just Do It

May 25, 1992: By John P. Hale

  See Dick and Jane. See Dick and Jane use condoms. Where are their parents? Out of the picture.

  The first day in the first grade is always a milestone for parent and child. It is the start of an adventure which parents welcome with mixed emotions, knowing babyhood has ended and real student days have begun, with work to be done, tests to be taken, and skills to be acquired to help the child grow into a self-sufficient adult. While parents of a first-grader almost always leave their child at the schoolhouse door with a twinge of regret, that regret would convert to horror for New York City parents if they realized what new lessons await their child.
  “If teachers do not discuss lesbian/gay issues, they are not likely to come up,” says the new teachers manual Children of the rainbow—First Grade, on page 372. No parent would argue with that, since five-and six-year-olds are not known for any level of interest in such topics. What would startle the parents is that such a statement is the jumping-off point for instructions to the teacher on how to introduce the subject.
  “…at least 10 per cent of each class will grow up to be homosexual,” continues the manual, and “It is also for them to be thrown out of their homes once their parents find out their child is gay. “Classes,” the teachers are advised, “should include references to lesbian/gay people in all curricular areas and should avoid exclusionary practices by presuming a person’s sexual orientation.”
  The manual continues: “Challenging sexual myths can begin on the first day of school.” And if the boys tend to play with trucks and the girls with dolls and the children do not  themselves suggest switching after a couple sessions, teacher should suggest that the switch take place.

Do It
  What’s going on? The New York City school system has made reshaping children’s attitudes and behavior its number-one goal. But the reshaping is not toward self-restraint and discipline, but rather toward all forms of hedonism, hetero- as well as homosexual. And the process involves driving a wedge between children and their parents, both by telling the children not to accept their parents’ values, and by not telling the parents what the schools are doing.
  One factor is the enlarged role that homosexuals are playing in molding New York City school policy. When the Federal Government made a grant to New York’s schools to support education in drug prevention, $500,000 of that money was awarded to the Gay and Lesbian Community Center to run Youth Enrichment Services!
  The volunteers who will staff condom distribution rooms in city high schools and who will be available to counsel the children on sexuality include delegates from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and the Hetrick Martin Institute for Gay and Lesbian Youth, both of which have been designated as official resources of the New York City school system.
  GMHC has a new illustrated color brochure that outlines safe-sex practices and advises, “IF YOU HAVE SEX WITH WOMEN THESE GUIDELINES STILL APPLY.” One of the guidelines is to WEAR A LATEX SURGICAL GLOVE WHEN YOU INSERT YOUR FIST INTO YOUR PARTNER’S RECTUM. The pamphlet has circulated unofficially in at least one city high school. So far the Board of Education has been silent as to whether it will make surgical gloves available to the children as a health measure.
  The Hatrick Martin Institute has published its own sex-ed curriculum, which states the course has been given in area high schools. ONE PORTION OF THE CURRICULUM IS A DETAILED INSTRUCTION ON ANAL INTERCOURSE WITH THE ADMONITION, “DO IT. HAVE FUN!”
  Of even greater significance to parents are three excerpts from the January 1992 training manual. Some background is in order. When the New York State Board of Regents issued guidelines on the new AIDS curriculum to be adopted by all local school districts, it recognized that parents had the ultimate right to determine what type of instruction their children should receive. The Regents mandated that parents be given the right to opt their children out of a portion of the course. New York City schools raised the question whether parents should be told that they could opt out. Here is the answer given in the manual.

  Question. How are children withdrawn from prevention lessons of the AIDS instruction program?
  Answer. According to New York State Regulations, parents and/or guardians have the right to withdraw their children from the lessons of the AIDS instruction program. The school is not under an affirmative obligation to inform parents of the right…” Emphasis added.]

  Put bluntly, you don’t have to tell them. That will certainly eliminate the inconvenience of parents opting out.

  Look at a second question and answer in the same manual:

  Question. If a parent has told me explicitly that he/she does not want his/her child to have a condom, am I still permitted to give that child a condom if he/she requests it?
  Answer. Yes…

  That’s consistent, of you have reached the conclusion that parental rights have flickered out of the arena of sexuality training. Whether the schools have the right to ignore the parents explicit instruction is currently being challenged in a suit pending in the Supreme Court of Richmond County (Staten Island).
  The manual also deals with the thorny problem of what to do if the children themselves object to something being taught because of their “religious beliefs.” The schools are currently distributing a City Board of Health pamphlet called Teens Have the Right, Which tells the children that they have the “right to decide to have sex and who to have it with.” It is the clear teaching of several major religious bodies in the city that unmarried people, which includes most teenagers, do not have the right to have sexual intercourse. They teach that sexual intercourse out of wedlock is wrong. One can be sure that this is one “religious belief” the volunteers are being trained to cope with.
  We are talking about a school system that has exhibited an impaired ability to carry out basic instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics; a system which now has a corps of security officers larger than the police force of the city of Boston to attempted to protect the students from physical harm. Instead of dealing with either of those problems, the school system is worried about molding first-graders’ attitude toward lesbianism.
  A crucial element is the schools’ strategy is hiding from parents the details of their children’s sex-ed courses. And by the same token, the starting point for stopping the damage is a recognition that the primary right to determine what a child is exposed to in school rests with parents. We have watched with fascination the disintegration of a political system, the Soviet one, built on the concept that the child belongs to the state. Now we see the concept taking root in our own schools. To stop it, we must press for two reforms: mandating that parents be informed of all course content to which their child will be exposed’ and adopting a voucher systems to give parents freedom of choice as to where to send their child.
  If it is not already too late.

Article from the National Review / May 25, 1992