Monday, May 23, 2005


Teach This Controversy

Right-wingers on the Kansas State Board of Education haven't quite finished wrecking science education in the state's public schools, but that may not stop them from taking on a new and equally divisive project -- abstinence only sex education.

Scott Rothschild, of the Lawrence Journal World reports that the board planned to look at draft standards for the sex education curriculum at its May 11 meeting, but held off because some board members wanted to attend arguments on the new school finance law being heard by Kansas Supreme Court that day.

Moderate board member Carol Rupe thinks there may be another reason, as well. She thinks board conservatives may want to change the sex education curriculum from abstinence based to abstinence only.

The current abstinence-based sex education curriculum teaches students that the best way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease is to abstain from having sex, but it also lets them know the facts about condoms and birth control. An abstinence only curriculum would not give any information to students who may be sexually active about how to protect themselves.

During the board's intelligent design circus we heard a lot about teaching the (non-existent) controversy between scientists over evolution. Board members -- when they weren't actively cheerleading for the intelligent design witnesses -- asked, "Why not just put all the evidence in front of the kids, and let them decide for themselves?"

Seems like the board may adopt a let it all hang out "teach the controversy" strategy for science classes, and a different -- sweep the evidence under the rug -- approach to sex education. Is it too much to ask that they be consistent in the policies they impose?


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?