Yacolt resident Jennifer Heine-Withee shares her thoughts on the Battle Ground School District’s proposed Sexual Education curriculum
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com.
In June of 2018, the residents of Battle Ground told the Battle Ground School Board very clearly that they absolutely did not want the FLASH (Family Life and Sexual Health) Comprehensive Sexual Education curriculum to be adopted and taught in the public high schools. So, the school district went back to the drawing board and started over.
They asked Battle Ground residents to answer a questionnaire about sex ed. In the result, any question that could be interpreted in a way that would discourage teens from engaging in sex received a high percentage answering “cover the subject in depth.” Where as any question that had to do with gender or gender identity received a high percentage answering “not covered.” Parents were also asked which subject would they most likely opt their child out of and overwhelmingly it was the subjects dealing with gender and gender identity. So what did school administrators do? They put together a comprehensive sexual education curriculum consisting of material from four different sources including a large portion of FLASH with an entire section on gender. In fact, the new curriculum contains more FLASH material than was in the proposed curriculum from June of 2018.
The Battle Ground administration doesn’t seem to get it when the parents of the district say in no uncertain terms “NO FLASH!” We don’t want our children being taught that “a person knows their gender identity because they feel like a boy, a girl, both, neither or somewhere in between.” We don’t want our precious daughters being referred to as, “a person with ovaries and a uterus.” We resent our children being told that, “in the state of Washington, children can get birth control and abortions without parental permission and they can sign up for Washington State birth control insurance and get it for free.”
We feel it is irresponsible to teach teenagers that the withdrawal method is, “free, always available, more effective than most people think” and “is very effective for people who can tell when they’re about to ejaculate.” We don’t want our kids having to practice putting on condoms, especially in mixed company, and we cringe to think that as a part of sex ed class they may be participating in roll playing.
If a child who has suffered from abuse is made to be in a class where they are roll playing scenarios dealing with sex, this could trigger past abuse and be detrimental to that child. FLASH claims to be age appropriate and scientifically accurate. Is it age appropriate to teach 14- and 15-year-old kids about anal and oral sex, flavored condoms, or dental dams? Or describing, in depth, “the sexual response system, desire, arousal, release.” I regret that I can’t share their explanations, it’s not appropriate to print.
As far as medically accurate, FLASH claims that “abortion is the most common medical procedure performed in the U.S. According to John’s Hopkins University it didn’t even make the top 10. C-section is the most common medical procedure in the U.S. FLASH provides no statistics for effectiveness of any birth control, just a bunch of feel good words like, “works pretty good,” or “one of the best.’’
On Mon., Oct. 14 at 6 p.m., at Lewisville Middle School the school board will hear testimony about the new curriculum. We want our kids taught what is truly appropriate and based in science, not agenda driven. Once again Battle Ground parents need to stand up and tell the school board in no uncertain terms, “No CSE, No FLASH!”