Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Massachusetts elementary school teacher recently read a story to her second grade class entitled "King and King". You guessed it, this story is about a young prince who resists his mother's pressure to find a princess and ends up falling in love with another prince. Again, this is a class of second grade students.

At a recent Dem debate, the candidates supported reading this kind of material to second graders, except for Hillary who dodged the question as she usually does any potentially hot topic.

I'm of the opinion that if someone wants to have sex with another person, then fine. As long as that person is a consenting unwed adult, go for it. I think the vast majority of Americans feel the same. What's behind closed doors in this regard is behind closed doors...but it should stay there and it certainly should not infiltrate our elementary classrooms. The problem with the gay and lesbian lobby is that they want to throw their sexual lifestyle in the faces of mainstream America, and we don't appreciate it. Whether it's the young, single coworker or your 70 year old grandparent - regardless of sexual orientation - we don't want to hear about your sex life. Keep it to yourself, thank you.

Yet the gay lobby chooses to invade our privacy and indoctrinate our children into accepting their lifestyle, and it's turned many against their cause. If you're gay, I don't care, but leave my kids out of it and try not to remind me that you're gay at every opportunity. I don't remind people daily that I'm heterosexual. I don't throw my religious beliefs into your face constantly, and I'd like the same respect paid in kind.

What they don't seem to get is that stuff like this isn't about gay or straight, it's about a parent's right to raise their children free from governmental indoctrination. Some parents don't want their second grader to hear stories like this and that should be respected, but it's clearly not. It's odd how the gay lobby asks for Americans to respect their privacy, but then chooses to invade ours by teaching inappropriate material to our children. Sexual discussions need to occur in the home, not the classroom. The public school system is supposed to teach math, science, history and English. Leave the cultural and social teaching to the parents. To do otherwise risks unwelcome imposition into the family environment, which is exactly what happened with these second graders. And yet, the parents seem powerless to stop things like this because its a government funded program free from private sector competition. If our education system was strictly private, things like this wouldn't happen in the mainstream because schools who taught this mess to second graders would have to close their doors in bankruptcy.

Yet, every time this issue comes up someone always wants to make it a gay/straight issue. Save it. Unless you can make an argument that parents don't have the right to reserve these kinds of teachings for the home, then you're arguing the wrong point. Sexual discussions OF ANY KIND are not appropriate for second graders unless the parents feel their children are mature enough to understand what they hear.

Political indoctrination is becoming a big problems in our classrooms and I think it needs to stop. The public school system has clearly crossed a line and infringed upon the private lives of American citizens, and that's a serious matter. Why anyone would be supportive of such action is beyond me, because one day they may be teaching your children something you don't agree with. SO our school system needs to return to the fundamentals of education and leave the politics where it belongs, in the sewers of Washington, beyond the doors of the classroom. If we can't do this, then our public school system is violating America's citizens and it may be time to privatize the whole thing.

And for anyone who still disagrees, here's a question. Suppose your local school began teaching your children about guns. The message is well-intentioned. They want to teach safety and teach the kids that guns are used for many good things, that guns aren't bad and shouldn't be feared. They may even have some guns in the classroom so your kids can handle them and become familiar with them. For many Americans, this is a part of their lifestyle, so why not teach all children about it. Suppose your child came home and told you all about what they did at school in learning all about guns. How would you feel about it?


Allisoni Balloni said...

Would reading a story about a prince who marries a princess a story about sexuality? The second graders aren't being told about the sex the two people are having, they are being told a story about finding love. The goal here is that if they are exposed to this as they would any other story about a heterosexual relationship, they will be less likely to pass judgment as they grow up in a world that is REAL and includes those things. There is also incidence of young children who hate themselves because they are the prince looking for another prince, not a princess, and they don't understand why. If you don't want your children to be tolerant and understanding of different people and lifestyles, then homeschool them. That seems to do the trick. Even private school rarely does the trick of isolating children from reality.

To own and handle a gun is a choice. To own and handle a gun is not even something a child is legally allowed to do. There are many families who would never have any type of gun in their home, but it is their CHOICE, it is not a decision that has been made by nature for them. Being homosexual is also not something that is lethal. I don't believe that exposing children to guns is comparable to including a homosexual relationship in a storybook.

John Washburn said...

"The second graders aren't being told about the sex the two people are having, they are being told a story about finding love."

Again, this is not about gay/straight. You are arguing the wrong point, although I predicted someone would do this. This is about a parent's right to have these conversations with their children in the home where they belong. It simply doesn't belong in the classroom.

"they will be less likely to pass judgment as they grow up in a world that is REAL and includes those things."

I can make the exact same argument for teaching kids about guns.

"If you don't want your children to be tolerant and understanding of different people and lifestyles, then homeschool them."

If this is the attitude you take, then you certainly would also support school vouchers so that I, as a parent, can take my tax dollars and spend them where I felt my child would get the best education, even if that was in the home. So do you support vouchers? Or should I be forced to finance an education system that I have no faith in while also being forced to remove my child from that system because some people are "intolerant" of my wishes to keep these kinds of conversations in the home and not the classroom.

"it is not a decision that has been made by nature for them. Being homosexual is also not something that is lethal."

Not so fast, Allison. There is no clinical or scientific evidence that supports the theory that homosexuality is genetic. In fact, the evidence actually shows that it is more likely a product of one's environment. Nature, as far as we know, doesn't make these decisions. Or was Darwin wrong?

As far as the lethal thing, I could bring in some statistics about HIV, but that's another issue.

The fact is, exposing children to guns is an alternative lifestyle. Many American subcultures teach their kids how to safely handle guns before they can read and write. There's nothing lethal about that either. The point I'm making is that if you want to open that door and start indoctrinating children into alternative lifestyles, then you must be prepared for all of the possibilities. How can you possibly advocate teaching kids to be "tolerant" of one lifestyle, but not tolerant of another? You can't, at least not without sounding like a hypocrite. The answer is to keep social and cultural teaching in the home and out of the classroom.

You want to teach kids about homosexuality. So, why can't someone else demand that kids be taught about guns, and the accompanying alternative lifestyle?

Your attempt to answer that question was awfully weak. It would be easier to simply admit that YOU are the one who is intolerant. I just want fairness and more parental rights.

Allisoni Balloni said...

You want your right to talk to your children about love? You don't want them to learn in school that it's ok for two people to love each other? It happens all the time with heterosexual relationships. I was simply trying to clarify the fact that you were talking about teaching your children about love, and not about sex, because that is what was going on in this story.

Also, I find it absolutely necessary to point out that the largely held opinion about homosexuality at this time is NOT that it is probably environmental. A combination of genetic predisposition and environment, but not solely environmental. I'm sure however, that your very reliable and unbiased sources tell you otherwise.

It is my firm belief that homosexuality is not a subculture, and it is not a choice. Who would make the choice to suffer through torture and discrimination and hate crimes for their entire lives? Trust me, they are not being gay just to see you squirm. Homosexuals are active members of society, they have families and well-paying jobs and live the American dream, just as anyone else. They are not violating your rights as a parent by simply being gay, you are the one who makes it a big deal, not them. Certainly there are those who flaunt more than others, but the porn industry is alive and well and making billions of dollars, so we can clearly say the same things about MANY different kinds of sexuality. There are also heterosexual couples holding hands, kissing, and groping one another in public, more so than homosexual couples, and that doesn't seem to be violating your rights as a parent.

Contracting HIV is an issue of protection and responsibility, not an issue of sexual preference. You, doctor, should be aware of that.

As a parent, you have every right to tell your child whatever it is you want them to believe. If they are confident in their beliefs about sexuality, then what they hear in a book at school should not affect them much. I do not have children yet, but I will take my role as a parent seriously enough to make sure that when confronted with things such as smoking and guns, they know by the second grade that those things are off limits for them. If you think 2nd grade is too young to be discussing sex with your child, then don't discuss it with them. As I pointed out earlier, the school isn't discussing it with them either.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

I chose not to comment yesterday inasmuch as I did not then, and do not now, have a definitive position on the issue of the appropriateness of reading this book to 2nd graders. My initial reaction was that of the doctor's. I continue to question the age approriateness of raising the issue w/ 2nd graders although even at that age, many children are going to be exposed to homosexuality.

Part of my inability to come to a definitive answer is that same sex marriage is legal in MA, for better or for worse, but again, merely b/c an activity is legal does not render it appropriate.

I think the doctor slightly mispoke his position in that I am sure he is of the opinion that it is permissable for married consenting adults to have sex provided they are married to one another.

I will ask two questions of Dr., Washburn: In your opinion, to what eextent, if any, should sex education be taught in the public schools?

Secondly, you staed that the scientific evidence supports the conclusion that homosexuality is not genetic (by which I assume you mean inhereted) but is more likely a product of one's environment.

I have not devoted any time to active research on this issue and I do not downplay the influence of environment. Nevertheless, my understanding is that homosexuality is an orientation, by which I understand that it is not a conscious choice, although obviously, engaging in homosexual behavior is a conscious decision.

If the medical evidence is otherwise, point me to the sources.



Good Grief! Doctor John W's Post was clear enough for the average reader to easily understand.

John advocates the teaching of history, science, math, & english.

If the secular social experimentation buffs
have their way, we will fragment the basics to a point where the majority soon lose interest, and decide to become pro-athletes, air-head celebrities, or rap-crappers!

Another Example: Add a few muslim parents to the local PTA, and they'll soon demand that we include a course on the Supremacy of the Qur'an, the preeminence of the male over the female, removing women's right to the ballot box, covering women in a black burkha, and taking away their driver's license, ala SaudiArabia.

Furthermore, FLDS parents might insist on adding the sweet blessings of Poligamy, Buddhists demanding a "prayer-wheel" for inclusion, etc

John is correct. Stick To Basics, from Kindergarten through High School.
Doctor John: Minutes ago, I posted a dandy for your perusal. Allisoni & LGK, you might find it a bit boring...It's Just About Patriotism. reb

Anonymous said...

Not having read the book, I can't really give an opinion.

I guess all I'll say is that if the book was like a normal childrens' book, but with the particular twist you describe, I don't really mind that much. I don't think it would scar anyone for life. The only way I'd object was if it contained inappropriate material for that age group.

I will hasten to add that I think public schools should not teach any sort of politics, left or right. (Actually, scratch that. I don't think public schools should exist, so the point is moot...)

Angela said...

Just stumbled across you blog, and I have to say, I don't agree with a lot of your views--should make for an interesting reading relationship; I can't wait!

In regards to this particular issue... it's not like the children's book is showing the prince bending the other prince over the back of a chair or anything. My guess is that the affection felt between these two characters is just as innocent as that felt between Snow White and Prince Charming, and we've been reading THAT story to our children for years. That both characters are boys/men is inappropriate only because we creative adults are imagining what is going on behind closed doors. The kids won't get what is so bad about two boys holding hands, you know?

John Washburn said...

angela, welcome. And, for the record, I don't approve of Snow White in the classroom either. In fact, I don't want the gov't teaching my child about ANY relationship. I don't want the gov't teaching my child about love, relationships, marriage or dating PERIOD!!!. That's the point of the post. It's MY JOB to teach my children these things, NOT the government's. Snow White may be objectionable to some gay parents, and they have the right to object to it.

Keep education to the basics, leave socio-cultural political issues out of it.

Robert and Reb are the only ones who stayed on topic here. The point is parental rights, NOT gay vs straight. Should parents reserve the right to teach their children these lessons? I say, yes. The schools have over stepped their boundaries. Why does everyone else want to turn this into a homosexuality issue?

Allison, I sincerely hope that one day you do have children, happy and healthy. I think then you would understand how unwelcome it is for other people to take your parental rights away. I brought up the gun issue for a reason. I would NEVER condone teaching such stuff in schools, because that's between parent and child. So is dating, relationships, love and marriage. These things aren't the responsibility of a teacher.

Allisoni Balloni said...

I do not understand how you can completely exclude any teaching of love or relationships from schools. It is EVERYWHERE because it is clearly a large part of the world we live in.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...


My wife is a teacher. Given her subject, mostly she teaches it and is called on to little else, other than exchange programs.

In the best of all possible worlds, your solution to the issue of teaching about love, sex, and relationships would be the ideal.

We do not, however, live in the best of all possible worlds. This is well evidenced by your comment that in your opinion, some who responded went off topic and discussed the issue of homosexuality. No offense, but this is a failure to think critically on your part. To make the point, you could have and should have said that Snow White and other fairy tales or stories should not be read in public school b/c the issue of relationships, love, and sex should be reserved to the family. This of course brings up the issue of how far do you go? Do you teach Romeo and Juliet in HS?

Given the fact that you have a medical degree, I appreciate the amount of education necessary to obtain the degree and obtain and maintain your license. You did not, however, respond to my my inquiry regarding what determines sexuality, although in truth, my question concerned homosexuality. I should have included bisexuality b/c bisexuals are homosexulas part of the time. We'll leave the subject transgenderism for a different occasion.

You atated that being a homosexual is not genetic but more likely the result of environment. I do not think this represents mainstream research. You're an educated guy and yet I think you grossly mistated the cause of homosexual orientation. No doubt you would teach this to your children and so misinform them.

If Dr. Washburn can mistaken on this subject, what about people less educated than he?


John Washburn said...

"There is no clinical or scientific evidence that supports the theory that homosexuality is genetic. In fact, the evidence actually shows that it is more likely a product of one's environment."

Loop, this is what I said. I'm an evidence-based kinda guy. The fact is, there is no research supporting the claim that homosexuality is genetic. The research that is available suggests more of an environmental link. Granted, the research is not complete. I don't make the claim that homosexuality is definitely environmental. I'm simply stating what's supported by research. The claim that homosexuals are "born that way" is a mainstream opinion lacking in fact. If you have research to the contrary, I would be more than happy to look it over. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM as a psychiatric diagnosis, but this was mainly politically driven, again without adequate evidence supporting this action. I have links to the research that supports the environmental theory. I've posted it before on this site and will post it again sometime soon. I'm not dodging anything.

Who's mistating things here?

As far as the Snow White thing, I actually stated exactly the same thing in my response to Angela.

Allison, the argument that this is EVERYWHERE in society can also be made for guns. That's my point. Where do we draw the line on socio-cultural political issues? How can you justify teaching children about love and relationships in school, but say that teaching guns is inappropriate? What about fashion? What about pop culture? Should we also teach these things in public schools?

Tony Sokolow said...


Both of us are aware of numerous instances in which the scion of a perfectly "normal" (I don't use the term perjoratively) household in a small town well insulated from the influence of the gay lifestyle finds himself attracted to and fantasizing not about the head female cheerleader but about the captain of the football team.

This is orientation and I do not know the cause. I do not think there is a homosexual gene but clearly in these cases environment has no bearing inasmuch as these examples have occurred time immemorial.

The question is whether a child w/ same sex parents is more likely toi become a homosexual. Again, I do not know the answer to this question. I only know that environmental factors are not the only cause of homosexuality, if indeed they are a cause at all.