Friday, May 06, 2005

intolerance 101

high school is not the place to learn. at least not about homosexuality.

A federal judge has blocked a county school system from instituting a new health curriculum that includes discussions of homosexuality and religion and a demonstration on how to use condoms.

the new pilot program was to begin on monday in six schools outside DC. but the judge issued a 10-day restraining order. and the superintendant announced that the program would not go into effect until at least next year, pending further study.

[judge] Williams agreed with two groups that filed a lawsuit claiming the curriculum's discussion of homosexuality amounted to preferential treatment for religions that preach tolerance of homosexuality over those that reject it.

For example, the curriculum juxtaposes faiths such as Quakers and Unitarians that support full rights for homosexuals with groups such as Baptists, who are painted as "intolerant and biblically misguided," the judge wrote in his opinion.

it's saddening to see a judge give legal credence to the "right to hate" argument, which goes "by preaching tolerance, you are being intolerant of my intolerance."

"I don't think it is right that we have 13-year-olds learning to think whether they are gay or straight," said Laura Quigley, who has three children in the school system. "We just need to let them be kids."

The new curriculum was to be used in eighth and 10th grades. The county planned to use it in all schools after testing it this spring.

Previously, health teachers could only discuss homosexuality in response to questions. Under the new program, they could bring up the issue on their own. The 10th-grade class would include a seven-minute video that discusses abstinence and includes a segment where a woman puts a condom on a cucumber to demonstrate its use.

god forbid (literally) that a 13-year-old, beginning if not well into the deep hormonal changes of puberty, should actually think about hisr sexuality. if that happened, they might actually realize that they're gay, saving them from years of self-doubt, denial, identity problems, socialization problems, and what have you.

13 is exactly when kids need to start thinking seriously about this stuff; in fact it's probably too late. puberty is an extremely tumultuous time, emotionally, physically, and socially. the earlier kids are able to start figuring themselves out, the better off they'll be.

there was already an exemption option for those who are members of the various denominations of discriminism. kids (or their parents) could opt out, with other options "that include abstinence-only programs" (which have been pretty much proven not to work, but never mind that). but that wasn't good enough: the haters don't want any kids to learn.

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