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Windsor Tribune - Windsor, Colorado
RE: Consideration of WAIT - Abstinence-only Until Marriage Sex Education Curriculum
By Peggy Loonan
November 7, 2005
At the request of a very concerned parent in the Windsor School District, I attended a parent's meeting at Windsor Middle School Shelly Donahue presented an overview of the WAIT (Why Am I Tempted) abstinence-only until marriage sex education curriculum.
I'm a mother of two girls, 19 and 15, and a member of the Poudre School District Health Curriculum Advisory Board (HCAB), which spent fifteen months choosing a 10th grade sex education curriculum that our board of education approved in June.
We rejected all formal curriculums on the market, including WAIT. We rejected WAIT because it was controversial, contained objectionable material like a "mock wedding" activity, an unrealistic, incomplete portrayal of marriage, stereotyping of gender roles and medically inaccurate information.
I'm deeply concerned about the process middle school Principal Englert and the Parent Advisory Committee are employing to consider a new sex education curriculum.
I'm equally concerned about the medically inaccurate information WAIT developers know are in the curriculum and refuse to correct, particularly as it concerns the effectiveness of condoms and transmission of HIV.
A fair good-faith process legitimizes the outcome but this process doesn't reflect those characteristics. I believe a small group of pro-WAIT parents and an apparent pro-WAIT principal are trying to ram this curriculum through. Parents opposed to WAIT are angry and frustrated because they believe the process has been too one-sided and their deeply held concerns about WAIT haven't been addressed.
Englert has unilaterally decided the time for input is over. He's placed roadblocks to the presentation of material to the PAC which questions the appropriateness and accuracy of material in WAIT as well as an introduction of an abstinence-based comprehensive curriculum for equal consideration.
An illegitimate process and WAIT's deliberate use of medically inaccurate information that places the health of students at risk could leave the Windsor School District open to a lawsuit.
In contrast Poudre Board of Education bent over backwards to ensure that ample time was available to consider curriculum from both sides of this philosophical debate.
Poudre's initial search for a sex education curriculum began in October 2001. I complained about a comment made in my daughter's 10th grade health class by abstinence-only until marriage curriculum presenters from the Alpha Center. They said, "Condoms are meant to protect you from pregnancy not HIV."
After eighteen months, the first incarnation of HCAB presented Reducing the Risk and Sex Can Wait for piloting. But some members of our board of education felt HCAB's make-up wasn't diverse enough or included enough members to produce an outcome the community would deem legitimate. They believed HCAB needed an outside facilitator to help bring about a trust within our group capable of producing consensus and success.
Community members, parents, and clergy, with backgrounds in psychology, law enforcement, social work, health care, and business, and representing both philosophical views make up HCAB.
After four years in the making we now have a curriculum accepted by nearly all in our community because it was legitimized by a legitimate review process. In the end, with district curriculum specialists, we wrote our own 10-lesson abstinence-based comprehensive curriculum.
I urge the Windsor Board of Education to take control of the sex education curriculum selection process. Ensuring a fair good-faith process will serve the Windsor Board of Education and district students well.
I urge the Windsor community to attend the PAC meeting, Monday November 14, 6:30pm at the Middle School, contact Principal Englert, denglert@windsor.k12.co.us, Superintendent Karbula, jkarbula@windsor.k12.co.us and your school board member to voice your opinion.
Read about the very serious problems with WAIT at www.lifeandlibertyforwomen.org, click on Sex Education.
Peggy Loonan,
Fort Collins
peggy@lifeandlibertyforwomen.org
 
 
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