The Massachusetts legislature is considering a proposal to mandate a particular sex education curriculum for schools across the state. Unlike topics such as math and science, there is no public consensus regarding sex education. Currently the Health Curriculum Frameworks are available to school districts and educators, but each school system
is free to customize them based on the needs of their student populations and parents. HB 402 would eliminate that option by adding “health” to the core curriculum.
Loss of Local Control
If adopted, the Health Curriculum Framework would remove control of health education from locally elected school committees, eliminating any flexibility for educa- tors and parents.
It would also eliminate choices regarding WHEN sensitive topics are taught to young children, removing power from parents and educators to make these decisions based on their knowledge of the school system and its population.
It would leave no recourse for parents who want to be the primary educators of their children on sexual topics, and impose a certain moral viewpoint with which most parents would disagree.
Problematic Topics Required
The curriculum mandates instruction on several topics that the average parent or school committee member would find objectionable. Many of the required topics are taught in a way that conveys implicit approval of sexual activity among very young students, despite the legal age of consent of 16 years old.
It requires that classes provide children as young as 11 years old with the following information:
- How to obtain an abortion without parental consent or knowledge.
- How to obtain contraceptives without parental consent or knowl- edge.
- Encouragement of alternative sexual behaviors to avoid pregnancy.
- Teaching acceptance of homo- sexuality as normal, natural, and healthy, thereby potentially contradicting the religious teachings of parents, and restricting their constitutional right to determine the moral upbringing of their children.
Children Ages 5 – 10 will be required to:
• Describe “different types of Families,” addressing membership and social influences. This means alternative families headed by same-sex parents or a single gay parent.
• Define sexual orientation using the “correct” terminology, such as “heterosexual, gay, and lesbian.”
Children Ages 11-14 will be taught:
• Acceptance of consensual pre-marital sex.
• Acceptance of alternative lifestyles.
• Methods for avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Children would not be taught:
• Refusal skills that equip young people to abstain from sexual activity.
• The importance of being married prior to engaging in sexual activity.
• The high failure rate of condoms and other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
• Presentations of fetal development to ensure balance in any discussion that educates children on how to obtain an abortion.