I received an email this week from a parent who is trying to opt their young teenager out of Sex Ed in their local public school. Under current Massachusetts law, parents have a clear right to do this, and schools may not penalize a student for being exempted from those lessons. However, this parent was being told by his child’s school that he must submit a curriculum that he intends to use to cover those topics at home for the school’s approval. The lesson topics required by the school are the following:
- sexual orientation and gender identity (2 lessons)
- choices about sex/consent (1 lesson)
- romantic relationships (1 lesson)
- reproductive anatomy and physiology (2 lessons)
- sexually transmitted illnesses (1 lesson)
- condom education and overview of birth control (1 lesson)
Only two of the eight topics are what most of us would refer to as the “birds and the bees;” anatomy and physiology. The other six lessons are more like the “birds and the birds” and other topics that revolve far more around questions of morality than biology. The good news is, the law does not require parents to provide an alternative lesson plan to the school when they opt their child out of Sex Ed. Although I would certainly encourage you to talk to your kids about all these issues (for a wonderful Christian resource for parents of young teens, check out “Passport to Purity”) the school cannot tell you when or how to do so.
Speaking of Sex Ed, I want to share with you some exciting news! Late last year, MFI was invited to host a news show on a new Christian media streaming network that officially launched this past Sunday. I host the show with my counterpart from the NH family policy council, Shannon McGinley, and our first episode details what’s inside Planned Parenthood’s Sex Ed curricula. [Warning – disturbing content and images.] It’s a nice change of pace to be able to host a news show for once, rather than having to fight tooth and nail in a hostile media environment to get my point across, and I’m very grateful to WHATTV for giving MFI this opportunity.
The network, WHATTV.org, is headquartered just north of Boston with a state-of-the-art studio. They also have a wealth of talent and experience. For example, you may recognize their Executive Director, Brandt Gillespie, from the MFI banquets. It’s because of Brandt that we’ve been able to broadcast and record MFI’s banquet speakers on the big screens flanking the podium. Most importantly, WHATTV has an audacious mission: They are building an innovative digital platform with content that includes stories, news, shows, music, vlogs, challenges, cooking, fun, family, tutorials and how-to’s, and other high-quality media content that seeks to glorify Jesus and authentically communicate the gospel in every nation.
I’m personally excited about another of WHATTV’s shows, “His Story”, which features Plymouth pastor and local history expert Paul Jehle illuminating the intentionally forgotten legacy of the Pilgrims’ faith. I’ve been fortunate enough to go on several of Paul’s tours of the State House, where he points out all of the Christian history carved into the stone of that building, or painted on its walls. I am so glad that his tremendous knowledge on this issue is finally being made available digitally to everyone! Please check these programs out and let me know what you think!
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