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February 27, 2007

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The Bird & Bees Project:  Gay Sex Ed for kids
By Barb Anderson
February 2007
 
Once again the Minnesota School Health Education Conference rates an "F" in its advice to teens about sex education.  Described as the "premier gathering of health educators in Minnesota," this two-day conference (with break-out sessions and exhibits) was held on February 5-6, 2007 at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel. 
 
The Birds & Bees Project presenter, Amanda Danzeisen, led the session entitled "Teaching Teens about Pregnancy Options."  Ms. Danzeisen stated that when speaking to teens you must tell them, "there is no right or wrong, and no good or bad choices."  Students must make "the decision that is best for them." 
 
Available for all health educators was a free copy of the 187-page "Educator's Guide to Reproductive Health" with goals, objectives and classroom activities based on the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) guidelines.
 
This educator's guide is nothing more than a how-to manual for teaching homosexual sex and a range of sexual options to teens. In the early 90s, AIDS education, under the guise of safety, introduced our teens to three forms of intercourse and how to practice "safe sex."  This is now enshrined in comprehensive sex education -- with the blessing of SIECUS. 
 
The "Educator's Guide to Reproductive Health" emphasizes the importance of using "inclusive language when discussing abstinence," and says to define sex as "oral, anal, and vaginal rather than just vaginal."  This "...will help to create a respectful and inclusive classroom environment."  According to the educator's guide, defining sex only as "penile-vaginal" excludes gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) youth and will "reinforce stereotypes about gender and sexual orientation."
 
Moral relativism is paramount in this guidebook as all decisions for teens are to be respected about whether "to be, or not to be, sexually active."  Students must figure it out on their own as they learn to "develop their own values" apart from their parents.
 
Lesson one begins with abstinence (that is if you can recognize it in these materials).  In the section entitled "Defining and Redefining Abstinence," students (ages 12-15) are introduced to a variety of sexual behaviors in a classroom handout.  They are instructed to discuss what they feel is ok for them to do as they learn the importance of "defining 'abstinence' for themselves." The behaviors that are listed include:  cuddling with someone without clothes on, giving oral sex, receiving oral sex, having anal intercourse, having vaginal intercourse, rubbing bodies together without clothes on, masturbating with a partner, touching a partner's genitals etc.
 
Lesson plans for this same age group include detailed instruction for demonstrating condom use (using a penis model, fingers, a banana, cucumber or test tube) and how to make a dental dam in case your child should choose to participate in "cunnilingus, analingus or rimming." After all, the guide states, "People who are questioning their sexual orientation may experiment in an effort to determine their sexual identity."
 
The educator's guide encourages teachers to tell students, "Condoms now come in a range of different colors, flavors, styles and sizes (for example, glow-in-the-dark or strawberry flavored condoms).  These differences allow partners to experiment with different types for purposes of pleasure and fun.  Putting a condom on your partner can be a sensual way to incorporate condom use into foreplay and show your partner respect."  A 4 minute DVD about "Captain Condom" is included for classroom use.
 
Amanda assured attendees that all of their information is presented in a "non-biased format."  When questioned from the audience as to why one classroom scenario refers to pregnant Kendra as pro-choice, but does not describe her boyfriend (who does not want her to have an abortion) as pro-life, Ms. Danzeisen replied, "The Birds & Bees Project uses the term anti-choice -- not pro-life."  So much for being non-biased!
 
Amanda also claimed that The Birds & Bees Project was not political.  Students, however, are asked to discuss the following:  "Why do you think people protest outside of abortion clinics?  Do people protest other surgical procedures that are legal?  Do you think it should be legal to protest outside of abortion clinics or do you think this is a form of harassment?"
 
The educator's guide assures students that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures available, and that it is 20 times safer to have a legal abortion at 8 weeks than to carry a pregnancy to term.  Students are also told, "There is no scientific evidence for the so-called "post-abortion trauma syndrome," and "The most common feelings women report after having an abortion are relief and happiness."
 
If pregnant teens follow the advice of The Birds & Bees Project, they will indeed make a beeline to the abortion clinic -- especially after being encouraged to practice making an appointment to have an abortion (page 152 "A Day at the Clinic"), and are told that they can seek a Judicial Bypass to circumvent The Parental Notification law.
 
Youth ages 12 and up are taught the ABC plan for sex education.  "A" stands for abstinence.  Teachers, however, are instructed, "Tell your students that 99.9% of the population will stop practicing abstinence at some point in their lives." A sexual health back-up plan is the next step for students.  The letter "B" stands for birth control and also Plan B -- the brand name for emergency contraception.  The letter "C" stands for choice. 
 
The Birds & Bees Project claims to "educate more than 8,000 young people in the Twin Cities metro area each year."  After reviewing the "Educator's Guide to Reproductive Health," I believe the best choice parents can make is to pull their kids out of these classes!
 
Action Step:  Find out what your child is learning in sex education this year.  Ask your school district to reject The Birds & Bees Project and the "Educator's Guide to Reproductive Health."

 SPONSORS OF THE 2007 SCHOOL HEALTH CONFERENCE

Bemidji State University, Department of Physical Education,
Health, & Sport and Center for Extended Learning

The Lake, the learning, the life. Since its founding in 1919, Bemidji State University has been a center of intellectual, cultural, social, and economic life in northern Minnesota. Click here to learn more.

Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Applied Learning and Technology
Glencoe/McGraw-Hill is the nation's leading educational publisher for grades 6-12 and publishes materials for use in private business, trade and technical schools, and two-year colleges. Click here to learn more.
 
Holt Rinehart & Winston - A Harcourt Education Company
Holt, Rinehart & Winston is a recognized leader in secondary educational publishing. Since 1866, it has been in the business of helping teachers teach and students learn. Click here to learn more.
 
Macmillan/McGraw Hill
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, the elementary school publishing unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is dedicated to educating children and to helping educational professionals by providing the highest quality materials and services. Click here to learn more.
 
Minnesota State University, Mankato Health Science Department
Minnesota State University is a leader in scholarship, culture, and sport. The University's economic, social, and cultural impact on the region is significant. Minnesota State University prepares students for life in a changing, competitive world. Click here to learn more.
 
Saint Cloud State University - Saint Cloud, MN
Saint Cloud State University combines the advantages of a larger university with an emphasis on smaller class sizes, personal attention, and hands-on approaches to learning. Saint Cloud State University offers more than 175 majors, minors and pre-professional programs that give you a strong liberal arts foundation with specialized career preparation. Click here to learn more.
 
Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is committed to protecting citizens and communities through activities that promote and support prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, education, and enforcement. These objectives are achieved through a focus on saving lives, providing efficient and effective services, maintaining public trust, and developing strong partnerships. Click here to learn more.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS for
2007 SCHOOL HEALTH CONFERENCE

Nancy AndersonDuluth Public Schools
Rod DobeySt. Cloud State University
Muriel GilmanBemidji State University
Gail GrimmWinona State University
Juli HegedusBrooklyn Jr. High
Nancy JohnsonColumbia Heights Sr. High
Roberta Kaufman   St. Paul Public Schools
Sara LessmanHighland Jr. High
Kathryn MenkeHighland Sr. High
Stacey NelsonSt. Francis Jr. High
Randy NitchieOsseo Public Schools
John RohwerBethel University
Kim SlegersNorthfield High School
Dolly StrumbelEveleth, MN
Bob WandbergSt. Paul Public Schools



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952-361-4931 www.edwatch.org - edwatch@lakes.com

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