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The Standard of Liberty Voice
A publication of The Standard of Liberty Foundation
April 22, 2013, #70
Letter to Alpine School District About Planned Parenthood Video
Vernon M. Henshaw
Dear Mr. Henshaw,
I have serious concerns about the District-approved maturation program, “Growing Up Comes First: Puberty Education, Helping Adults and Children Learn About Puberty Together,” produced by Planned Parenthood. I am writing in behalf of the Standard of Liberty foundation which includes many parents and grandparents in the Alpine School District. The purpose in writing this letter is to show that this program is harmful and inappropriate and should not have been approved, but rather warned against.
There is a great deal wrong with this program and video. First, the title doesn’t make sense and is subtly misleading. Growing up does not come first, childhood does. And if it means puberty education is first the role of the public school, this is false also. It is the role of parents. It also suggests that adults learn along with children. Adults (in this case parents) must teach children, especially when it comes to physical and sexual development. Children should not know anything about this yet; parents do. So you see, even the title shows that this program seeks to interfere with the raising of other people’s children. Schools should not feel the responsibility nor assume the authority to teach children anything other than academic subjects.
The following are more problems with this program/video:
1. It undermines parents as the primary source of information for their children. Most often, it refers to “trusted adults” as sources. One specific example occurs on the video when giving information about who children can go to with questions of this sensitive nature. Among others, the screen displays the phrases, “Mom or my counselor” and “Dad or school nurse” as if a mother and a school counselor or a father and a school nurse are of equal standing in a child’s life. School counselors and school nurses are virtual strangers to children compared to their parents. The average school child does not even know these people’s names. The video also tells children to “think of one adult here at school and one adult out of school” they “could go to with questions or concerns.” Imagine a child being instructed to decide on a stranger to talk to about these extremely sensitive things. The very idea is outrageous.
2. The video is co-ed and therefore age-inappropriate and potentially hurtful. Whether or not schools divide up the girls and boys for the maturation program, the video itself shows both boys and girls receiving and participating in the presentation. It also gives detailed information and shows drawings about both male and female anatomy. It is not the job of public elementary schools to give girls sensitive information about boys’ bodies, and boys sensitive information about girls’ bodies.
3. It downplays gender differences. It is well known that today’s radical feminist, LGBTQ, and abortion activists (including Planned Parenthood) strive to promote the false idea that there are no real important differences between male and female. Besides putting boys’ and girls’ issues together in one presentation (see #2 above), the video shows a list of changes that occur in puberty with 3 columns: boys, both, girls. The boy column has 3 items, the girl column 4 items, and the both column lists 18. The changes in the boy and girl columns are completely different, such as “begin to make sperm,” as opposed to “start to release eggs.” But these crucial, indispensable differences are shown as equal in importance to the items in the both column, which are insignificant in comparison as “gain weight and get taller,” suggestive such as “may have more conflict with parents,” and even false or unnecessarily alarming for girls such as “voice changes,” and “hair grows on face,” and for boys, “breast tissue thickens.”
4. This video contains gender and age-inappropriate language and false information. For instance, I am 56 years old and have raised 7 children and it never occurred to me that the “uterus, vagina, and vulva” and “penis and testicles” “grow bigger during puberty,” except relative to the entire body growing bigger. This information is bizarre, unnecessary, misleading, exploitive, out of context, and could be frightening and damaging to children.
5. The program and linked information conflicts with Utah Code (see enclosed). We have heard that this program includes Planned Parenthood brochures that give links. These links lead to even worse material in total conflict with community standards and basic decency. Please see the enclosed print-outs. The district should certainly consider the source and overall nefarious agenda of this Planned Parenthood program.
No matter what the Utah State Office of Education approves or proposes, our school district is obligated to protect our children and grandchildren from harmful and inappropriate material. The Standard of Liberty foundation calls on the Alpine School District to immediately withdraw its approval of Planned Parenthood’s “Growing Up Comes First” program and make this known to all schools before they carry out their upcoming spring maturation programs. It should also warn all parents that this program is available to their child’s school, that it is being used in Utah schools, and show them how to preview it.
Hopefully, the right people having been recently given more information about this program, the USOE will pull its approval and issue a warning to parents, districts, and schools. In the meantime, parents expect the Alpine School District to do the right thing now.
This letter and pertinent information is being made available to the 8,000 subscribers of the Standard of Liberty Foundation, posted on its website (standardofliberty.org), and sent to members of the Alpine School District Board of Education. This information is also being sent as a news release to local media.
Janice Graham, Stephen Graham
Copyright 2012 by Standard of Liberty Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.