Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MFC and EdWatch call on legislators to reject unhealthy, anti-family, anti-parent provisions in the House K-12 education spending bill

Press Release

ST. PAUL – Two Minnesota groups jointly released a list of top reasons for legislators to reject unhealthy, anti-family, anti-parent provisions in the House K-12 education spending bill. The Minnesota Family Council and EdWatch today called on House members to reject the provisions which they call dangerous and an unwarranted government intrusion into parenting when the bill is up for a floor vote today.

Government intrusion into parenting unhealthy for families and children
Dr. Karen Effrem of EdWatch identified five different early childhood proposals that are highly objectionable. “These are nothing short of a government assault on the minds of our children and a massive takeover of parenting in the state of Minnesota,” she said. One example she listed was government setting norms for all children from birth to age five in areas like mental health, gender issues, diversity training, and environmentalism. “These have nothing to do with closing the achievement gap,” she stated.

Psychiatric screening is another area the groups highlighted. The controversial mental screening program, TeenScreen, has drawn intense public opposition. “HF6 simply hides TeenScreen by giving it a generic name to avoid the controversy,” stated Effrem, “but the author made it clear that TeenScreen is the program that will be funded. The language is intentionally misleading.”

Curricula used for comprehensive sex education unhealthy for children
Tom Prichard of Minnesota Family Council said that HF6 would force comprehensive sex education programs on all middle and high schools in the state. “This is an unhealthy proposal which will be foisted on Minnesota students in every grade from 7 through 12.”

“After reviewing several sex education curricula” added Chuck Darrell director of communications for MFC, “we are certain the instruction will lead to more teens engaging in unhealthy, dangerous forms of sexual activity like oral, anal, and even anal-oral sex. The content is graphic and offensive and even made legislators blush in legislative hearings on the bill.”

“A recent study showed an explosion in STD’s and STI’s including Chlamydia. The reason for the explosion is not abstinence. It is because children are being taught to engage in unhealthy sexual activity,” said Darrell.

“The discussion of abstinence in comprehensive sex education is merely window dressing, said Prichard. “The focus of the curriculum is use of contraceptives. In addition, marriage is not encouraged. We can’t ignore marriage when sexual activity is discussed,” he said. “No legislator should support such a program.”

“We are asking legislators to drop these intrusive provisions. If they are not dropped, legislators should reject the overall bill,” Prichard said. “Minnesota parents don’t want the state promoting programs that undermine our children’s health and well-being.”