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Tuesday, April 27, 2010
WND Columnist Scaremongers on School 'Indoctrination'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Patrice Lewis tosses out various headlines in her April 24 WorldNetDaily column to prove her point that "the liberal education machine is obsessed with sex – and make no mistake, liberals as a whole are obsessed with sex." This kind of thing didn't happen in Laura Ingall Wilder's time, she adds. Unfortunately, Lewis is making the mistake of relying on WND for her news.

For example, Lewis links to a February WND article by Bob Unruh attacking Kevin Jennings for his alleged "homo-genda" for public schools. But Unruh is lying when he claims that a proposed law would grant Jennings "almost unlimited authority to mandate indoctrination in public schools at taxpayer expense." In fact, the bill is intended to reduce discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools, and it does not "mandate indoctrination" or give Jennings -- or anyone else -- "almost unlimited authority."

Another WND article Lewis cites is a one-sided piece by Chelsea Schilling uncritically Mathew Staver of the right-wing Liberty Counsel making unsubstantiated claims that Texas schools plan "to omit references to Daniel Boone, Gen. George Patton, Nathan Hale, Columbus Day and Christmas" in school textbooks. Schilling made no apparent effort to talk to any Texas school official for their response to Staver's unsubstantiated accusations.

Lewis is particularly outraged by an article with the headline "Bill would require sex education starting in kindergarten," later huffing that "we now have sex education in kindergarten. Can you imagine this happening during Laura's time?" This goes to an non-WND article about a proposal in Iowa to require "age-appropriate" sex education starting in kindergarten, which highlights right-wing opposition to the bill. The article also fails explain what "age-appropriate" sex education for kindergarteners would be, thus allowing people like Lewis to fearmonger. As Rev. Debra Haffner points out:

Sex education in the early primary years sets a foundation for later, more in-depth education. It provides lessons on family roles, taking good care of your body and the correct names of body parts. It helps children feel good about their bodies, their gender and their families. To protect them against sexual abuse, it teaches children "no, go, tell" -- say no, get away, and tell an adult you trust what happened. It promotes parent/child communication around these issues.

A primary school curriculum does not teach five- and six-year-olds about sexual behaviors, contraceptive methods, or indeed anything at all about what most people think of as "sex." To suggest otherwise is a gross political distortion.

That, of course, is precisely what Lewis is suggesting.

Nevertheless, Lewis uses these misleading and even false examples as evidence that public schools indoctrinate their students with "radical left-wing garbage" with the result that "by the age of 15 are slouching around, dressing like sluts, talking like sailors and having sex." She concludes: "Homeschool your kids, folks. It's the only way to save them."

If this is the kind of "education" Lewis is giving to her children, she's even more guilty of indoctrination than the public schools are.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT

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