Sex-Ed Opponents Part of Movement to Reclaim Schools

Article excerpt

Byline: Jon Ward, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Parents who stopped a new sex-education curriculum in Montgomery County are at the nexus of a national trend in parental activism in school matters.

"Montgomery County has become a symbol for parental activism," said Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America.

Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, said parents "are beginning to take matters into their own hands and are looking for ways to collaborate with other like-minded parents to protect their kids."

Mr. Throckmorton works with former homosexuals and wrote a 51-page critique of the Montgomery County sex-ed course. He said he has heard from parents in Fayetteville, Ark.; Pleasant Valley, Iowa; and Toms River, N.J., who have found objectionable material in school libraries and are challenging their school boards to remove the books.

The Montgomery County school board voted 7-1 Monday to dissolve the curriculum and the citizens committee that approved the course. In November, the board had voted 6-0 to adopt the course.

Curriculum supporters said the course taught tolerance for homosexuals and included factual instruction on how to deal with homosexual feelings.

But parents who formed the group Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC) said the course promoted homosexuality and promiscuity, disregarded scientifically proven health risks and denigrated traditional, religious views about sex.

A federal judge ruled in CRC's favor when he granted a temporary restraining order against the course on May 5.

"What this really illustrates is that parents have a particular set of principles and values. They work hard to instill those in the home, and they don't want this undermined in the health class," said Melissa Pardue, social welfare policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

Mrs. Pardue, who co-wrote "What Do Parents Want Taught in Sex Education Programs?" last year, said the Montgomery County controversy "is the first time we've seen national attention to parental concern, but I think this is happening all over the place. …