In the five (5) part series on FLASH we provided you with the details of the lesson titles and objectives for FLASH: Overview; Elementary; Middle; High School and Special Education. That information was provided under the Fair Use Doctrine as an educational effort to help people understand the materials that may be used if FLASH is used. We have made no attempt to profit from the information. We’ve directed readers to the King County Health and ETR.org websites for full details. This is our review and analysis of the materials. We contacted King County Health and asked a series of questions. In this link we share their responses: KCH_Flash_Responses_July_18_2018
You can find Parts 1-5 in these links:
Overview = https://swweducation.org?p=5042
Elementary = https://swweducation.org?p=5047
Middle School = https://swweducation.org?p=5052
High School = https://swweducation.org?p=5069
Special Education = https://swweducation.org?p=5072
Here is a link to short videof of a middle school student in the Sequim school district and what she has to say about FLASH: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyPolicy/videos/229853241064933/
FLASH News Flash! The online versions of FLASH may differ from the print versions. We asked King County Health what their update process is and they said there is nothing fixed. They check periodically for outdated or incorrect information. They also said that the High School curriculum is MORE current in the print version than the online. Does it make any difference? Here are a couple of examples we found in the High School materials that show variation:
It appears the curriculum is moving toward a revision of language that favors transgender people. In the Pregnancy lesson the online version reads, “Every cell in the human body has a pair of sex chromosomes. These two chromosomes determine a person’s biological sex.” In the print version it reads, “Every cell in the human body has a pair of chromosomes that help determine a person’s assigned sex.” [We believe that there are males and females based on biology]
In the Birth Control lesson there are a number of fact sheets for the various forms of birth control. Online the sheets clearly state that birth control pills, IUDs, etc. are used by women. The printed sheets say ‘It is used by people who have a uterus and ovaries.’
How many more differences are there that we didn’t see in our limited time and without access to the materials outside the district office? We think these examples show the intent to promote an agenda and remove perceived differences between biology. They claim their intent is to be neutral and not promote a set of values or beliefs. We think they FAIL!
We purposely made little or no effort to analyze or dissect the content…until now. In this article, the last of the series, we’ll call out details and share thoughts as we see it. [This article contains contributions from various people in our local community] This is our honest attempt to reveal what we see as the good, the bad and the ugly. You will find this long and detailed with a lot of references and materials…because that’s what it takes to tell the story of what FLASH can do…whether good or bad. If you haven’t reviewed the materials we reference you can do so in the blog for that grade range.
The first major point of emphasis is “age appropriateness”. Second is whether given materials are the responsibility of the schools or parents. Third is the intent of the efforts.
Let’s start out by bring together key materials under each section that are needed to grasp the intent and potential outcomes of the materials. We should note that, for High School, the KNOW program has been judged to be outdated and contains medical and factual errors. As we go to press we learned that KNOW will be updated after the next legislative session. We asked for details on what was wrong. You can read what OSPI told us here: High School KNOW – needed corrections, updates The Middle and Elementary KNOW programs are judged current and accurate by OSPI. In case you are interested here is the link to the KNOW materials at OSPI (grades 5-8): http://www.k12.wa.us/HIVSexualHealth/KNOW.aspx
FLASH – K-4 https://swweducation.org?p=5172
- Why are kindgergatners being taught sex education? It’s inappropriate. Children in these age ranges, unless there is a case of abuse, will rarely have any interest
- The authors of FLASH make it clear that parents are the cornerstone…and then they replace parent rights and authority
- Unless the parents have been “trained” the authors make it clear that the indoctrination being done will fall flat.
- Talking about AIDS in this age group?
- Study after study shows that some children take until the end of 3rd grade to meet expected development norms. This means that confusion will be sewn.
- They touch on “death” but use wholelly incomplete examples and examples that are, as a parent, an affront
- This is clearly an attempt to set the stage for “gender” de-identification.
- They ignore religion and beliefs held by people of faith
- Most of the topics are parental choices not schools. This is a clear attempt to suplant the role and authority of parents as the “state” attempts to direct the moral, ethical and mental processes at a young age to direct them throughout life.
FLASH – Elementary https://swweducation.org?p=5047
The first area of concern is “age appropriateness”. FLASH says this group is either 4th and 5th grade or 4th; 5th and 6th (depending on which descriptions you read). For our comments we’ll focus on 4th and 5th graders. That generally means 9 and 10 year olds. Let’s see what is reasonable and appropriate (which we’ll call GOOD). Then we’ll look at what we think is borderline or not good (BAD) or things we think absolutely inappropriate which we’ll term ” Ugly”. You of course decide for yourself.
When and why did schools decide to teach topics and subjects that have historically been the purview of parents?
What do parents think is appropriate for 9 and 10 year olds about sex and sexuality?
- Introduction: Setting the ground rules seems reasonable.
- Family: Showing examples of single parent; mixer racial; divorce and remarried and other types of situations. Communications is always a good topic. Value of family is good so long as it fits the values of the parents.
- Self-Esteem: It’s a good topic…if school is the right place for it
- Gender Roles: If the intent is to teach that anyone can be and do anything they want then that’s good
- Friendship: Generally sounds fine…why are schools teaching this rather than parents and church’s?
- Decision making: Learning how to make good decisions is important. Understanding active and passive decision-making.
- Sexual Exploitation: A delicate subject that appears necessary to discuss in today’s society.
- Puberty: This appears to be the core of what one would consider education related to sexual development. Some parents may question whether 4th and 5th grade is the time to start.
- Reproductive System: This is a core area. Physiology, anatomy and function. Some parents may question the timing of this education.
- Pregnancy: This overview covers the medical aspects and changes of pregnancy. The girls will be more attentive.
- HIV/AIDS: To the extend sexual education is done this needs to be part of the curriculum. They do a solid job with the topic.
- Introduction: Why are they discussing? Go on to explain that some people think “sex” and “sexuality” are the same, but that they aren’t. “Sex” is the smaller word and the narrower concept. It is sometimes used to mean gender (e.g. on forms where it asks your name, birth date and sex) and it is sometimes used to mean particular behaviors… ”Sexuality” includes those ideas, but it also includes how a person feels about him or herself, what they feel about being male or female, whether they know how to love, how to trust, how to communicate. A person’s sexuality has to do with whether they can make friends, whether they can keep friends. Or, Have students write a story about a problem they experienced when another student or a teacher was inconsiderate of their feelings. They should include how they handled the problem or how they would have liked to have handled it.
- Family: The link they provide to a movie to watch is invalid: http://www.womedia.org/thatsafamily.htm A bit more searching yields: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnYWCtX3Us4 This is a 3 minute video clip of a longer video. It is used by the LBGTQ community to talk about families of various types including same-sex parents. Then intent appears to be to “normalize” the beliefs and = values of less than 4% of the population. Here’s what the instructional materials say about the video (which doesn’t make sense) – The film also does not introduce every configuration of family. Discuss which kinds of families were not portrayed (two-biological-parent families, foster families and group homes, couples without children, bigger and extended families living together).
- Self-Esteem: Why are schools teaching self-esteem? The lesson says “We’re all born with an imaginary empty treasure chest. As people love, cuddle, brag about and play with us, it puts treasure in. As they criticize us, it takes treasure away. Sometimes when a lot of put-downs accumulate, the treasure chest locks. Locking protects us from hurts, but also prevents us from feeling the good feelings inside the treasure chest. Three keys can unlock those feelings.” They claim that there are 3 keys that are necessary for good self-esteem: (1) I belong; (2) I can do things and (3) People appreciate me. This comes across as you need the approval of others to feel good about yourself. In reality self-esteem = self-respect. An example from the activities: Ask the class to think of examples of when a person might feel, “I DON’T belong.” AND Now help them come up with examples of times when a person might feel, “Nobody appreciates me.” Question: Since when does a person need to be accepted and appreciated to be self-satisfied? This implies that if the group doesn’t like you or agree with you that you are wrong and they are right. Group think. No individuality.
- Gender Roles: Should schools teach this or is a parental topic? The lesson worksheets send the child home to engage the parent(s) about the parents beliefs and views. Some will find this ok and other parents will find intrusive and not in the scope of public schools intrusion.
- Friendship: Why are schools trying to teach this topic? Values, feelings…listing good traits and reasons why that may vary from ethnicity, religious or other reasons. When did schools become the place to teach morality and values? This is to be tied to “decision-making”? Discuss feelings of alone-ness and loneliness. Discuss the risks and benefits involved in “initiating” a friendship. So why are schools teaching Friendship?
- Decision Making: Are schools the place to teach this? Explain the importance of decision-making in sexuality. Introduce lesson by discussing what decision-making has to do with sexuality. Examples of sexuality decisions we all face at some time in our lives include: Whom to choose as friends, how to act toward friends, whom to choose as a boyfriend or girlfriend and at what age, whether to “go with” anybody, whether and when to marry or have children, whether and when to go to the doctor about our private parts, whether to talk about sexuality with our families or friends, and even how to treat a person who likes us but whom we don’t especially like. Comment: Examples carry a morality aspect that comes from school or parents?
- I couldn’t find any activities or materials that I judged to meet this criteria in the Elementary program
Summary: Some of the materials are not appropriate for this age based on our standards. A number of the topics have been the historical responsibility of parents, churches and other venue’s. Why have schools chosen (or been told) to take on some of these subject areas? Either the entire subject or portions should require an Opt-In rather than an Opt-Out process.
FLASH – Middle School https://swweducation.org?p=5052
First let’s make sure we have the lesson activities/exercises document open to see the details: FLASH-Middle_School_Lessons+Activities It’s from this document that the examples cited below come. Second, judge for yourself (as will we) whether the materials are age appropriate. Three, why are some of these topics being taught in public school rather than being the choice of parents? Public education has real issues turning out children who can read and write and do basic math…why spent the limited time and resources on some of these topics?
If all lessons are used there are seven (7) for Middle School./
- Reproductive System & Pregnancy: Overall this appears to be similar to the basics taught in the Elementary lessons. There are some differences (see below)
Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: If the intent is to show and explain that a student can pursue any type of job or activity they want that’s good. Unfortunately this lesson unit activities/exercises are NOT intended to do this. See below.
Rules of Dating (Healthy Relationships, Sexual Violence Prevention): Using the title preventing sexual violence is an excellent goal. Why are schools teaching about dating?
Saying No (Abstinence): Given that sexual education is being done it makes sense that abstinence is taught and featured. Their own data says ~10% of Middle School students (nationally) have sex which means that 90% don’t. So will this lesson reinforce that or reduce the future engagement in sex?
Preventing STDs and HIV: Sharing the details about transmission, testing and consequences is important.
Condoms to Prevent STDs and HIV: It probably make sense to discuss condoms when you teach sex education. Given that their own data says ~10% have sex then the information for the 90% will be new.
Birth Control Methods: If we are going to teach sex education birth control should be part of the curriculum. It’s important to cover all control methods.
- Reproductive System & Pregnancy: There are some troubling choices of words in the activities/exercises that remove male/female from the discussion. They intentionally blur the lines. Examples: person’s menstrual period; A person’s penis, clitoris or labia; Some people might have testes as well as vagina; When the penis or clitoris fills with blood and becomes larger, it’s called an Erection (technically true although almost always referenced to the male); A person might ejaculate during sex. So, while discussing factual material why the clear effort to make it appear that male and female may be indistinguishable or the same?
Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: Introduce the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity as two types of identity that every person has. Place students in groups of 3 or 4. Give each group the Sexual Orientation Handout, Gender Identity Handout, and an envelope labeled “Definitions” with Identity Terms and Identity Definitions printed on slips of paper. Have students work in their groups for 3 minutes to match the definitions with the terms and place them on the correct paper, identifying the terms as either a sexual orientation or gender identity. Hand out an envelope of Answer Cards to each group, and project the Common Questions Visual in the front of the room. Comment: The choices on the cards, the direction the discussion is led, the philosophical outlook of the teacher…the way this lesson exercises are built to set the stage for the LGBTQ views. The lesson finishes with: Hand out the Lesson 2 Exit Ticket. Question: What is the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation? Answer: Gender identity is whether you identify as male, female, both, neither or somewhere in between; sexual orientation is based on the gender of the people you’re attracted to. Comment: 96+% of the adults see male and female but they want that perception gone.
Rules of Dating (Healthy Relationships, Sexual Violence Prevention): Why are schools teaching about dating? They provide a handout of “Dating Steps”. How much dating goes on in Middle School? Again, are schools to helps students learn to read, write, do math and function in the world learning information that will help them? Is “dating” an essential use of resources or should parents be in charge of this topic?
Preventing STDs and HIV: They don’t go into detail and use examples of what HIV/AIDS and STDs look like and the problems that can be caused. If they are going to get into the subject then they could (and should) show the hideous problems and scare the heck out of the kids. They miss an opportunity.
- Condoms to Prevent STDs and HIV: There will be a number of parents who will find demonstrating the proper use of a condom including the visual and demonstrations at this age to be inappropriate given that ~90% of the Middle School students DON’T have sex. Many parents will believe it’s their right and prerogative to deal with the subject. However, if sex education is to be done in schools then this probably should be part of the discussion. This is a conundrum. Going to far as to tell them students to: (1) Check expiration date, (2) Carefully open package, (3) Pinch tip of condom (4) Roll condom down erect penis (5) Sex – with condom, (6) Ejaculation – with condom (7) Hold condom onto penis while pulling out (8) Take condom off penis (9) Throw condom in the garbage. Is that too much or appropriate at this age? Technique.
Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: The ONLY scenario they provide and ask students to role-play and discuss is: James is in the eighth grade. Because he has always lived as a boy and feels attracted to other boys, he currently identifies as a gay male. But lately James has been thinking that he might be trans. He doesn’t know any other trans or genderqueer kids, but he would like to meet some and be able to talk with them. He belongs to the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) at his school and likes going. Comment: In K-12 grades the estimated percent of children with gender identity issues = 1/10th of 1%. At its highest (ages 13-17) only 7/10ths of 1% have gender concerns. Why is the first example a homosexual/trans child? Answer: It’s a bias and agenda from the writers and supporters of this program. They want to normalize and expand the behavior and get this accepted as normal…when it’s not.
Preventing STDs and HIV: They pride themselves on being scientifically and medically accurate…but they fail in some of their statements and this is unforgivable. Examples:
12. Vaginal, anal or oral sex with a penis is much safer when using a condom.
Condoms are the best way for a person who has vaginal, anal or oral sex with a penis to protect themselves from HIV and other STDs.
There is significant evidence that the failure rate of condoms is ~20%. Their answer give the impression of safety that is simply not true and in so doing could cause harm.
13. Some STDs can be cured with medicine.
Many STDs can be cured, and all of them can be made better with treatment.
This is medically incorrect. There are strains of STDs that are NOT cured with antibiotics and the concern for inability to treat grows daily.
This lesson also introduces the concept of anal sex which doesn’t appear to have been brought up in prior lessons.
3. Birth Control Methods: This lesson chooses NOT to include abstinence in the activities: Separate the class into 9 small groups. Assign each small group a method of birth control. Give each group a folder with one birth control method sign and copies of their birth control method fact sheet. If students ask why abstinence was not included as a birth control method, let them know that abstinence was important enough to need an entire lesson to itself. Given that 90% of the Middle School students DON’T have sex and then abstinence is NOT included in this exercise it’s inaccurate and breaks their own rules. If abstinence is so important and the best choice then it needs to be included in every teaching opportunity. Notice the clear attempt to stay away from male/female designations: this method can only be used by a person who has a penis. This method can only be used by a person who has ovaries.
Notice that they are making a concerted effort to tell Middle School students that they can get birth control and parents won’t be notified. Some parents may find that to be a direct attack on parental rights and authority. They go on to talk about “EC” which is an emergency pregnancy abortion pill. They say “All birth control methods are very safe.” This is simply not true. What’s “very safe” statistically? If one looks at uterine wall perforation, IUD failure and potential impact on a fetus, the ~20% failure rate of condoms and other data their statement is not only inaccurate and misleading it’s potentially harmful. They claim “EC works best the sooner it’s taken. It must be taken within 5 days of unprotected sex in order to work.” Comment: The manufacturer’s website says it needs to be used within 72 hours (3 days) not 5 days. So the authors claim to be teaching scientifically accurate information but fail. They mention “withdrawal” as an effective birth control method which is false. This entire lesson and exercises is replete with misinformation as well as false statements that could have significant negative impacts for the rest of the student’s life.
- What’s appropriate at Middle School to teach? Dating rules and gender identity? Sex is statistically practiced (their numbers) by ~10% which means that 90% do not. Is there any evidence that this education, at this age range, has long-term positive impact on behaviors?
- Assuming that sex education is going to be taught in Middle School some of the topics, in today’s world, appear to be reasonable. However, some of those same “reasonable” topics become troublesome to downright problems when we examine the teaching activities and exercises.
- Some of the efforts to blur the lines between male and female actually dehumanize.
- There are enough medical and scientific flaws and errors it’s wonder this could pass review and approval.
- Some parents may argue that their rights and choices are being usurped by the public school system
FLASH – High School https://swweducation.org?p=5069
Let’s start out by making sure you have access to the materials we are using to evaluate the activities/exercises for the lessons. Open this document for reference: FLASH_HS_Lessons_Activities
We encourage you to examine the materials in detail and arrived at your own conclusions. Do you think some of these topics should NOT be taught in public schools? Are you concerned about the “age appropriateness”? Could the time and resources be better spent on making sure students can read and write and make change? Do you think some of these topics are the responsibility of parents rather than public schools?
There are fifteen (15) lessons if all are used. A school district must purchase the materials and then decide what to use (or not). So if a district says they are using FLASH you need to ask them which lessons and what support materials to understand the impact. For this exercise we’ll assume the full 15 lessons are used as provided by King County Health & ETR.org
An independent Sociologist with a Masters of Science and a subspecialty of “Deviant Behavior” reviewed the print materials at the BGSD on July 3, 2018. The sociologists comments (4 pages) can be read in this link: Sociologist_FLASH_Review_July32018
We also received a review of the proposed textbook + the FLASH material. It’s 4 pages. This is from a parent who spent 6 hours reviewing the information: Comprehensive Health Textbook and FLASH Curriculum Observations This review provides detail exact quotes and examples from the proposed materials.
Note: King County Health told us that there are some differences between the “print” version and the “online” version with the “print” being newer.
- Climate: They set the stage for the course and attempt to make the students comfortable with the topic. They set up later lessons, establish expectations and explain homework goals.
- Reproductive Systems: This appears to be a continuation of the materials the student would have seen in elementary and middle school. They do have an area to discuss “arousal”.
- Pregnancy: This appears to be a continuation of the elementary and middle school curriculum covering the same materials. Note: They do mention the person needs to check local laws regarding “privacy” for pregnancy testing results.
- Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: If the intent is to teach tolerance and reduce bullying this could be good. However, the exercises go far beyond those goals and cross into pushing the LGBTQ agenda (see below under Ugly)
- Undoing Gender Types: IF the goal was to show how a person can do any job they are capable of, that they shouldn’t be constrained by their biology (unless there is a reason) it would be a worthwhile topic. We have deep concerns because the topic has been hijacked (see below).
- Healthy Relationships: In general this is a good idea. But…why are schools teaching about relationships? Some of the exercises seem ok but others aren’t necessary…unless..there is an agenda (see below).
- Coercion & Consent: The topic sounds ok. They offer 6 objectives to the lesson and it is sexually focused and not just general life. There are some worthwhile suggestions and guidance…but should school be in charge or parents?
- Online Safety – Sexual Violence Prevention – Again, generally a good idea. It’s really about “good judgement” but the lesson uses sex as the vehicle. Would students be better served by learning about making decision and the consequences in life? Honestly this lesson feels like a “filler”. Communications, decision-making and consequences are the true topics.
- Abstinence: Good topic and worth the effort in sexual education. Even with a bit of caution the overall focus of this lesson is worthwhile.
- Birth Control Methods – This unit repeats many of the details seen in the Middle School program. We did have a few concerns about the exercises(see below)
- Preventing HIV and other STDs: A good topic that makes sense. Overall the lesson does a solid job with the topic and is only uncomfortable when they get into doing condom demonstrations. Some comments about concerns below.
- Condom’s to Prevent Pregnancy, HIV and other STDs: As a topic it fits the subject matter. They discuss male and female condoms. They extol the value…where there is an issue. We share that below.
- Testing for HIV and other STDs: The activities/exercises appear to be reasonable. There is a caveat (see below under Bad)
- Communication and Decision Making: This lesson is really about communication. To that end so have several other lessons. Multiple lessons could be combined under Communications and Making Good Decisions. This feels like filler.
- Improving School Health: This is a wrapup chapter that is really as waste of time.
- Undoing Gender Types: From their document: This is the first of a four-part series of lessons which includes Undoing Gender Stereotypes, Healthy Relationships, Coercion and Consent and Online Safety. All of the lessons are designed to prevent the perpetration of sexual violence. Undoing Gender Stereotypes is the foundation for FLASH’s sexual violence prevention lessons. This lesson strives to prevent perpetration of sexual assault by addressing the risk factors for perpetration identified by the CDC: hypermasculinity; societal norms that support male superiority and sexual entitlement; and societal norms that maintain women’s inferiority and sexual submissiveness.1 The lesson allows students to uncover the unhealthy consequences of rigid gender norms,1 and to develop health-enhancing alternatives. [Comment: Out of the 15 lessons you can see that 4 are dealing with this topic. This is a clear attempt to reshaped society through “educating” the youth]. They want to re-write gender roles; they want to remove differences between male and female with an emphasis on castrating masculinity. This lesson has almost 9 pages of exercises, forms, charts, a set of Powerpoint slides making it one of the largest in the program which means its fundamental to promoting their views.
- Healthy Relationships: Why are schools teaching about relationships rather than parents? Why are schools teaching about dating? One of the dating examples is two boys: The Tony and Andre scenario – If students express the opinion that two men dating is never a healthy choice, it’s important to point out that, although people have differing beliefs about the rightness or wrongness of gay and lesbian relationships. Redirect the conversation by explaining that the point of the lesson is to give students tools to evaluate the health of their own relationships, regardless of the genders of the people they may date or fall in love with. [Comment: Given that less than 7/10ths of 1% at this age are gender “fluid” they spent 50% of the scenario time on LGBTQ] If audience members make comments that are rooted in gender stereotypes or homophobia, refer to material covered in the previous Gender Stereotypes lesson and redirect back to the communication content of this lesson. [Comment: So redirect back to the agenda…make sure the students learn that this is good and ok] Comment: In the end what we are talking about is communication skills. Rather than conducting a class on communication it’s used as a path to gender and LGBTQ.
- Coercion & Consent: Like all good things, taken to an extreme there can be negatives as well. Let’s examine some examples from the materials. Their very first premise at the start of then lesson is: Question: Why is it important for young men to work to end sexual violence? [Comment: Why not keep it gender/biology neutral?] Here’s their way of making sure their message is delivered and reinforced: The script provided assumes that students answered at least a few statements favorably, and that they showed a bias that was less favorable of their peers. This is likely what your results will show as well. Display only the results that follow this pattern, since the purpose of this section is to re-establish social norms that are not supportive of sexual violence. [Comment: So if the previous answers don’t fit the study guides goals change the rules] A major question with this and the other 3 related lessons is one of parental or public responsibility to teach and set the moral and judgement standards.
- Birth Control Methods: There are some sort comings in the exercises. Notably the students are broken into teams and given a brown bag with materials about birth control. They are to come up with a 2 minute commercial for each method (per group). Abstinence isn’t one of the methods…because it was so important that it was given its own lesson. In our estimation since abstinence is “the majority” it should be included in any set of choices and continually reinforced. They continue to say that condoms are an excellent way to prevent pregnancy and STDs…but the data shows that the failure rate is ~20% and that’s when a condom is used (which isn only a percentage of the time). This was another opportunity to reinforce the risks that was missed.
- Preventing HIV and other STDs: They say “One great thing about condoms is that they prevent both pregnancy and STDs.” [Comment: As we’ve said before condoms are presented as the answer and terrific but they are not. They missed an opportunity to be scientifically and medically accurate]
- Condom’s to Prevent Pregnancy, HIV and other STDs: At the risk of beating the shortcomings of condoms to death here’s the summary of study data that differs from what they quote from the CDC: 2003-ChanceOfInfectionWithCondoms You’ll note that number of times one has sex using a condom the higher the rate of failure (pregnancy, HIV, STDs; etc.). This is a major scientific failure on their part. This lesson should be completely revised and updated.
- Testing for HIV and other STDs: The lesson says: “Protect one’s own health: If people know they have an STD, they can get medicine right away, which cures most STDs. Treatment can also make other STDs, including HIV, less severe.” Unfortunately this is not scientifically accurate. There are now STDs that are NOT responsive to ANY antibiotic. This needs to be emphasized. They also need to show the impact STDs can have over the course of the person’s life. This is a missed opportunity. They offer an on-line resource: (In advance, look up your state laws at sexetc.org/action-center/sex-in-the-states.) PLEASE click the link and look at the website not just for this specific topic but other information that is provided. It may NOT be acceptable to many parents.
- Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: Here are the materials in this lesson that cross the line. FLASH is inclusive of LGBT individuals throughout the curriculum. LGBT youth experience worse sexual health outcomes than their heterosexual peers, including higher rates of pregnancy, STDs and sexual violence. Evidence suggests that an LGBT-inclusive curriculum may help alleviate some of these outcomes. See Teaching Tolerance’s “Best Practices: Creating an LGBT-inclusive School Climate” at: http://www.tolerance.org/lgbt-best-practices. Preview the 4-minute video “LGBT Discrimination” from Sex, etc., which imagines a world where heterosexuals are the minority. http://sexetc.org/videos/lgbtq-discrimination/ Question: Polls show that young people today are more accepting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people than ever before. Why do you think that is? [Comment: Perhaps because the students are indoctrinated starting as early a kindergarten? Less than 4% of the adult population identifies with gender issues. In K-12 it’s estimated to be 1/10th of 1% and from age 13-17 (the biggest age range with concerns about gender) = 7/10ths of 1%. Why is so much time and a dedicated lesson spent on gender?] If the intent is to reduce bullying and tolerance there are other ways to go about it and not focus on sex. People’s gender identity is sometimes the same as their biological sex, and sometimes different. [Comment: For 96-97% of people their gender matches their biology] A person’s gender identity is cisgender if it matches the person’s biological sex. [Comment: They now start changing terminology to control the discussion. They way normal people to be called cisgender rather than male or female] A person’s gender identity is transgender if it does not match the person’s biological sex. [Comment: There are prominent medical people who say that it’s normal for some children to question their gender but that 95+% outgrow questions by age 18…unless they are altered hormonaly…in which case those doctors call it a crime] This entire lesson is focused on LGBTQ and promoting normality, the need to support and is rife with video’s and other materials pushing that agenda. We could list multiple other examples from this lesson that may create grave concerns from parents.
- Pregnancy: When sharing clinic resources with students, only include clinics that can answer “yes” to the following questions:- Does the clinic offer clinical services with a licensed health care provider?- Does the clinic provide or refer for all FDA approved contraceptive methods?- Does the clinic provide or refer for prenatal care, adoption, and abortion?“Some clinics advertise as full service pregnancy centers, even though they are staffed by lay people rather than licensed medical providers. Their purpose is often to dissuade clients from using birth control or accessing abortion services.” (Comment: This would disqualify church organizations such as Catholic Charities or pro-life organizations such as Pregnancy Resource Centers) So they intentionally require abortion services and in so doing show their intent and bias.
Throughout the chapter no reference is made to women or females. They are referred to as “pregnant persons”. Examples:
– “If a person thinks they might be pregnant…they should get a pregnancy test.”
-“How can people know they are getting a pregnancy test at a reliable clinic?”
-“Staff will provide information about places that will help them if they choose to become a parent, have an abortion, or make an adoption plan, without giving personal opinions or trying to promote a particular choice.”
The lesson includes the following resource: https://www.guttmacher.org/ The lesson makes the claim that, “Abortion is ending a pregnancy with the help of a doctor. It is the most common medical procedure in the United States.” Based on data from 2017 (https://www.healthgrades.com/explore/the-10-most-common-surgeries-in-the-us?fullPageView=true) abortion is NOT in the top 10 medical procedures. So their statement appears to be not just inaccurate but wrong.
- There are some good useful lessons and exercises as noted
- There are some that cross the line (BAD)
- There are some lessons and information that are downright unacceptable
- The number of lessons could be reduced by 40% through combination
- Sex is being used to cover topics like communication, decision-making, anti-bullying and other common world topics
- Multiple independent reviewers shared their findings (documents above)
- There is considerable inaccurate and false information being used to support the lessons
FLASH – Special Education https://swweducation.org?p=5072
Students with special needs have a wide range of challenges. Finding a path that is appropriate to ability and age is incredibly difficult if not impossible. In 2013 (last published data) ~12.1% of K-12 students had some sort of disability requiring special education. Exploitation is one of the greatest concerns so helping them understand inappropriate sexual behavior is necessary and important. Saying that any sexual health training may best be done on a one-on-one basis to assure the best outcome. To that end some of the material in these 28 lessons may be useful but we suggest that it be individualized and NOT done in a group setting. These materials should be re-written to allow for individual education on as-need basis.
- There are 28 suggested lessons….yes 28. We’ll do our best to keep it short and sweet but reading 28 lessons and activities takes a bit of time.
- (Adapted from Beth Reis’ 5/6, 7/8 and 9/10 FLASH) Birth Control lesson revised in 2005; Sexually Transmitted Disease lessons revised in 2006; HIV/AIDS lesson revised in 2006
- Flash Statement from Authors: The schools DO, however, have an obligation to reflect community beliefs. And they must be honest about the particular premises of the curriculum.
- There is such a wide range of special needs students that coming up with any standardized curriculum in the sexual health area is going to be difficult. Age appropriateness is one aspect but developmental appropriateness may be even more critical. Getting parental Opt-In rather than Opt-Out is crucial (and that’s not the current norm).
The Special Education Sexual Health Curriculum is listed as being used for Middle and High School students.
- Overview – It’s critical to read this document. It talks about Values and Opinions and how those are transmitted and acknowledges that beliefs are widespread and differ so being careful is important. Community standards vary and should be adhered to.
- Introductory Class – They try to give options for different age ranges but are they assuming mostly older kids? The example they use would seem to focus on older children. They also talk about creating a folder and putting a “Polaroid” on each…this less may be out of date.
- Relationships: Day 1: Self-Esteem – Enhancing self-esteem is a laudable goal. But why is this here under sexual health?
- Families – In general the intent seems good. However, this special needs group requires a delicate touch. Individualized attention is essential. The lesson devolves into types of families that may be confusing. We call this module good but it has challenges.
- Overview – They claim that 95% of all values are universal and list some that are and others that are not. There is simply no way that in a society as diverse as the United States that anything near 95% are common. Unfortunately that sets the stage for the latitude used throughout the FLASH program.
- Private & Public – This lesson focuses on differentiating between conduct and behavior that is appropriate in public and private settings and then branches into clothing and attire. Why is this in the FLASH curriculum? Is this something that would have been addressed either in standard education or at home by parents?
- Relationships: Day 2: Gender Identification – Students with special needs are, in many cases, intellectually challenged. Gender discussions as outlined in this lesson can easily be confusing and potentially harmful. From the Agenda section at the start of the lesson the authors say “If you have one or more students who may be transgender, intersex or gender variant in some other way, rather than simply intellectually confused about gender, we recommend modifying or omitting this lesson. It will not be helpful, and could even do a child considerable harm, to try to apply your authority or your students’ peer pressure, to “convince” a young person that his or her identity is “wrong.” We recommend consulting a mental health professional who is familiar with gender variance and then discussing the matter in private with the student and the parent or guardian(s). They go on to use “The Gender Game” which asks students to say whether they are male/female and boy/girl. Perhaps they are trying to suggest that males and females can do many of the same things. In the end the game doesn’t appear to do anything except sow the potential for creating problems. They acknowledge the need for one-on-one attention so why do this lesson at all? So they say that special needs children may need professional help but it’s ok to teach gender information to the 99+% and that won’t cause them to have questions leading to the need of professional help? Does introducing this entire subject area for “norma;” students do harm? Their logic is suspect and they can do harm to everyday children.
We stopped at lesson 5. Why? Because the 28 lessons encompass all other grade range programs with twists and attempts to adapt to special needs students. There are 4 “relationships” modules; 5 “communication” modules; 2 “exploitation; 3 “understanding”; 5 “reproduction”; 3 HIV/AIDs/STDs and 2 “resources”. In addition there are 18 PowerPoint slide sets. In our estimation special needs students need focused, personal attention regarding sexual health. This program travels far into a lot of areas that would be part of the normal education process and parental choices. They use sexual health as a vehicle for discussing various areas.
- There are some topics and activities that seem reasonable and appropriate
- Age and developmental level differences in the earlier years as well as special needs give use pause as to whether some of the modules make sense
- Some of the material hasn’t been updated in 13 years
- An agenda with an emphasis on LGBTQ is evident in many of the materials
- The etr.org website offers what they call “Family Resources” under which there is a link to: https://www.etr.org/flash/family-resources/external-links-for-students/ Please click some of the links. When we did we were stunned at what students can be directed to. The entire ETR website support the LGBTQ community. So it makes sense that ETR.org would promote and support the FLASH because it’s one of their vehicles to promote their view of the world.
- There are virtually NO resources or support materials for those who oppose or don’t support the indoctrination of their children with values and beliefs contrary to the parents. This lack of balance is intentional.
We offer some materials to help parents and others to battle the forced emphasis on non-traditional family values:
- Washington State Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/citizensforgoodschools/
Other Resources – This will be updated over time as we review more materials
- 16 Facts About Gender Dysphoria – Facts about gender dysphoria