Today was the first day of school for my boys. (This was evidenced by the somewhat heavy application of body spray in the house this morning.) When I arrived home after work, I was presented with the first of over 3,000 documents I will receive – each carefully formatted – that will require my careful consideration. And by careful consideration I mean stuffing them in a drawer.
However, given that this was the first day of school, I decided to give what they brought home my attention, as we recently melted all of our gold so that we could purchase the school supplies they would need that are outlined in over eighteen pages.
As usual, some of these forms required a signature – particularly the one that asked whether or not I want my boys to be present in health when they talk about AIDS. As if to assure parents that this is not the School District’s idea, the letter starts by stating that School Districts were mandated in 1988 by the PA State Board of Education to teach a unit on AIDS, and that they are only complying with state law.
It goes onto state that, “there are at no times graphic pictures or in-depth discussion of risky sexual behaviors.” Well, that’s a relief, although I am not sure how you show a “graphic” picture of AIDS. Isn’t that like saying they are not going to show a graphic picture of the flu?
So if I have this right, a disease with no known cure that is easily preventable through education requires a parent’s permission to allow their child to receive this information? But I get it (and excuse me for the following bitch), this is done to placate a few ass-backward parents who think they can lock their kids in a room with a set of Hardy Boys books and a rosary and unleash them on the world at the age of eighteen and hope with all their might that they will be okay. Well, personally I think that is reckless.
We don’t have to fear AIDS – or drugs or sex or texting while driving or not eating enough vegetables– we have to fear the consequences of not teaching our kids about these things. It’s irresponsible to do anything less.