“You’re Teaching My Child WHAT?!”
The FLASH curriculum originated in King County, WA, and was written by Elizabeth “Beth” Reis According to her “LinkedIn” page (https://www.linkedin.com/in/beth-reis-0715077), she is also affiliated with Safe Schools Coalition (http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/) a public-private partnership in support of “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender queer and questioning youth”, whose member organizations include: http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/about_us.html#OurMemberOrganizations and is well-known for her activism toward gay marriage in Washington State.
According to http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Beth-Reis/5825114, she is co-chair of Safe Schools Coalition. (She was formerly employed by Planned Parenthood.) Falling under the somewhat interesting title of “Family Life and Sexual Health,” it starts at the 4th grade level, covering sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, includes adult definitions of various parts of the body and how they work, and defines “gender roles,” in addition to “self-esteem”.
As a note to the parents, the introduction to the curriculum states: “Sexuality education is a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs, and values about identity, relationships, and intimacy. It encompasses sexual development, reproductive health, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy, body image, and gender roles.” (Scroll down on that page for some interesting topics.)
An overview of some of the curriculum is posted on the King County website.
Sample lessons can be seen here: www.etr.org/flash/about-flash/sample-lessons/, and although the paragraphs offered seem rather innocuous, if you click into the links, and then the links on the documents that come up, you will begin to see why many parents are concerned. For instance, take a look at Reproductive System, Day 2 – for 4th graders .
Under the section Middle School, here is a sample of what is taught: http://www.etr.org/flash/f/middle-school/facts-about-stds/
For a sample of what high school students learn, click on High School Lesson 9 Sample, and then click on the “script” under Activity 2.
Does your school district use the FLASH curriculum? Check out page 38 on this document to see (Port Angeles School District is not listed, as they just passed it in late 2016): (This document is from 2007 – how many schools have been added since then?) http://www.prochoicewashington.org/assets/bin/pdfs/healthyyouthalliancereport.pdf
To learn more about the dangers of this type of curriculum, read the following article: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/ontarios-dangerous-sex-ed-is-indoctrination-not-science-says-u.s.-psychiatr, then watch Dr. Miriam Grossman’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IeKSCHXs-0
and read the article below for some further insights about the effects of this curriculum.
Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) of 1978, sometimes referred to as the Hatch Amendment, all sexual education instructional materials must be available for parent inspection. Parents have the right to exempt their child from sexual education instruction at any time. Have you been notified by the school of this right, and offered the opportunity to review the curriculum and class lessons your child will be taught? If you wish to opt your child, you might review the website “Show and Tell for Parents.“
If you determine that you have concerns about the FLASH curriculum (or any other curriculum being taught, for that matter), consider getting involved with your local school district, by running for the position of a school board member.
Abstinence vs. Family Life and Sexual Health, FLASH
by Susan Shotthafer,
elected school board member, Port Angeles School District
I examined 3 levels of curriculum for Family Life and Sexual Health known as FLASH. I found the middle school FLASH approach considerably different than the high school approach, more thoughtful and conscientious, likely because of differences in authors.
I think a much of the middle school curriculum is appropriate, but it lacks sufficient deterrence to premature sex. Without wise proactive parental guidance, I think this program could leave middle school students confused and unconvinced to decide on abstinence.
High School FLASH, claiming to be age appropriate, uses the same curriculum for 9th through 12th grades. Don’t maturity differences exist from 9th through 12th grade?
Flash, risk-reduction not risk avoidance, incorporates National Health Education Standards. We must use all of the curriculum, after approval.
FLASH curriculum is co-educational. Do adult couples share genitals pictures, discuss sex acts, and intimate sexual topics with other adult couples?
Why would we think co-ed sex education for still immature high school students is appropriate?
FLASH lesson planners decided teachers can teach certain universal values. They designated other values about which teachers QUOTE, “should never teach” or “express a particular belief.”
Does FLASH make values judgments?
WA State provides confidentiality about teens’ use of all birth control methods and abortion. Parents won’t know if their adolescent daughters seek an abortion at Planned Parenthood or other clinics
FLASH advises against using clinics QUOTE, “whose purpose is to dissuade clients from accessing abortion services?” Unquote.
Do we delude ourselves by thinking adolescents are sufficiently mature to decide about ending a human life without parental advice and counseling from all points of view including religious?
Will the FLASH authors and board members approving this curriculum be around in ten or twenty years to take responsibility for emotional and psychological scars caused by not including clinics that dissuade against abortion?
Is FLASH’s decision to exclude clinics counseling against abortion biased and unjustified?
FLASH includes a unit titled “Undoing Gender Stereotypes.
The curriculum states, (QUOTE) “When people believe in the stereotypes it can lead to treating other people badly or to making poor health decisions,” and, “can actually harm people.”
“Traditional Expectations of Men” Men are expected to be tough and not show weakness, even when they are in danger or hurt.”
Men are expected to act and dress manly. “sometimes expected to settle problems with violence,” . . . “to be decision makers, ‘. . . “to be dominant,” . . . “to always want sex.” (continuing quotation)
“Traditional Expectations of Women, Submissive or weak-women are expected to do what others say. Women are expected to be weaker than men, both physically and emotionally.” (UNQUOTE)
If not ended much earlier, I think World War II, over 70 years ago, concluded any stereotyping of women as weak and submissive. Perhaps FLASH authors project their archaic perceptions on American women.
Using their concepts of stereotypes, FLASH curriculum writers attempt to alter history’s proven reality instead of teaching adolescents to recognize and learn to practice self-control of weaknesses.
Dr. Sandra Witelson, brain researcher, states, “One could go on and list hundreds of anatomical and chemical differences between the brains of men and women . . ..”
REALITY not stereotyping: Men and women have Different STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, HORMONES causing different behavior for biological reasons and SOMETIMES DIFFERENT NEEDS. THEIR BRAINS FUNCTION DIFFERENTLY.
Parents, teachers, and religion, should teach boys awareness of over aggressiveness and domineering tendencies, and encourage spiritual strength and empathy. We should encourage emotional, spiritual, and physical strength in girls. We need toughness tempered with compassion in all individuals.
Imagine, if you will, the dangers for new world discoverers centuries ago, the first immigrants to our county, and American pioneers venturing into the wilderness without hardiness of body, mind, and spirit.
Imagine our American armed forces, police, and firefighters protecting and defending our nation after we destroy the American expectation for toughness. Imagine fathers protecting their families after we have discouraged men from being tough.
Children want and need parents possessed with empathy, physical, emotional, and mental strength, especially boys.
How would discouragement of an expectation for toughness affect courage and heroism?
Isn’t this attempt to Undo stereotypes based on flash authors’ values judgement?
does FLASH teach adolescents how to think or what or think?
FLASH vs. abstinence
FLASH writers state. “Abstinence is a 100% effective way not to get pregnant or catch STDs and “abstinence is an important component of teen pregnancy and STD prevention.”
Additionally, the authors state, “Research has shown that most abstinence-only programs are ineffective and can have negative effects on teens’ sexual health and behavior”. FLASH does not explain this statement.
In truth, research shows numerous well-developed abstinence programs such as Heritage Keepers are more effective than risk reduction curriculum such as FLASH.
Referring to abstinence programs, FLASH writers state, “These programs do not delay sexual initiation, reduce the number of sexual partners, or increase abstinence.” What? Abstinence does not increase abstinence?
Are we expected to believe that condoms and birth control drugs delay sexual initiation, reduce the number of sexual partners, or increase abstinence? Common sense tells us and 50 years of facts conclusively prove the opposite.
By combining abstinence with dependency on condoms and drugs, FLASH teachers will send mixed messages. “Don’t have sex, but if you do, use birth control.”
Do wise parents tell teens, “Don’t drink, but if you do, have only one drink and drive carefully dear?”
The FLASH program advocates condoms and 7 different drugs to prevent pregnancy stating the drugs are “very safe.” The safeness is debatable. This curriculum contains other questionable, scientifically related statements.
FLASH generates dependency on birth control drugs to prevent pregnancy instead of inculcating greater responsibility, self-control, self- discipline, and delayed gratification. These four qualities play a decisive role in developing character, fostering a duty and service to others, and self-fulfillment in life.
Abstinence programs demonstrate confidence in our young people, promote much higher expectations, and encourage teens to establish higher expectations for themselves.
Very significantly, FLASH curriculum entirely excludes any discussion of commitment or the economic, emotional, psychological, and spiritual hazards of teen sexual activity.
From a piece titled, The Neglected Heart: The Emotional Dangers of Premature Sexual Involvement http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/marriage-and-family/sexuality/the-neglected-heart-the-emotional-dangers-of-premature-sexual-involvement.html
Some risks listed briefly are:
Worry about pregnancy and disease,
Abortion regret and guilt,
Loss of self-esteem and self-respect,
The corruption of character,
Depression and suicide,
Damaged or ruined relationships,
Stunted Personal Development,
Negative effects on marriage that include comparisons, flashbacks, infidelity.
Wisdom would guide us to direct students’ reflection on ethical and long-term rather than short-term consequences of their actions. Unlike FLASH, focused solely on the corporal, avoidance of pregnancy and STDs, we should teach waiting to have sex brings future, priceless, intangible rewards.
FLASH avoids discussing the rewards of delayed self-gratification. FLASH avoids ethics and values vital to the building strong character that leads to self-fulfillment and individual attainment of higher commitments and purposes.
The following I quote from: ABSTINENCE EDUCATION IN CONTEXT: HISTORY, EVIDENCE, PREMISES, AND COMPARISON TO COMPREHENSIVE SEXUALITY EDUCATION
Stan E. Weed and Thomas Lickona pages 33-34
Abstinence is about starting over if you need to, moving forward and making new choices. It is about breaking the cycle, if one exists, that tends to repeat itself in families if we don’t challenge it.
Abstinence is about self-control and self-discipline. It is waiting for the right time, the right place, and the right person to enjoy intimacy and bonding with the person you commit your life to.
Abstinence is about freedom. Freedom from disease, emotional hurt, worry, distrust, and suspicion.
Freedom to pursue your goals and dreams unfettered by health problems, pregnancy, or a child that you cannot support and nurture on your own.
Freedom from making yourself a burden to others—your family, your community, your society.
Freedom from having to make a choice about aborting [a human life] from an unwanted pregnancy.
Abstinence is about self-respect. It is knowing your worth and potential. Your value as a person does not depend on giving away cheaply that which is priceless.
Abstinence is about respect for others. It is recognizing their worth and potential.
Abstinence is about love—wanting and doing what is truly best for the other person.
Putting others at risk of disease, pregnancy, emotional hurt and pain by not waiting for the right time, place, and person is not an expression of love.
Abstinence is about not rationalizing premarital sex with excuses such as “I’m in love,” “I practice safer sex.”
Abstinence is about commitment—making a decision you intend to keep whatever the cost.
Abstinence is about knowing who you are, what you stand for, and where you are going with your life – your sense of identity. It is a lifestyle that represents strong character, a nobler purpose, a higher standard than what you are surrounded by.
Abstinence is about hope—for a healthy and happy future, and a family unit in which spouses prepare themselves for commitment, faithfulness, and trust.
Abstinence is about encouraging higher standards in your community and society rather than accepting and normalizing behaviors which break down the values that sustain a healthy society.
Education should elevate. FLASH fails to elevate.
I don’t know why we have not been offered other choices or why we need to decide tonight. I respectfully request the motion to approve be withdrawn to provide more transparency for our community and to provide an opportunity for choices of curriculum promoting higher expectations for middle school and high school. I think FLASH is completely inappropriate and inadequate. Our students, parents, teachers, community, and nation deserve much higher standards.
Maintaining good health has been a life-long objective for me. For about the last 20 years, at least, I’ve worried about Americans’ lack of attention to physical health. I appreciate our P.E. teachers’ outstanding effort to increase our students’ physical health which, in turn, improves mental health, attitudes, and academic success. However, I believe federal and state management of physical health is intrusive micromanagement.
SPARK implements National Health Education Standards. When our school district subscribes to government programs, choices and independence become compromised. Does physical education curriculum obligate or restrict our districts’ choices and independence in any way? If so, I cannot support it. Parents have a responsibility to manage their children’s health. When we try to substitute parental roles and individual responsibility, we contribute to dependency which creates numerous other societal ailments, ultimately destroying freedom.
After having sex, individuals can never be virgin again.
Infection with STD’s compromises future sexual relationships.
After pregnancy, whether a woman gives birth or opts for abortion, her life will never again be the same.
influenced, I believe, by 8 years of the present U.S. administration’s political agenda overtly attempting, “Transformation of the United States of America.”
Neuroscientists identify, “hundreds of anatomical and chemical differences between the brains of men and women . . . .
FLASH curriculum, ignoring verifiable, biologically identified evidence, historical evidence, and evidence in the world around us, encourages students’ creation of unreality.
FLASH curriculum attempts to alter millenniums of proven reality instead of teaching male and females to recognize and learn to practice self-control of weaknesses
Neuroscientists state, QUOTE, “One could list hundreds of anatomical and chemical differences between the brains of men and women . . . .
Undoing gender stereotypes is not only absurd but also destructive
ABORTION, BIRTH CONTROL, MASTERBATION, SAME-SEX RELATIONS, SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE, COHABITATION, and AT WHAT age and under what circumstances it’s okay to start having sex.”
Don’t FLASH authors make value judgments about values?
The curriculum states, QUOTE “When people believe in the stereotypes it can lead to treating other people badly or to making poor health decisions,” and, “can actually harm people.”
QUOTE, “Traditional Expectations of Men” “Tough-Men” are expected to be tough and not show weakness, even when they are in danger or hurt.
Men are expected to act and dress manly. Men are sometimes expected to settle problems with violence. “
“In Charge- Men” are expected to be decision makers, including in relationships. Men are expected to be dominant.”
“Sexually in control and to “always want sex.” continuing to quote
Traditional Expectations of Women, “Submissive or weak-women are expected to do what others say. Women are expected to be weaker than men, both physically and emotionally.” UNQUOTE
Politically incorrect or not, most women seek robust, decisive men with leadership abilities. need such role models regardless of what the FLASH writers’ attempt to transform.
FLASH advises students to use Sexual Health Resources and birth control methods recommending students to clinics offering abortion and adoption services.
to console women haunted with emotional and psychological scars or guilt that aborting human life often brings?
Flash fails miserably to expa. Have you noticed that the word birth control instead of contraception now always used? Might this be because medical abortion is so blatantly too late to prevent contraception?
nd reasons for abstinence and birth control other than prevention of STDs and pregnancy.
FLASH focuses on the physical aspects of sexual health
Teacher training programs and I imagine psychology calls attention to Maslow’ hierarchy of needs, moving up a sale from basic needs to higher level need. Maslow also discussed motivation for satisfy
But what are the consequences on attempting to break down the natural, biological, and psychological, spiritual male traits?
Unless all worldwide cultures successfully inculcate the same this FLASH fantasy curriculum objective, our armed forces will be without, physical and psychological ability to protect and defend our nation. Unless the bad guys in all around us radically change to good guys we will need tough men and women to protect and rescue those less capable of protecting themselves. If we tear down the traditional masculine characteristics, our police and emergency personnel will be unfit to in the roles they are intended to perform. Our fathers will lack the ability to protect their families.
FLASH makes no values judgments against or for oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex for adolescents
Falls short on family except for parent involvement unit homework assignments and family needed to make LGTB comfortable.
FLASH lessons state, “U.S. society teaches us things about how men and women should act that aren’t always true and can actually harm people.” Pages 1-2
“Gender stereotypes are rigid ideas about how people should act based on their gender. Gender stereotypes can pressure people to stay in the “gender box” which is limiting. Maslow also discussed motivation for human action. On the basic level humans chose to avoid an action depending on the consequences.