Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Texas School Books 

NPR's The Connection this hour is focusing on "Textbook Battles." The first guest is Cathie Adams, President of the Texas Eagle Forum. Host Dick Gordon asked her about the textbooks which only include abstinence in the discussion of birth control, and whether that is censorship based on moral judgments.

Her response was to point out that it's not a sex ed book, but a health textbook. Second was that information on other forms of contraception is indeed in the teacher edition, just not in the student edition. She then elaborated that this format is because abstinence is the preferred method, and the method they expect students to use, and that to include other information would be sending a mixed message. She wrapped up by stating that this sort of presentation works, and when students are given focused messages about sexual abstinence, they respond by being abstinent (well, this is a health class, so why don't they just send the students a focused message to be healthy, and be done with it?). He repeated his inquiry about whether this was a moral judgment (which did appear to be the basis of her statements), but she danced around responding directly.

If the idea is a focused message on abstinence as the only acceptable doctrine, then why do they even include the information in the teacher edition? It's valid information, but the students aren't allowed to have it? Well, yeah, I guess that is the idea. Hopefully the teachers will make use of the information, so U.S. Senator Jim DeMint won't have any unwed pregnant teachers to point to.

Ironically, the home page of the Texas Eagle Forum prominently features the Statue of Liberty, with her torch ablaze. Two notes: apparently their idea of liberty does not apply to information, and I'm wondering if the torch is fueled by burning books.

Also of note is that the Texas Eagle Forum home page has a news feed from World Net Daily. One of the news items currently listed is "Demi Moore beheaded in satire." Yeah, because beheading is always comedy gold, especially when you put an uppity woman in the hot seat.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:10 AM