Read the second paragraph and look at the grade. I understand that teachers have time restraints but Oh My Gosh.
H/T to The MetaPicture
Read the second paragraph and look at the grade. I understand that teachers have time restraints but Oh My Gosh.
H/T to The MetaPicture
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So says Allison Benedikt of Slate Magazine. Seriously, she said that.
This article had me laughing out loud. Of course I was laughing in a way that is really just to cover my utter shock, disbelief, and total dismay.
I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.
Apparently it is perfectly fine for at least a few generations to get a lousy education because down the road it will help all. Now that is logic isn’t it? Insert primal scream here.
Now correct me if I am wrong, but I thought liberals thought there was nothing better than education. Matter of fact don’t they say that public schools are a human right? I seem to remember former congressman and convicted felon Jesse Jackson, Jr. talking about that on the floor of congress. Yeah matter of fact there is video of that conversation, oh and don’t forget the constitutionally protected iPad too.
What is really funny about this entire article is that by the end she completely contradicts herself:
I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine. I’m not saying it’s a good thing that I got a lame education. I’m saying that I survived it, and so will your child, who must endure having no AP calculus so that in 25 years there will be AP calculus for all.
Again, correct me if I am wrong, if she is doing just fine without AP classes and no organized soccer teams, why wouldn’t future generations do “just fine” as well? I mean why would anyone need it regardless of what generation they come from? It would seem to me that everyone will be able to find their dream job, such as working at Slate Magazine even though they learned virtually nothing after 17 years of education. Now I did take AP Calculus and I don’t work at Slate. So apparently my “better” education didn’t really help me that much did it?
She believes that if all children go to public school we will have a better school system. Lets think about that for a minute. Because it seems what she is saying is that people are stuck living in the neighborhoods with horrible public schools don’t care that their kids are receiving a bad education. Because after all if they did they would push for change right? Oh wait, they are pushing for change and the unions stand in the way of those changes and much-needed reforms. She never mentions that part of the equation. I guess she didn’t get algebra in her crappy public school either. You know the thing that has you put all parts of the equation together to come to the correct solution. There are millions upon millions of parents who are fighting to make changes in their local schools only to be met with hostility and resistance. We have the NAACP suing to keep open the worst performing school system in the country all the while the lawyer filing the suit sends her child to boarding school in another state. She knows her kid will be cheated if she attends those schools. She has money, to heck with the poor and struggling middle class that can’t afford the same.
Also remember that there’s more to education than what’s taught. As rotten as my school’s English, history, science, social studies, math, art, music, and language programs were, going to school with poor kids and rich kids, black kids and brown kids, smart kids and not-so-smart ones, kids with superconservative Christian parents and other upper-middle-class Jews like me was its own education and life preparation. Reading Walt Whitman in ninth grade changed the way you see the world? Well, getting drunk before basketball games with kids who lived at the trailer park near my house did the same for me. In fact it’s part of the reason I feel so strongly about public schools.
I totally don’t get how getting drunk at trailer parks makes her feel strongly about public schools and that leading to the willingness to allow at least two or three more generations to have a substandard education, but that’s just me.
Education reform is a passion of mine. I would love to see every child in this country have the best education possible. The problem is that, as of today, the last thing that will get us there is the public school system. We are failing in virtually every measure and it will become a national security issue when people in this country can’t compete on the world stage. The system needs serious reform, unions and the government have far more power over the system than any PTA will ever have. The current system doesn’t allow those types of changes nor does it give parents many options when trying to push for change.
No one is a bad parent for wanting their child to get the best possible education that they can give to their child, for this woman to say that they are makes me wonder if she has any children of her own. If so, doesn’t her great job at Slate pay her enough to live in a neighborhood that has a better school system than say the ones in Harlem or the south side of Chicago? I would venture to say the answer to that question is yes.
But I have to say I really appreciate one line in the article:
Don’t just acknowledge your liberal guilt—listen to it.
Ah, the reasoning behind most of what liberals do.
An acquaintance of mine works on Capitol Hill for a congresswoman. Today she met with some leaders of Detroit to discuss the upcoming bankruptcy of the city. This is especially personal to her since she grew up there. Here is a snap shot of what they had to say:
I am so depressed for the children of Detroit. I met with their “leaders” today and instead of admitting their students can’t read, the schools suck, the streets are unsafe, and their liberal big government policies have DESTROYED a once great city, this “leader” blamed 1) the banks 2) The GOP 3) John Engler (Michigan had a DEM governor for 8 years) 4) Archor 5) white people and 6) the suburbs. When I reminded him DPS taught us Ebonics and maybe that’s why kids can’t read or get jobs he went on to tell me: “Ebonics is a language just like Mexican Spanish” yup, you heard it folks, the “leader” in education for DPS equates improper English to a foreign language and then said, “it’s white people’s fault for not seeing this as a value and instead see it as ignorance.” Lastly, this man said Detroit should be able to “tax” the workers in Detroit at 25% if they live outside Detroit since it is evil white suburbanites “taking” money from the city. Detroit has NO hope. We should take each kid out of DPS and give them refugee status cause Detroit is a third world HELL HOLE
Gee is it really any wonder that parents are very concerned about the education our children are receiving and many have chosen to take things into their own hands?
This is from a school in Jacksonville, Florida. A “teacher” had the students write this sentance after a lecture about the constitution.
This comes Wisconsin: A crossward puzzle that says conservative beliefs limits personal freedoms. After all it is conservatives that want to ban certain sized sodas, ban salt, and trans fats.
From Texas, for 6th graderas:
Notice socialist/communist nations use symbolism on their flags representing various aspects of their economic system. Imagine a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag. Use symbolism to represent aspects of socialism/communism on your flag. What kind of symbolism/colors would you use?
Ipswich Middle School in Massachusetts has decided in their infinite wisdom that honors ceremonies are just too harmful to the kids who didn’t make the cut. I mean feelings being important as they are these days, it all makes sense right? After all, why would we want children who didn’t do their homework on time, didn’t study for their tests, or not pay attention in class to feel badly right? That just isn’t “fair”. Fairness being the new buzz word of late and all, so I guess it has to filter down to our students.
The statement reads in part:
“The Honors Night, which can be a great sense of pride for the recipients’ families, can also be devastating to a child who has worked extremely hard in a difficult class but who, despite growth, has not been able to maintain a high grade point average,”
I fully understand that some children, no matter how hard they work, will not make the cut. This can happen for a variety of reasons, especially when you start introducing standardized multiple choice tests into the equation. I am a person who doesn’t do well on multiple choice tests. In college I explained this to my professors and most allowed me to answer questions that I didn’t quite comprehend in a written format. So I get it.
What I don’t get is that why are we asking those that did work hard and were able to maintain their GPA’s to suffer? What we are actually telling these children is that a strangers feelings are more important than your hard work. This isn’t how the real world works. In the real world you are judged based on your own performance. Does this principal believe that when these children get out into a working environment that they won’t be viewed based on their own performance? Look, it is very possible in a work environment that someone tries and works hard, but is just unable to perform the necessary tasks that the job requires, and will eventually lose that job. What this man is doing is setting up unrealistic expectations of what faces these children as they grow into mature adults. The world isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. That is life. What you do is keep your own sense of integrity and morality, and work as hard as you can. Some of the best things that come in life are the things that happen to you after you fail at something. Those failures and how you handle them become the very essence of the person that you are. This principal is cheating these kids of that experience at a young age. That of course makes it harder for them to learn that lesson as they grow older.
Parents in this school must stand up to this man and demand that their children be taught the hard lessons in life. You will not always get your way, you will not always succeed the first time at everything you try. The rewards that come in life normally come to those who work hardest for them. It is about time that we, as a society, stop giving these children the idea that everyone gets a pony simply because they exist.
A mom in Michigan made 30 chocolate cupcakes for her son Hunter’s class birthday party. She brought the cupcakes to the office so that they could bring them to the classroom, which they accepted. Within 15 minutes of dropping off her cupcakes, she received a phone call about said cupcakes to tell her that they couldn’t be served.
You see Hunter helped his mom decorate the cupcakes and used toy soldiers to do so. These soldiers were replicas of those who served in WWII. The school, in their infinite wisdom, decided that those soldiers were upsetting to the children and “insensitive”. The school has doubled down and defended this action:
“These are toys that were commonplace in the past,” she wrote. “However, some parents prohibit all guns as toys. In light of that difference, the school offered to replace the soldiers with another item and the soldiers were returned home with the student.”
“Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions,” she stated. “In the climate of recent events in schools we walk a delicate balance in teaching non-violence in our buildings and trying to ensure a safe, peaceful atmosphere.”
First, one would think that someone with the education she must have she would understand that do not live in a democracy, we live in a Constitutional Republic. Look, I understand that there are many parents who do not give their children guns to play with, I respect that. But I don’t see how exposing our children to WWII soldiers is really giving them guns to play with. These soldiers have been rightly labeled “The Greatest Generation”, have we forgotten how much they sacrificed in order to keep the American way of life? This isn’t hyperbole, fascism and totalitarism was on the march and those soldiers gave their lives so it wouldn’t reach our shores.
Hunter’s dad has had this to say:
Fountain said it was beyond outrageous to compare American soldiers to deranged mass murderers.
“In our politically correct society they can’t separate the good from the bad,” he said. ”I’m sure hammers are allowed in schools — although a lot of people are killed by hammers.”
We have become so politically correct in our society that we can’t see the forest thru the trees.
Another similar incident is making some news as well.
Do you remember the Denise’s husband Martin from the Cosby Show? His real name is Joseph C. Phillips, he is married with children and living in the Los Angeles area. His son is 15 years old. He used his own money to buy himself one of those air BB guns. He was very proud of his purchase, I am sure that he used money he earned at his dad’s restaurant was part of that pride. His son was showing a picture (yes, you read that correctly) on his phone to his friends. A teacher happened to be walking by. The teacher not only confiscated the phone, he also questioned the boy’s mental state. To make matters worse, his parents were not contacted by the school. His son finally told him about the incident days after it happened. Phillips (a Facebook friend of mine) was furious. Part of the letter he sent to the school:
It may come as a shock to Mr. DeLarme, It may even be news to you, but my son is not the only boy in Woodland Hills with a BB gun. There are quite a few boys attending your school who not only own BB guns, but own real guns as well. (Some of them play air soft with my son!) Their fathers, mothers, and brothers also own guns and shoot regularly. Owning a gun is NOT a sign of mental illness. Owning a BB gun is NOT an indication of mental instability! Certainly, showing friends a photograph of a gun is NOT a warning sign that a student is a potential danger to his classmates! I object, in the strongest of terms, to my son being treated as a potential danger and to his being threatened with law enforcement. I further object to not being notified! If Mr. DeLarme truly believed my son presented a danger, both my wife and I should have been notified immediately!
Turns out this teacher is a strong advocate of gun control. Shocker!!!
”…our country’s position on gun control and violence is what makes such situations probable.”
It is not only acceptable, but preferable, that a teacher reach out about a student that they feel is mentally unstable and who could potentially cause harm to others. But that doesn’t mean that every 15-year-old who shoots air guns is that danger. Plenty of children play with air guns or paint guns. My nephew used to love to play with paint guns when he was younger. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. He is all grown and has never shot anyone. As far as I know, he doesn’t even own a gun today. But the most reprehensible part of this story is that they were threatening this child with law enforcement without contacting his parents. This is a minor we are talking about here. A parent has the right to know that his child is being looked at as a danger to others.
We have gone way too far. Schools have a responsibility to protect their students to the best of their abilities. That doesn’t give them the right to treat children who are interested in WWII soldiers and BB Guns as criminals.
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In Aurora, Colorado the local elementary school has set up a tutoring program. The problem is that the program was initially set up for students of color only.
I can see that they want to help students of color due to the fact that there are achievement gaps between white and black students. But you can’t exclude students based only on color.
Just ask yourself if this said for whites only.
Now that this is getting national attention a new letter will be sent home saying this was a misunderstanding. Uh huh.
Here’s the question we Democrats need to ask ourselves: Are we beholden to the public school system at any cost, or are we beholden to the public school child at any cost?
Michelle Rhee on her transformation of supporting school vouchers.
Sadly, we already know the answer to this question.
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Meet Henry. He is fighting for his right to go to school. This isn’t about school choice as the school is directly across the street. This is about Henry’s disabilities. He is learning, hearing, and talking impaired due to Autism. But he is obviously a very smart young man, he communicated with his tablet and specialized software. The school system has decided that they are not the right place for his type of disabilities. This is a clear violation of the law. But the Florida school system could care less.
The public school systems in this country discriminate against developmentally disabled children all the time. It is a common occurrence, especially since the law in most states is written to make it virtually impossible for the parents to fight back. Each case must be heard individually in a court of law. The school systems have attorneys that they have on retainer. Parents do not. The costs to fight these rulings are sometimes out of reach for the everyday American family.
Henry want to go to class and be like other kids, something that is important to most young adults. They want to fill in. While this isn’t something that I think is great thing, but it is an understandable thing. This young man has many impediments in front of him, the last one should be discrimination coming from the very public school system that his parents pay taxes to fund.
It may be possible that Henry will not able to do well in this environment. He may need a different approach to his education pursuits. But why isn’t he being given the chance to succeed? Why is Hillsborough County School refusing to even give this boy a chance?
I understand the resources are limited in a public school system, but it seem to me that those resources are best utilized on a student who is as eager to learn as Henry as.
I Stand with Henry. After watching this video I think you may want to as well. (Sorry, I can’t get it to embed for some reason)
Give this young man a chance to prove what he is made of. Here is his Facebook page if you care to stand with too.
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During my career, I met with thousands of parents. I have never met a parent who did not want for his or her child what I wanted for my own sons and now my grandchildren, a quality public school education. In fact, I have met far too many parents in neighborhoods with failing schools who lacked the financial resources for private school, the political connections for magnet schools, or the luck of winning the lottery for a charter school. (Philadelphia has more than 30,000 children on charter-school waiting lists.) Providing these captive parents with broad school-choice options is the only chance to improve public schools as a whole. Expanding charter schools and passing school-voucher legislation, as being voted on right now in Harrisburg, will end the public school monopoly that has failed low-income neighborhoods. Allowing parents to vote with their feet and letting some education funding to follow children to new schools is the drastic measure necessary for improving the public-education system. The more choices parents have, the better education their children will receive
This is part of an OP-ED written by Arlene Ackerman, former teacher, administrator, and chancellor of the public school system in Philadelphia.
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Any thinking person in this country has to admit that our public education system is broken. We only rank #21 in the world for the population with the most high school and college graduates. The system is stuck on stupid and continues to go down hill.
The literacy rates among fourth grade students in America are sobering. In a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, one out of three students scored “below basic” on the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Reading Test. Among these low performing students, 49 percent come from low-income families. Even more alarming is the fact that more than 67 percent of all US fourth graders scored “below proficient,” meaning they are not reading at grade level.
Reading proficiency among middle and high school students isn’t much better. On the 2009 NAEP Reading Test, about 26 percent of eighth graders and 27 percent of twelfth graders scored below the “basic” level, and only 32 percent of eighth graders and 38 percent of twelfth graders are at or above grade level.
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum you must realize that this is quickly becoming an issue of national security. We cannot continue to perform on the world stage if we can’t get fourth graders reading at grade level. Public schools are not going anywhere and they must be fixed.
The problem becomes how do we fix them. Conservatives and liberals have different views on how this should be accomplished. Typically conservatives are for school choice and allowing the money to follow the child. Liberals are putting more money into the system. Neither one of these solutions on their own will solve the problems that we have. We need to move beyond political ideology to find the solutions that are right for the local population of school aged children.
One of the latest trends in education is college prep courses for everybody. Some children are not going to go to college, and it is not always about money. Some kids just are not cut out for post-secondary education. A case in point, I have a family member who had some issues while in high school. Nothing major, but enough that he could have easily gone down the wrong path. After graduation and shortly after 9/11 he decided to join the marines. He signed up for a four-year stint and was given some educational incentives. After serving his four years and spending some time in Iraq at the onset of the war, he decided to get out of the marines and go to college. He believed that is what his mother wanted him to do. His mother wanted him to be happy and a well-adjusted adult. He went to college for one semester and dropped out. He then flitted around doing some interesting jobs; including fishing in Alaska. What he realized is that he liked the structure that the corp provided for him. He is back in the marines, happily married and a daddy of a beautiful baby girl. The military is something that works for him. He has served in a theater of war, he understands what he has committed to. It may not be everyone else’s choice of a career, but for him it is a fit. He is happy, so his mother is happy for him.
But we continue to push the narrative that a college education is mandatory. It is not, nor is it the best thing for every kid.
Over time, it morphed into the theology that every child should go to college (a four-year liberal-arts college at that) and therefore every child should be required to pursue a college-prep course in high school. The results have been awful. High school dropout rates continue to be a national embarrassment. And most high school graduates are not prepared for the world of work. The unemployment rate for recent high school graduates who are not in school is a stratospheric 33%. The results for even those who go on to higher education are brutal: four-year colleges graduate only about 40% of the students who start them, and two-year community colleges graduate less than that, about 23%. “College for everyone has become a matter of political correctness,” says Diane Ravitch, a professor of education at New York University. “But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than a quarter of new job openings will require a bachelor of arts degree. We’re not training our students for the jobs that actually exist.” Meanwhile, the U.S. has begun to run out of welders, glaziers and auto mechanics–the people who actually keep the place running.
One of the solutions for our educational system is being played out in Arizona.
Two years later, with the $2.4 million agricultural- and technical-sciences building up and running, Martin says, “It’s without doubt the best program we have. It’s an alternative way to teach them math, science and reading. They love it. They’re attentive, working hard, hands on.” McBride imports veterinarians from around the country to visit the reservation and work with the 226 students, who assist in both operating theaters, prepping animals for surgery and learning how to suture, draw blood and give injections. The veterinary clinic has become a valued resource on the reservation, but more than that, the academic results have been spectacular. “Nearly every one of these kids passed the state comprehensive test we give to 17-year-olds in Arizona,” Martin told me. “Less than about 40% of my non-vocational-education students passed.
Clyde McBride pushed and pushed to get this program into place at one of the reservations. These kids are doing well, they are excited to learn and are happy to be in school everyday. They are learning, but more importantly they are gaining a work ethic that will follow them for the rest of their lives. Some of these kids are college bounds kids, but they have a step up on many others who go to college, for one thing they have already been given a skill that will be useful to their professional lives. They have direction in their lives. They are not in college to go to parties and “find themselves”.
School systems are beginning to see that doing away with career path education programs was a mistake that was made 40 years ago. They were considered racist, as many in the programs were people of color. It wasn’t that the programs were wasteful, they were just not done properly. There are many high schools popping up all over the nation that are giving career skills to students. Not all of these schools are in poor urban areas or have a majority of minorities in them. One of my local high schools has a career track for students. I am not sure of all the different offerings that they have, but one is in retail fashion and the other is in hairdressing. Both will give high school students a marketable skill that they can use immediately following graduation to find themselves a job. I have not been to this hairdresser in quite some time, but I used to pay $300 to have my hair highlighted and cut. She and her now husband paid for their rather large wedding themselves. He is a chef. My only point being that obviously they made a good living in order to pay for that wedding and still own a home.
What sense does it make for students to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans when so many don’t graduate? College has become like a rite of passage instead of what it should be; a means to an end. The end result being an education that will give that person the ability to obtain marketable skills and a job. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that college is a waste of time, but it certainly is not for everyone. There is a student loan bubble getting bigger all the time and sooner or later this bubble is going to burst.
We need to stop thinking in terms of a one size fits all mentality that post secondary education is mandatory for all. It isn’t. There are plenty of jobs that are good paying and do not require a 4 year college degree. We need to change the paradigm of education in this country and realize that what worked in the 70′s is obviously no longer working. We need to look at the programs around the country that are successful and adapt them to different community needs. Obviously a school that offers vet clinic services isn’t going to work in the inner city. But other programs will. Inner city communities need bus drivers, truck drivers, mechanics, machine operators, construction workers, and a variety of other skilled workers. It is time that we stop being so snobby and realize that those jobs help make America run too.
Seriously, I have long since thought that we should just let Mexico have California back. Go ahead and give it to them. Of course they have to take the debt with them too. I am sure there are very nice people living in California; MAInfo and Left Coast Rebel to name just two, but they just keep scraping the bottom of the barrel. I am at the point that I have to wonder how there is any barrel left to scrape.
Drop out rates are alarmingly high in the Los Angeles Unified School District, 1 in 3 will not finish high school. Considering that they are spending somewhere close to $28K per student one would have to say they are doing a bang up job with the taxpayer funds that they are allocated.
One would think with numbers this abysmal they would try some out of the box thinking in order to get improvement. Say maybe open more charter schools, maybe do a voucher program to help these students who want a good education to get into a better school system, or even allow students to go to better public schools. Alas, no that is not what they decided to do. In their infinite wisdom they have decided that the best course of action is to lower the standards it takes to graduate. That’s right, just pass them along anyway. You will now be considered passed with a grade of D. Apparently learning something isn’t the goal. Just getting you passed along is good enough.
As it stands now only 15% of the students from this school system can pass the entrance exams to enter into the Cal State University System, which really isn’t so bad when you consider that 50% of them don’t bother finishing the prep classes. So lowering the standards is going to help with that endeavor? I guess they will worry about those dismal numbers at a later date.
Good call. Homeschool anyone?
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It seems that New York City has decided it needs to do something about the levels of sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancies. While the horse has long left that barn, in their infinite wisdom, they have decided to require sex ed to all public school students. Students will get one semester in six or seventh grade and again at nine or tenth grade. While I feel that it is important to talk to your children about sex and the dangers of pregnancy and STD’s, it is the graphic nature of these discussions that are very objectionable.
* Kids ages 11 and 12 sort “risk cards” to rate the safety of various activities, including “intercourse using a condom and an oil-based lubricant,’’ mutual masturbation, French kissing, oral sex and anal sex
We are going to be teaching 11 year olds about anal sex? That is considered a good idea? While I fully understand kids are by nature curious, this is not something that a stranger should be talking to our children about.
But, it gets better. The high schoolers will be involved in pseudo field trips that include:
* High-school students go to stores and jot down condom brands, prices and features such as lubrication.
* Teens research a route from school to a clinic that provides birth control and STD tests, and write down its confidentiality policy.
Just what I want, my teen being ordered to shop for condoms and a good route to a clinic that will give my child birth control pills without my consent. But I would have to say the topper is:
* Teens are referred to resources such as Columbia University’s Web site Go Ask Alice, which explores topics like “doggie-style” and other positions, “sadomasochistic sex play,” phone sex, oral sex with braces, fetishes, porn stars, vibrators and bestiality
.Today on Go Ask Alice, the topics include oral sex and non latex condoms and easing orgasms for women. Just the things I would want my teenager daughter to learn from someone who doesn’t love her or know her as well as her mom does. The department of Ed says that they are stressing that abstinence is the only way to avoid STD’s pregnancy. That seems pretty obvious to me from the workbooks!! A Child psychologist is concerned about the teaching methods that are going to be used:
“Kids are being told to either abstain or use condoms — that both are responsible, healthy choices,” said child and adolescent psychiatrist Miriam Grossman, author of “You’re Teaching My Child What?”
The DOE “relies on latex,” she said.
But Grossman argues that the books minimize the dangers that pregnancy can still occur with condom use, and that viruses such as herpes and HPV live on body parts not covered by a condom.
Parents will be allowed to opt their child out on the prevention part of the course, but the part that they learn what “doggie style” is, is mandatory. Well yee ha, ride ‘em cowboy.
H/T to The Other McCain
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