Originally, "health" was part of the required curriculum. But back in 1998 we
got the State Board of Education to remove it. Now the sex-ed lobby wants
to do an end-around the (relatively sane) Board of Education -- where this
decision would normally reside -- and ram this through the (more gay-friendly)
Legislature, by sticking it into a relatively unrelated part of the Mass General
Laws. But this time it's with a twist: they're including the
"updated" 1999 version of the health curriculum frameworks. They must be
We went right to work. At the time, Dr. John Silber was chairman of the State
Board of Education. We showed him, and other Committee members, exactly what was
being taught as "health" in these required courses. He was shocked and upset, to say the least.
Many of you remember that
Dr. Silber was not worried about being politically correct. So at the very next
meeting, the Board REMOVED Health from the core curriculum frameworks.
(see article below)
This has bothered the Planned Parenthood and homosexual lobby ever since. Now
they've decided to do an end run around
the Board of Education, and (in an unprecedented move) get the Legislature to
put an even WORSE set of "health" guidelines into the core curriculum frameworks
necessary to graduate.
VOTE IS DUE ON MANDATING HEALTH CLASSES
Jordana Hart, Boston Globe
April 9, 1998
The state Board of Education is expected to vote today
to remove health and physical education classes from the
list of core academic subjects in Massachusetts, a move
that has triggered some opposition.
State education officials say the vote is simply to
clarify how much time, under education reform, must be
spent in schools on "core" subjects such as mathematics and
English. With students to be tested statewide for the first
time on these core academic subjects next month, and with
scores expected to be low, officials said they want to
ensure that enough class time is spent on them in coming
But health education advocates including Planned
Parenthood, the National Cancer Society, and the
Massachusetts Medical Society are protesting that the vote
may cut the time students spend in health classes, which
include topics ranging from nutrition to sexuality and AIDS
prevention to race relations.
Board of Education members emphasize that state law will
continue to require that schools teach health and physical
education, although without specifying time spent.
Health education advocates "think it is a crisis,
because they don't read the law," said board member Edwin
Delattre, who proposed the amendment. "It is not a matter
of saying you won't have them. You have to have them. No
one in intending to change the law."
But health education advocates say health classes could
still become sidelined.
"They are required by law. But if they are not part of
the core, the law doesn't determine how much time or how
many years students must receive them," said Patricia
Degon, the Shrewsbury schools health and physical education
director and cochairwoman of the Alliance for Comprehensive
School Health Education.
The core subjects in which students will eventually be
tested statewide include math, science, technology, history
and social studies, English, foreign languages, and some
Some health educators say the vote is an effort by the
board to appease the minority of conservative parents who
do not want schools to teach subjects such as AIDS
prevention or homosexuality.
Currently, parents who object to a health class subject
can remove their children from those classes.
But in some cases, local districts have said that
because health classes are currently included in the common
core of learning, a child is required to attend. In a
letter to a Newton parent who wanted his daughter excused
from the classes, one school principal said she could not
be excused because the classes were part of the state
curriculum framework for health studies.
"Schools are using the common core as a way to tell
parents they have to" keep their children in these classes,
said the parent, Brian Camenker, who is a conservative
activist and member of Stand Up Newton, a group that
opposes city health benefits to gay and lesbian couples.
His daughter was eventually excused after Camenker told her
to skip the class.
Newton parent Ellen Parker, a tobacco education
specialist for the Newton Board of Health, said, "There are
parents whose religious beliefs do not allow their kids to
even watch a movie in a social studies class. But don't
punish an entire school system because of your narrow-
minded views," she said, by removing health classes from
And the fight goes on. . .