Some history behind H1641 (and S102)

Attempting to undo the work we did back in 1998 to REMOVE it from the core curriculum! -- The Planned Parenthood lobby and gay activists refuse to give up!

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 stopped.

Back in 1998, many parents (including me!) were being told by schools that they could not remove their kids from "health" classes that included homosexuality and Planned Parenthood style anything-goes sexuality -- because health class was part of the "core curriculum" needed to graduate! 

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.

Here's the Boston Globe article, published the morning of April 9, 1998
, as the state Board of Education was about to take the vote to change the core curriculum requirements.

Note in the article the way traditional parents are described as "narrow-minded" and "in the minority" by the proponents of "health".  Some things never change.


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 years.

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 vocational-technical courses.

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 the core.

And the fight goes on. . .