I owe you a follow-up after having defended The One on this last week. FactCheck says the ad’s unfair, partly because the bill never passed and therefore doesn’t qualify as an “accomplishment” and partly because it did include language, as Obama’s long asserted, that each grade level’s sex-ed classes should be age-appropriate. Indeed it did, says York. But it also said this:
The old law read:
Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades 6 through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention, transmission and spread of AIDS.
Senate Bill 99 struck out grade six, changing it to kindergarten, in addition to making a few other changes in wording. It read:
Each class or course in comprehensive sex education in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.
He tracked down the five state senators who sponsored the bill — only one of whom would talk to him, natch — to see how honest Obama’s been in stressing that the thrust of the bill was to teach kids how to recognize molestation:
When I asked Martinez the rationale for changing grade six to kindergarten, she said that groups like Planned Parenthood and the Cook County Department of Health — both major contributors to the bill — “were finding that there were children younger than the sixth grade that were being inappropriately touched or molested.”…
After we discussed other aspects of the bill, I told Martinez that reading the bill, I just didn’t see it as being exclusively, or even mostly, about inappropriate touching. “I didn’t see it that way, either,” Martinez said. “It’s just more information about a whole variety of things that have to go into a sex education class, the things that are outdated that you want to amend with things that are much more current.”
So, I asked, you didn’t see it specifically as being about inappropriate touching?
In fact, the bill was a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s sex ed curriculum, replete with replacing language about teaching abstinence as the “expected norm” with language about abstinence being just one method of preventing pregnancy. Read York for details. My question’s simply this: How do we square the passage on teaching kindergarteners about STDs, which is located in subsection (a) of the bill, with the age-appropriate language in subsection (c)? Quote:
All sex education courses that discuss sexual activity or behavior intercourse shall satisfy the following criteria:
(1) Factual information presented in course material and instruction shall be medically accurate and objective.
(2) All … course material and instruction shall be age and developmentally appropriate.
Obama shills are ignoring the STD clause while Team Maverick’s ignoring the age-appropriate clause, the better to make it seem like The One endorses interrupting sandbox time for show-and-tell sessions involving rolling condoms onto a banana. Alas, they’re both in the bill, leaving us to wonder what sort of information on AIDS and syphilis is “developmentally appropriate” for five-year-olds. The most charitable explanation I can come up with it is that the lessons on inappropriate touching are themselves a form of STD prevention: E.g., “Don’t let the bad man make you touch him down there. Not only is it wrong, but you could get sick.” Any alternate theories?