One of the hottest topics in elementary, middle, and secondary schools across America today has nothing to do with academics, sports, or classroom technology.
The subject is sex.
Unsurprisingly, many parents and officials find the explicit discussion of gender and sexuality with children as young as kindergarten very disturbing, and many state legislatures have stepped in to limit these classroom discussions, with Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill being the most widely discussed example.
Many forces are at play here—some unavoidable, some somewhat benign, and some worthy of our keenest suspicion—but the end result is that our nation’s schools are now front and center in a revolutionary ideological movement intent on introducing sexual topics to the standard curriculum to a degree that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago.
Basic biology plays a big role in what is occurring today. At the start of the 20th century, the average age of puberty’s onset was 16 or 17, and the later years of high school as a result became the routine time when many were choosing their future mates among their newly sprouted classmates, whom in many cases they would marry a few years later after graduating and beginning their young adult lives of work and service.
There are many possible reasons, some of them still the subject of ongoing studies, why this is happening, but the average age of puberty is now around 12 years of age, and sexual development among girls is now not uncommon as young as 8 years old. With hormones hopping their way through late elementary and middle schools across our nation, issues that would have been unthinkable to our grandparents are now jumping to the fore. I remember a colleague who taught middle school in one district where I taught high school grimacing as she described sixth grade as “Blow Job Year” during an in-service discussion, and she was both shocked and upset by this new reality.
We are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Running right alongside the earlier onset of sexual—but not emotional—maturity has been what is often called the “pornification” of American culture.
Explicit sexual material is now readily available to any child or adolescent who has the urge to find it—and many more now have this urge at an younger age. What was mysterious and forbidden to previous generations now can be viewed on any cell phone, tablet, or laptop computer around, and much of this is both excruciatingly gynecological and horribly dehumanizing. Don’t think of tender love, gentle intimacy, or doe-eyed romance; instead form a mental picture of total strangers banging away with all the subtlety of two dump trucks in a high-speed collision.
Now imagine being a child trying to process what they are seeing and feeling. Adulthood must seem both confusing and terrifying.
Sex Ed classes have, of course, been a part of schools for a very long time, but what we are seeing in many classrooms today is very, very different. A new generation of Woke educators are now positioning themselves as champions of human sexuality, regardless of their professional credentials or academic subject area, and they deem it essential to have the most frank and open discussions of sexual topics, regarding both their own urges and those of their students, at every possible moment. Therefore, today a first grade teacher comes out to his students, an Art teacher encourages students to make a drawing explaining their gender (or the gender they wish they had), and an English teacher must explain every detail of her surgical transition while encouraging everyone to be mindful of their own sexual fluidity.
Teachers who demand a public endorsement of their own spot on the rainbow of sexual expression and see it as their mission to advocate for their students to celebrate their own orgasms (or the orgasms of their teachers) are, of course, a fairly recent phenomenon. It is likely that no one over the age of twenty-five learned all that much about the sexual proclivities of their teachers—directly from their teachers, at least—or was encouraged to share details of their own erotic yearnings in a classroom setting. If such events were to occur, it would have been referred to the school board for discipline or the police for prosecution.
So what is so different today?
The magical logic that makes all of these conversations somehow acceptable is the belief that educators are protecting students from some undefined harm by both communicating much needed acceptance and providing a safe space for personal sexual exploration. The theory is that an oppressive society and uncaring families are putting the mental health of non-heterosexual students at risk, so it is both necessary and proper for schools to discuss sexuality and openly advocate on behalf these students—often without the knowledge of their parents or guardians.
How our public schools have changed.
Just fifteen or so years ago, when I was still teaching high school English, we were regularly admonished by administrators to never speak to a student alone without the classroom door wide open, immediately refer all matters pertaining to personal issues affecting a student to a Dean or Guidance Counselor, and avoid any discussions that might presume upon the authority of a parent or pass judgment on a parent’s actions.
Clear boundaries were in place, and we were continually reminded of the limits of our classroom roles. We could not even give an aspirin to a student without a written permission form (although condoms were somehow made available through the student health center), and it would have been unthinkable to mentor a student through their sexual yearnings or discuss your own sexual activities with your students.
Perhaps because those were the sunset years of heteronormative assumptions, the biggest fear of most school districts—and the primary reason so many restrictions on teacher-student interactions were in place—was the fear of any funny business between teachers and students of the opposite sex. The stereotypical creepy male teacher preying on an adolescent female student was certainly the main concern, but there have been many, many cases over the years of female teachers engaging in inappropriate relationships with male students, Mary Kay Letourneau being the prime example of this horrid and perverse phenomenon.
Yet, for reasons that are difficult to fathom, the sexualized classrooms of today are considered to be A-OK with many school administrators, and any parental worries about the astoundingly explicit materials and conversations that now are routinely featured in schools across America are dismissed out of hand as being the remnants of the repressive hatreds and bigotries that Woke educators are striving to eradicate through their enlightened teaching.
To even question the curriculum or classroom practices in many school districts today invites being banned from school property, reported to the police, or even being labeled a domestic terrorist because schools have decided they are no longer accountable to the communities they serve. In addition, governmental powers are being invoked to exclude parents from parenting their own children, and mothers and fathers now have no say in many states regarding whether their child chooses a new sexual identity, takes life-altering hormonal drugs, or even has irreversible surgery to alter their genitalia.
A new and amazingly expansive ideology has truly triumphed, and parents are now, thanks to the unyielding—and seemingly uncaring—policies of their local schools, literally the last to know what is happening in the lives of their own children.
Obviously, the relative silence regarding human sexuality that was was common practice in our schools fifty years ago cannot bear the weight of the unwelcome puberty that now plops disconcertingly into the 5th grade or the absurdly easy availability of pornography across America today. However, the hyper-sexualized atmosphere in today’s classrooms, one that both celebrates and encourages gender bending behaviors to a degree unprecedented in human history, perhaps reflects the worst of our present situation instead of searching for the best.
There is nothing heroic about convincing unhappy children and adolescents who are confused about the changes in their bodies—and desperate for trustworthy adult guidance—that the solution to all their problems are cross dressing, breast binding, puberty blockers, or surgical alteration of their genitals.
Although many government bureaucracies and some state legislatures have endorsed these actions, it is worth remembering that what is legal is not always morally correct. History is rife with examples of governments passing laws and regulations that have sanctioned the vilest abuses of human rights, whether we are talking about human slavery, trials for witchcraft, the extermination of Jews and other supposed undesirables, or the use of lobotomies on psychiatric patients. To assume that we have outgrown the mistakes that plagued our past is the most foolish arrogance, and we forget the innate gullibility of humanity at our own peril.
The outrageous experiments that sexually adventurous educators and their fellow travelers in academia and medicine are now inflicting on our young are, in fact, a form of child abuse, and parents and other concerned Americans should be demanding immediate investigations, professional sanctions, and dismissals of those responsible because the human wreckage of this folly will span the generations and ruin the happiness of many individuals and their families.
Most importantly, elected and appointed officials who are either actively enabling this insanity or are simply too cowardly to put a stop to turning our country’s schools into a playground for groomers and enthusiasts for further sexualizing our youngest and most vulnerable should both lose their jobs and bear the full brunt of civil and criminal penalties that must be used to punish those who have forsaken their responsibilities in the name of sexual ideologies that are fashionable—but certainly dead wrong.
I realize many both within the world of education and without feel very strongly that they are the forerunners of a new age of freedom and acceptance that will cause our descendants to celebrate their actions—but fanatics always feel this way. The simple fact that individuals and organizations loudly advocating for these policies seem unwilling to admit even the least possibility that their actions are a horrid betrayal of the trust that communities, parents, and our children have placed in our nation’s schools is the clearest indication that complete disaster lurks dead ahead.
Believing that you are right and actually being right are entirely different, but this societal elevation of feelings over facts in terms of turning our nation’s teachers into the shock troops of sexual indoctrination is yet one more example of the damage done by ignoring inconvenient reality in favor of policies that thrill the true believers but harm our nation and its future—and, most importantly, our children.
Some reasonable approach to sex education in our schools is warranted, but it must be developed with the consent of the communities served by our schools, be grounded in longitudinal studies based on rigorous data collection, and be respectful of the full range of cultural and religious values in our diverse country.
The earlier onset of puberty among our children and our inability to enforce a shred of moral decency in our mass culture and entertainment both make the jobs of teachers and school administrators much more difficult, but erasing any reasonable boundaries between the adult and child worlds in order to shove children into the maelstrom of adult sexual desires is clearly the wrong approach.
Parents have a right to be concerned about the motivations and behaviors of those educators who cannot stop themselves from both oversharing their own intimate experiences and delving into the erotic thoughts of their students. Madness currently abounds in much of of what passes for public schooling today, so we should perhaps not be surprised by this latest manifestation. Although I suspect the pendulum is already swinging back from the worst excesses of this aspect of Progressive political and social dogma, the damage that has been done—and continues to be done—is already incalculable.
To heal our victimized children will be an enormous and likely impossible task, but stopping tenured perverts from continuing this horror is the most important first step every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, sister, and brother who has a voice or a vote in America can take to halt the harm being inflicted.