Letter to the Editor as printed in the Washington Times, October 2, 2008
Adam Tenner, in his letter responding to your editorial "Sex ed in D.C.," makes it sound as if his organization, Metro TeenAIDS, is an impartial provider of services for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy that always keeps parents informed about what is being taught in its programs.
However, it should be noted that Mr. Tenner, as well as Metro TeenAIDS policy manager Jeremy Ogusky, were members of the committee that drafted the District's new health standards. Most parents don't know that the new health standards specify that in sixth grade, students will learn "that people, regardless of biological sex, gender, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity and culture, have sexual feeling and the need for love, affection and physical intimacy." In eighth grade, they will learn to "*efine sexual orientation, using correct terminology, and explain that as people grow and develop, they may begin to feel romantically and/or sexually attracted to people of a different gender and/or to people of the same gender."
Mr. Ogusky wrote in a March 2007 e-mail sent to local nonprofit organizations: "If in the future, the school board is lobbied by opponents of the new health ed standards, ULTRA Teen Choice will likely be one of them. This is a good opportunity to neutralize them now." Later in 2007, ULTRA Teen Choice was told by D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, without cause, to stop operations in D.C. public schools; reasons were fabricated afterward.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the great majority of textbooks used in "comprehensive" sex education refer to contraceptive use nine times for every one mention of abstinence, rather than emphasizing the importance of the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and moral reasons for waiting to have sex until marriage or a committed lifetime relationship.
As your editorial states, parents should be the ones to decide when, if and how to discuss gender identity, sexual orientation and contraceptive use.
RICHARD URBAN Co-founder
ULTRA Teen Choice