Many reasons for backlash against sex ed class
Regarding “Sex education class a no-go in Southern Maryland” published March 8, the backlash was not because Bianca Palmisano is a lesbian. The opposition has everything to do with the content of her talk, the agenda she promotes and the fact that, contrary to what some are saying, no permission was required from parents for children to attend. If Ms. Palmisano was truly an expert on sex education, she would understand that 12 year olds and 17 year olds should not be lumped together in the same sex ed talk. I think most parents and teachers understand that simple notion. In Waldorf, her own flyer stated that her talk was for 12-18 year olds. Seriously? That she would include a 12-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man in the same conversation about sex argues against expertise in this area. Much of the opposition to the selection of Ms. Palmisano stems from the feeling that an agenda was being pushed in the choice of such a radical, liberal extremist to teach, or “groom,” our children on sex, at taxpayer expense. She describes herself as a “sex educator, vivacious queer, feminist.” She is an LGBT activist, a promoter of the legalization of prostitution, and a self-described pole dancer.
In her Slut Walk 2013 presentation (do we really want someone who wears the title “slut” like a badge of honor teaching children about sex?), she talks about hosting workshops in which expertise on threesomes and rough sex is shared among other things. Palmisano also gives presentations on BDSM. Should someone who believes that violence has a place in sex be charged with educating our children on sex? I watched her proposed presentation on periscope. tv. Among the things she discusses or mentions in her presentation are sex toys, gender transitions, sex work, consent while intoxicated, and more that can’t be mentioned in this paper. What parent would want their 12 year old exposed to this information, especially without their knowledge? Another source of opposition stems from the fact that no parental permission was required, despite a recent claim by Ms. Palmisano that she would have required such forms. Really? She didn’t include that information in her advertisement. Parents were not permitted to attend the talk, so when were these forms to be distributed to parents to discuss and sign? Michael Blackwell, the director of the St. Mary’s County library system, stated that the library was not planning to require parental consent forms because he and his staff “rely on parents knowing what their kids are doing.” The truth is that no one was requiring parental consent for children as young as 12 to attend this talk — not the library and not Ms. Palmisano. Additionally, the library advertised that “safer sex kits,” which were to include lubricants, would be available to those in attendance. Yes, even the 12 year olds. After the talks in St. Mary’s County were cancelled, Ms. Palmisano displayed a lack of graciousness in claiming that “much of the pushback is in regards to [her] being a lesbian.” She also accused the commissioners of having backward values and played the patriarchy and race cards by suggesting that no one should be surprised that our commissioners are a bunch of white males. Seriously? Nice choice, Mr. Blackwell. I question whether Mr. Blackwell even now understands the problem because his apology for how the program was marketed totally misses the point. Marketing was not the problem. He then doubled down by stating “We weren’t bringing strippers to the library.” Great. Apparently, that’s where the director of our county libraries sets the bar. Rich Olon, Leonardtown