Many rea­sons for back­lash against sex ed class

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

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

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