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DUMP NEW CATHOLIC SEX EDUCATION PROGRAM

In Buffalo News articles covering the U.S. bishops' adoption of guidelines for sex education in Catholic schools, Bishop Head commented that human sexuality has been taught in a majority of elementary schools and all diocesan high schools for many years.

This may come as a surprise to many parents whose children have been taught Planned Parenthood type sex education without their knowledge or permission.

Sex education at the elementary school level is introduced cautiously, parish by parish. Complaints to diocesan officials are dismissed with claims that the pastor of each parish is responsible for programs. Parents are invited to informational meetings that are thoroughly controlled. They are not permitted access to the classroom instruction. Those who ask too many questions or indicate reservations are identified as divisive and are either neutralized or ridiculed.

These are the parents Bishop Head pointed to as the few he has heard from in objection to the classroom sex education programs. However, for every few he hears from, there are hundreds more who, in spite of their own best judgment, have allowed themselves to be intimidated by the options the bishop mentions (for instance, letting the child suffer the discrimination of sitting alone in another room or taking the child out of the school).

There is another group of parents who are willing to become unwitting partners in the violation of the church's ban against classroom sex education. They don't realize the wisdom inherent in the stand that a child deserves to have instruction in human sexuality given in a loving, individual manner by parents or someone chosen by them, so as to preserve their spiritual, emotional and psychological well-being.

Finally, there are parents who know and follow what the church says about classroom sex education and have suffered to see their children's right to Catholic education trampled on. So many young people reject the church and leave. Others reject it but stay, openly challenging its teaching on sexual morality, including abortion and contraception.

Its too simplistic to blame it all on lack of parental involvement and the media. After all these years of Catholic classroom sex education, it's time for the U.S. bishops to take their share of the blame, trash the new sex education guidelines and enforce the Vatican guidelines already in place.

SARAH ZILBAUER
Grand Island

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