Strib columnist Nick Coleman wrote recently about the sex ed provision that Gov. Pawlenty forced DFLers to axe from the education bill:
In a last-minute piece of strong-arming that went almost unnoticed, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty forced DFL leaders of the Legislature to drop a comprehensive and moderate sex-education proposal from the $14 billion education bill that passed on the last day of the 2007 session. The sex-ed proposal — backed by educators and the public — was blocked by the extremist conservative forces that Pawlenty has pandered to in his quest for the national limelight. At their insistence, Pawlenty threatened to veto the entire education bill if the sex-ed provision wasn’t dropped. The DFL majority caved, removing the measure and clearing the way for the education bill to pass.
A little while ago, a national study authorized by Congress found that abstinence education programs don’t work. That gave liberals a chance to feel superior because it turns out that preaching traditional morality to students doesn’t change behavior. But in this realm, nobody has the right to feel smug. American schools are awash in moral instruction – on sex, multiculturalism, environmental awareness and so on – and basically none of it works. Sex ed doesn’t change behavior. Birth control education doesn’t produce measurable results. The fact is, schools are ineffectual when it comes to values education. You can put an adult in front of a classroom or an assembly, and that adult can emit words, but don’t expect much impact. That’s because all this is based on a false model of human nature.
I’m inclined to agree with Brooks but I don’t know what Rice County or the Northfield schools offer in the way of sex education programs. Anyone have a link?
And speaking of our sex-drenched culture. How about this t-shirt, available in a downtown store? I’ve been, um, watching for a Northfield woman brave enough to wear it. If you know of someone who wears it, ask her to contact
me my wife.