The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has, since 1970, pushed for sex education in public schools. In 1986, its president, Faye Wattleton, stated that PPFA had established a goal of getting kindergarten through twelfth grade sex education mandated in every school district in the nation. Planned Parenthood sees sex education as a way of indoctrinating our children with PP’s philosophies-philosophies that include the acceptance of abortion and deviant sexual practices, philosophies that are in direct opposition to the teachings of most churches in this country.
The Religious Debate
Many who fight Planned Parenthood sex ed programs come to realize that they are in the middle of a religious fight. Planned Parenthood is in the business of spreading the ideas and philosophies of the Humanist Manifestos to the community in general and to our children in particular. Since public schools are not supposed to get into the teaching of religion, many people feel hindered in the sex ed battle. They hear the arguments of the other side, which says, “Don’t force your values on the schools!”
Parents are not sure how to respond. Our advice is to look at the matter from a different perspective…
You are not going to ask the schools to teach your religion. You and your church can do that just fine. But you must insist that the schools not teach your children things that are against your religion. If your religion says abortion is wrong, the schools have no right to teach your children that abortion is okay. If your religion says homosexuality is wrong, the schools have no right to teach your children that homosexuality is okay. If your religion teaches that premarital sex is a sin, the schools have no right to teach your children that it is normal and acceptable behavior.
Since you pay for the schools with your tax money, you have an obligation to see to it that the school does not use your money to teach against your religion. This is the argument that won the battle against the offensive “Rainbow Curriculum” in New York City schools and led to the firing of the schools’ chancellor.
What To Expect…
Planned Parenthood’s sex education programs have been thrown out of a number of school districts and some districts have strict policies against Planned Parenthood material. To be successful in this effort, you must be persistent. A typical scenario when you are trying to unseat an existing program in your schools is:
YEAR 1: The school board will try to put you off until June in hopes that you will go away.
YEAR 2: The school board will try to make some small, insignificant compromise to placate you so that you will go away.
YEAR 3: The school board will be surprised you have not gone away and will begin to take you seriously. Now is the time to reiterate your goals and to drive for complete success.
In this section, we will give you concrete advice on how to effectively fight sex education programs advocated by Planned Parenthood in public schools. These are not theoretical methods. They are the result of real fights in real school districts. The one thing that we can assure you is that victories against PP sex education programs are won by ordinary people, people who are no different from you and who had a faith in God that allowed them to succeed.
As you read the techniques, remember that you too can defeat sex education. Remember also that this fight has a religious aspect. As described earlier, you must oppose these programs to protect your children from being turned against your religious beliefs. Therefore, enter the fight with a strong faith in God and know that if you do His will, you will win. So let’s take a look at what you have to do (remember that most fights do not involve all the things listed; God will direct you to what is appropriate for your town)…
Rely on God to direct your efforts. Read Matthew, Chapter 10, for direction and whenever you get discouraged.
Discover What Is Going On
Make sure you take the time, in the beginning, to find out exactly what is going on in your school. You cannot fight these programs with generalities. You must know exactly what is going on in your school and be able to document it. A couple of months of quiet fact-gathering and documenting will pay dividends later when the battle heats up.
If you do not know where to start looking, a good place is in the health curriculum in fifth, seventh and eleventh grades. These seem to be the entry grade levels for Planned Parenthood sex ed programs. See how abortion, homosexuality and masturbation are treated in these courses. It will tell you a great deal about your school’s sex ed. If you find objectionable material, make copies of it.
Use the Freedom of Information Law to obtain information from the schools. In addition to the curriculum, you should ask to see any pamphlets or other handouts used in the class and you should view any films used. Do not let them hide anything!
When trying to find out what is going on in your school district, one good source is the teacher’s reference section of the school library. These are the books intended for teacher use in preparing lessons and most of the hard-core texts can be found here. Go to the teacher’s reference library and look for books on human sexuality. If you find objectionable material, make copies of it.
The key to finding out what is going on in your school is persistence. Do not let anyone put you off. If you need material, call daily until you get it and visit the school office daily if that is what it takes.
Know the school education laws in your state. Know what is mandatory and what is not. If you do not know the laws, write to your state department of education and ask for a copy of all laws dealing with sex education, AIDS education, family life education and human growth and development courses.
Document The Situation
If you become aware of a problem, document the problem and, if possible, get more than one student’s word for it. Keep a logbook of all your activities and write down summaries of all conversations with officials, including dates and the names of all attendees.
Document your objections to the school program. You will find that the other side will distort your real concerns, so take the time to write out specifically what your objections are.
Put your recommended action in writing-that way there can be no controversy over exactly what you are seeking. Ask for what you really want. Don’t be shy or humble. If you want to throw sex ed and Planned Parenthood out of your schools, say so!
Whenever possible, you should work with the school administration to get rid of offensive programs before going to the school board. Although you must fight against what is in your district, do not hesitate to cite examples and problems with programs in other districts. Cite national numbers and important research to bolster your case.
Do not hesitate to face the other side head on. The fact is that most pro-lifers are better prepared to discuss these issues than most of the sex education supporters. Never be afraid to confront them. You will have greater knowledge than they do, and you have the Holy Spirit on your side!
Be careful of PTA’s. Planned Parenthood has gone to great lengths to infiltrate national and state PTA’s. Before you trust any PTA, be sure to check out the leadership and find out what values they are pushing.
Education: The Key
The local clergy can be of great help in this battle. Educate the clergy and enlist them in your efforts. If they will not vocally support you, see if you can at least get them to remain neutral and not support the other side.
Educate the parents about Planned Parenthood so that they can see that the activity in your school district is part of a nationwide push for sex ed. They must understand that this type of “education” is part of Planned Parenthood’s game plan.
Invite school board members to your informational meetings. Treat them as allies until and unless they prove, by their actions, they are not.
You never know what will change the mind of a school board member. It may be his daughter or a friend. When fighting these sex ed programs, get to know about your school board members, where they work, where they go to church, what their hobbies are, and who their friends are. In this way, you will be ready to follow through on any opportunities that arise. A school board member, like anyone else, will listen to a friend sooner than to a stranger.
It is usually very helpful to form an organization to carry on the fight. The organization does not have to be very formal or have a lot of members at first. It should have a name like “Concerned Parents of _____” or something similar.
Remember, before going to the school board, know exactly what the issue is you want to raise and exactly what you want the school board to do about it.
Meeting The School Board
Attend several of your local school board meetings so that you can understand how they are run and when would be the appropriate time for you to speak. Talk with school board members about general topics concerning the school.
Make your presentation to the school board a professional one. Type out your remarks and provide copies to each board member.
Read to the school board the actual material that is being used in the school. In many instances this will be obscene material and the school board will stop you. This makes your point about why you are outraged. In 2002, when a father in Coronado, CA showed some pages of Planned Parenthood’s website for teens to the local school board, the shocked board members promptly canceled Planned Parenthood presentations in the school’s health classes.
Accept suggestions of the school board on how to settle the issue. Do not refuse to talk to employees of the school district unless you have already done so and can demonstrate that they are unresponsive.
Understand exactly what your objective is and accept a solution that will accomplish that objective-even if it is not exactly what you had asked for.
If the issue is not resolved quickly, ask the school board for a vote. Record how each member votes. This will give you information as to which members are on your side and which are not.
Prior to any scheduled vote, have your supporters call the school board members at home. This has a great impact if it is done considerately. Tell your people not to call after 9:00 pm and always to speak respectfully to the school board member or members of his or her family.
Don’t count your victories and losses by the voting of the school board. The parents in one school district lost the school board vote, but won everything! Make sure all your supporters understand that their job is not to win school board votes. Their job is to proclaim the truth, to shout from the housetops the clear message of Jesus Christ. Their task is to rouse the people and get them out to school board meetings, get them to write letters and to sign petitions-in other words, to get the community involved. If they will do this, they will win-regardless of how the school board votes.
If the school board violates your state laws in its dealings with you, do not be afraid to report them to the proper authorities. In many states, the state education department has a procedure for filing grievances against the school board. Use it.
Educating The Community
If the school board will not listen to you, do not be afraid to go directly to the community. Use the letters-to-the-editor column in your local papers to ask pertinent questions and bring the attention of the community to what is going on in the schools. Most people have a built-in trust of the schools, so you must present factual information to overcome this feeling and get people to view the facts.
Respond to the arguments of your adversaries on issues that affect the community. Get the students involved when appropriate and spread the fight to include an objection to Planned Parenthood in general, not just to the specific program involved.
Circulating a petition against the school programs is a good idea. It not only gives you something tangible to show school officials, but it will provide you with a mailing list for your organization. You should use this list and mail monthly updates to the people who signed, telling them what is going on in the school. You can also use the list for a special mailing to get people out to important meetings.
Solicit support from parents; if there is already a sex ed program in the school, the parents should organize and remove their children from the program. This will send a clear message to the school administration.
Be careful of committees
There is an apparent strategy among the pro-sex education people to get bothersome parents tied up in useless committees while Planned Parenthood goes about the real agenda. Do not refuse to sit on committees, but size up the committee action quickly and be prepared to continue your other activities even though you are on the committee.
Do not be surprised if the sex education supporters lie to keep their program. But be sure you do not resort to the same tactics. Be sure all your statements are true. That way, the school board will quickly learn they can rely on your information and must question what the sex education supporters are saying.
If you are presented with an opportunity to have an effect on school policy (such as with an access policy), take it. Try to get the best policy statements you can. You never know when they will be beneficial to your goals.
Run For The School Board
If you have followed all the steps so far and nothing has worked, run a supportive person for your local school board. School boards normally elect some members every year. Let the board members know you are serious by running a candidate. And make sure that all the churches and organizations in your area who support your position get out the vote for your candidate.
You are in this fight for the children. Certainly you are not in it for financial gain or because you have nothing better to do with your time. And you are not in it to gain the perceived power of elective office. Therefore, if you decide to run for the school board, do it on the issues. Remember, if you run on the issues and get the message out, even if you lose you win.
Rely On God
Rely on God to direct your efforts.
These are the actions you can take to rid your schools of Planned Parenthood. We cannot tell you how long the fight will take. It may be a month or it may take several years. But, however long it takes, you and your children will be better off for your having waged the campaign.
And, remember, above all else, when you fight against sex ed programs in schools, you are fighting for God. You could not pick a better partner!