February 14, 2018
Politicians aren't the only ones who can stop Planned Parenthood. Just ask the parents of Cumberland County, North Carolina. When they found out that the country's biggest abortion provider had been put in charge of their kids' sex education, they pitched a fit. And then, to cheers, they pitched the curriculum too!
Like a lot of districts, the families in Cumberland had no idea that Planned Parenthood had pushed their way into local health classes -- and with curriculum so graphic most reporters would be in hot water just for reprinting it! Craig Autrey, a parent and pastor, found out middle schoolers were being exposed to the "Get Real" approach and demanded a copy. What most people don't know, he told me on "Washington Watch," is that parents have a legal right to review whatever their children are being taught.
"The whole nature of this has been very secretive in how it's been rolled out to students here," he explained. "That's why it's so imperative for parents to be involved in your school -- particularly middle school ages where you know sex education is being taught. The parents [here] had no clue... It was piloted in schools where parental enrollment is low..." Obviously, there was a strategy for getting Planned Parenthood's curriculum in under the radar -- with good reason. The "Get Real" approach is hugely controversial, and not just in Cumberland. "Parents were furious that this would even be considered," Craig explained. "We were the only district in North Carolina that had adopted this material. It had already been thrown out of [others]."
Thanks to the outcry of parents, it's now been thrown out of Cumberland too. The program, which did more to sexualize kids than educate them, was tossed out after a heated school board meeting. "It's very crude and almost to a pornograph[ic] level where even things like plastic wrap are talked about as a form of protection during oral sex," a mom of three testified. "I mean, please, let's get real [about Getting Real]." One parent after another stepped up to blast the idea. "A curriculum in the schools that teaches what? Kids to go out and get freaky?" one man said.
From promoting homosexuality and gender confusion to jaw-dropping descriptions of various acts, "It just simply was not appropriate for our sixth grade students," argued even interim superintendent Tim Kinlaw. Ultimately, to the relief of Cumberland parents, leaders voted to pull the plug on the program.
This is exactly the kind of vigilance we need to practice in schools all across America. It's easy to make a difference if we pay attention. To learn how you can get involved, don't miss this important conversation with Elizabeth Schultz and Karen England, who tell parents everything they need to know about public education.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.