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June 30, 2005

The cucumber people reach a settlement

Perhaps because of the high-priced legal talent they brought in, the Montgomery County Board of Ed has finally reached a deal to end the litigation over the sex-ed curriculum. (For background see this and the links contained in that post.)

OK, so I'm a couple of days late and a dollar short on this story, which appeared on Tuesday, but I couldn't resist bringing this issue up again because of an amazing letter to the editor of the Post's Montgomery County section today. The letter writer, an adult with teenaged children, insists that her children's college-aged friends had no idea how to put a condom on (the subject of a controversial video that was supposed to be part of the sex-ed curriculum). More amazing, this woman apparently had no idea herself how it was done before watching the video when it was screened for parents. Here's an excerpt from the letter:

While Montgomery County teenagers talk a lot about sex, their conversation is all about heat and almost without light. During a discussion of the sex education controversy with my daughter and two of her friends, I was shocked to find out that these three young adults, who have now completed their first year of college, were not sure how to correctly put on a condom.

I learned this because I was telling them about the video that the school system had planned to use to demonstrate correct condom use (school officials have since said they will not use the video). I had gone to view the video because I wanted to see if it was objectionable. I told them that I did not find it offensive and that I had become a member of, the organization that parents may join to support a fact-based and scientific approach to sex education in Montgomery County public schools.

All three young adults asked me immediately to explain to them what I had learned in the video about correct condom use. Having read the advice about teachable moments, I told them all I had learned from the video. If I had not seen this video, I would not have been able to give them any information.
This is not rocket science. It's not differential equations. It's not ancient Greek. It's not even programming a VCR. There's basically only one way to put it on, and even if you've never used one, if you can't figure it out, then maybe, just maybe, you're dumber than a post and shouldn't be allowed to drive, vote, or procreate. In the case of the letter writer, perhaps you shouldn't have had children.

UPDATE (7/1): Bummed. I sent this letter in to BOTWT; Taranto used it; and I didn't get credit. Memo to self: If you send in something under your blog name, and you've written about it, don't be bashful; send in the permalink, not just your blog URL.