Annabeth Mellon said the sexual education lessons she received at her rural Alabama middle school were inadequate at best.
“They separated men and women in two different rooms,” she told NBC News. “If we discussed with someone from the opposite sex what we saw, we would be suspended. I thought, ‘What could they possibly be showing the boys that I couldn’t know about?’”
Mellon, now 19 and openly bisexual, said those sex-ed classes — which made no mention of LGBTQ people or same-sex sexual activity — did not provide her with much useful information. And, she added, they reinforced the notion that sex — especially non-heterosexual sex — was something dirty, something one shouldn’t talk about.
“There was a rule in our dress code that you couldn’t wear anything that implied gay pride, because it was so controversial,” she said. “I never had a teacher say being gay is wrong, but I was in an environment where I understood if people knew this awful thing about me, I wouldn’t be safe.”
Alabama, where Mellon attended school, is one of seven states with so-called "no promo homo" laws, education laws that explicitly prohibit the positive portrayal of homosexuality in schools.
Read the rest here.
Part of me is surprised; part of me isn't. That those states which notoriously comprise "the bible belt" are the leading participants in this exercise in shaming and misinformation is all but an automatic. That any such practice continues in what should be a modern day and age and in the face of recent legal gains by the LGBTQ community is simply astonishing.
As for "no promo homo," apparently the very mention of any kind of alternative sexuality amounts to promoting it, in the eyes of the atavistic backers of this policy. Apparently Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 mean more to them than the healthy and happy development of children for whom a superimposed norm of sexual behavior is plainly not just non-functional but damaging to their growth.
That this brand of thinking still persists in the here and now – jaw hits floor.
Loren, in California your jaw will remain where it is.
Educators here brag that when the Feds were paying for abstinence-only sex ed, no school district ever taught it. Better than that, CA law has for maybe twenty years required any district that teaches sex ed to teach a medically accurate sex ed.
Tom, California is possibly the most enlightened state in this union. It also might as well be light-years away from the bible belt. The problem is that we still have to deal with the likes of Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi, in addition to Alabama, which is the focus of this story. Their entrenched insistence on ignorance remains both embarrassing and problematic, and it gives me to wonder what it will take to deal with such an attitude.
The one obvious thing that could be even better about California law is that it could require every district to teach medically accurate, factual, realistic, inclusive sex ed. No opting out, just as they can't opt out of math or English.
But-but-but ... that discriminates against religion! Oh, GEE! [guffaw!]
Even here, Loren. Our small bible-enclaves are so near - small black spots on the map. They keep quiet because they are minorities, but behind closed doors and in their separate schools the evil goes on...
And the saddest part is that the ones who are the most likely to get hurt from all of this are the kids who get caught in the indoctrination. That REALLY pisses me off.