9/11/2008

John McCain Obama On Education



Those objecting to the ad point out that SB 99, the sex education bill, included the following proviso:

However, no pupil shall be required to take or participate in any family life class or course on HIV AIDS or family life instruction if his parent or guardian submits written objection thereto, and refusal to take or participate in such course or program shall not be reason for suspension or expulsion of such pupil.


This is a joke. Anyone who has had kids going through school knows that very few kids are removed from classes because of these types of objections. There is a great deal of social pressure and the children do not like being singled out.

There is also the claim that the bill only involved teaching children in kindergarden to avoid sexual predators. Yet, the bill did include language such as this:

Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.


Is it really appropriate to have 6 year olds discussion "the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV"? One state Senator tried to get the grades that would discuss this raise to 6th grade, but the amendment was never voted on.

Even discussions such as that by Factcheck.org ignores this provision.

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13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope I am not the only one who has noticed that factcheck.org isn't exactly objective and unbiased. Often it is in the way it characterizes claims by the candidates, other times it is in the focus of or ommissions in its analysis.

David

9/11/2008 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Clark said...

Don't the people who want to reinstate prayer in school use basically the same argument... that those who don't want to participate-- or whose parents don't want them to participate-- can be excused? Why is that an acceptable alternative in that issue, but not on this one?

9/12/2008 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Clark said...

And this neatly skewers the lies the McCain campaign is telling on this issue:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/2008/09/12/sex_ed_ad/

Friday, Sept. 12, 2008 12:01 PDT
Planned Parenthood responds to "perverse" McCain ad
If I were part of the McCain camp, I would probably try to avoid the potentially embarrassing topic of sex education at all costs. But if you've been too busy scoping out the Republicans' other recent attack ads, you may have missed a video clip that takes aim at Obama's education policy. It starts out, predictably enough, with out-of-context newspaper quotes juxtaposed with grinning images of the Democratic candidate, before taking a turn for the bizarre (not to mention untrue). "Obama's one accomplishment? Legislation to teach comprehensive sex education ... to kindergarteners," says the ad's concerned, avuncular narrator. And then, incredulously, "Learning about sex before learning to read?"

As you've likely already assumed, Obama has never supported teaching 5- and 6-year-olds all the ins and outs (pardon the expression) of sex. His bill, as Sam Stein of the Huffington Post explains, was designed to ensure that young children had the knowledge to protect themselves against sexual predators -- an issue I would hope conservatives and liberals agree on. The piece of legislation in question, Illinois State Bill 99, reads, "Course material and instruction shall teach pupils to not make unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances and how to say no to unwanted sexual advances and shall include information about verbal, physical, and visual sexual harassment, including without limitation nonconsensual sexual advances, nonconsensual physical sexual contact, and rape by an acquaintance." As I mentioned in a previous post, age-appropriate elementary school curricula on sex and relationships have already proved successful in the U.K. and Australia.

The Obama camp has already responded, calling McCain's claims "perverse." And Obama's allies at Planned Parenthood, who, along with the Illinois State Medical Society and Public Health Association, endorsed the bill, have hit back with an ad (posted below) debunking the McCain claims. "Doesn't McCain want our children to protect themselves from sex offenders?" the clip's narrator wonders. "Or, after 26 years in Washington, is he just another politician who will say anything to get himself elected?" Good questions, both.

― Judy Berman


And here's the counterad, just to keep things "fair and balanced."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGBa-4ufCFg

9/12/2008 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salon magazine = left wing rag. It's analysis reeks of left wing defense play.

From Wikipedia (another left wing rag) on Salon Magazine - " Liberal politics of the United States is its major focus ..."

Planned Parenthood? OK, fair and balanced analysis there. No left wing bias there.

No one ever claimed that "As you've likely already assumed, Obama has never supported teaching 5- and 6-year-olds all the ins and outs (pardon the expression) of sex."

According to factcheck.org -

"It would have lowered the age at which students would begin what the bill termed "comprehensive sex education" to include kindergarten."

So kindergarteners were to receive age appropriate sex education. Huh? Perhaps Clark can give an example of age appropriate sex education for kindergarteners.

The bill can be rad here:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=3&GA=93&DocTypeId=SB&DocNum=99&GAID=3&LegID=734&SpecSess=&Session=

A tidbit.

Sec. 27-9.1. Sex Education.
(a)
...
"Each class or course in comprehensive sex
education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall
include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted
infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread
of HIV."

So, we know that any age appropriate sex education for kindergarteners shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted
infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread
of HIV.

I challenge you to produce any language that defines "age appropriate." There are many on the left, I will tell you, who want frank discussions in kindergarten about why Johnny has two mommies, two daddies, a daddy that dresses like a mommy or a daddy who is changing into a mommy.

Take a look at what has been going on in the San Francisco public schools.

9/12/2008 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Clark said...

Thanks for linking to the bill. It shows how distorted Lott's original post is. Read up on the history of the bill. Get informed.

9/13/2008 10:42 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Clark:

1) I linked to the bill in my post.
2) I had the same quote in my post.
3) It appears that the above quote is merely restating what I said so I am at a loss to figure out why this shows that my post was "distorted."

9/13/2008 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I have always found amusing is when liberals cite to commentary from others on the left as evidence to support their positions. The fact that they see left wing commentary as objective third party support for a left wing position sort of explains their view of the mainstream media as not having a left wing bias.

Moreover, as if the citing to commentary in Salon Magazine and Planned Parenthood aren't ridiculous enough, the Salon Magazine piece further cites to a left wing blogger on the Huffington Post.

SB 99 is quite clear. As even factcheck.org found:

"It would have lowered the age at which students would begin what the bill termed "comprehensive sex education" to include kindergarten."

What "comprehensie sex education" is appropriate for kindergarteners?

The bill's drafters could easily have written the bill such that children in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, etc. would only receive age appropriate instruction concerning sex abuse calculated at protecting them from pedophiles. Instead, the bill, as drafted and as supported by Obama, stated the following:

"Each class or course in comprehensive sex
education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall
include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted
infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread
of HIV."

Clearly, educators were to come up with age appropriate sex education for kindergarteners. Any other reading violates the plain meaning of the statute which governs its interpretation.

The fact that the instruction was to be "age appropriate" is little comfort because many on the far left think it is age appropriate to expose children at the kindergarten level to awareness of sexual issues concerning gay, straight, bisexual and transgender people.

The bill utterly fails to protect our children from what the vast majority of those on the left and right would consider age inappropriate sex education. The fact that Obama is among the most left leaning US. senators merely compounds this concern.

9/13/2008 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Clark said...

Salon is obviously left wing, just as this blog is right wing. Who's arguing that?

Here's a key difference in the column I cited: It contains facts, not merely slurs and accusation.

Another key point is that the bill, as you point out, requires "age appropriate" sex education. No, the bill does not define that, nor should it. As I am sure you are aware, legislation sets the framework and then the responsible agencies fill in the blanks with regulation.

Maybe abstinence-only all that is acceptable to you. It's an issue I addressed with you in another post, but you haven't really responded to it.

But on this point of Obama's position on sex-education, you are, once again, making a weak staw-man argument.

9/16/2008 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Salon is obviously left wing, just as this blog is right wing. Who's arguing that?"

I'm glad you are copping to this. For the record though, I never a cited to John Lott's commentary in my comments. That's the difference. Why don't we make a deal. I won't cite to opinion commentary by Rush Limbaugh as "neatly skewering" the Obama campaign and you refer from citing to opinion commentary from sources like Salon. The "facts" reported in the Salon piece refute nothing. Do you disagree? Please do tell.

I remind you that it is a "fact" that factcheck.org did find that:

"It would have lowered the age at which students would begin what the bill termed "comprehensive sex education" to include kindergarten."

There you have it.

As to another of your points:

"As I am sure you are aware, legislation sets the framework and then the responsible agencies fill in the blanks with regulation."

Gee, why not just pass a bill that calls for "health and safety education" for all children from kindergarten on up then? The responsible agencies (you did you mean "responsible" as a joke right?) could just fill in the blanks as you say. As I'm sure you are aware, just setting a framework makes enforcement of a law impossible because it is not the province of the courts to substitute their judgments for the legislature. Please tell me that you understand this.

You have again utterly failed to address the facts as established by the plain language in the bill. Again, the bill provided for age appropriate sex education for kindergarteners that would include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted
infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread
of HIV.

The only issue to be resolved is how to come up with an age appropriate instructional program to convey such information to kindergarteners.

I am still waiting for "facts" that refute the plain meaning of the language in the bill.

How does abstinence-only education figure into this post or any of the comments under this post? Why don't you try to stay focused.

9/17/2008 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Clark said...

"Stay focused"? Who isn't focused?

We are talking about sex-education, right? Abstinence-only is one form of sex-ed (in the loosest sense of the word only, since it's defined by NOT providing information). It's a relevant topic since

1) it relates to one key difference between the candidates on this issue and sex education is the clear focus of the McCain ad and Lott's post and

2)because it was a subject of discussion in one of our past exchanges, though you largely dodged the issue.



The Salon is relevent because it addresses the clear implication of Lott's original entry, your comments, and the McCain ad which is suggesting that Obama is trying to inappropriately or perversely trying to expose young children to explicit sexual material. Lott, with faux-credulousness, specifically raised the spectre of 6-year olds learning about the transmission and spread of HIV.

And yes, the Salon column neatly skewers that distortion of what the bill actually called for, which was "age appropriate" sex education.

As for facts that "refute the plain language of the bill"? The bill itself refutes your argument. Neither you, nor Lott, nor the McCain campaign has produced any "fact" to support your twisted view.

If you honestly believe that the intent of the bill is to teach 6-year olds about HIV transmission, then you must also believe that it is intended to require 6-year olds to be taught about rape; contraception; the financial burdens of children born out of wedlock; medical, psychiatric, psychological, and statistical evidence; the counselling, medical, and legal resources available to survivors of sexual abuse; and the medical and legal ramifications of of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use during pregnancy among many other topics.

Or maybe, just maybe the bill meant what it said, in plain language, about "age appropriate" education.

I'm confident that you and Lott are capable of reaching a reasonable conclusion about the evidence if you want to.

If you would like to introduce "evidence" from Limbaugh, you are welcome to, but I don't think it would serve your arguments well since so much of his content is completely fact-free.

And as to how government regulation occurs, you might want to do a little reading on that yourself. There's a clear difference between legislation and regulation. What I described is exactly accurate. It's a significant characteristic of how government works at all levels. At the federal level, the departments of Defense, Education, Treasury, Homeland Security, etc. etc., all operate this way. I don't understand why this is a mystery to you.

9/17/2008 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the last comment I am going to leave for you as this talking to a wall thing is getting a bit tiresome and old.

"We are talking about sex-education, right? Abstinence-only is one form of sex-ed (in the loosest sense of the word only, since it's defined by NOT providing information). It's a relevant topic ..."

Yes and the leg bone is connected to the hip bone which is connected to the ... This particular post was about Obama's support for a particular bill with particular provisions so no, its not relevant. If there are or were other posts in which abstinence only education was raised, such a discussion would be relevant there. McCain's ad makes no mention of abstinence only education and Obama's defensive replies make no such mention either so no, it is not relevant to the McCain ad. Nice try in attempting to refocus your lost argument on other topics though.

Both John and I have cited to actual language in the bill. We both concede that the bill provides for "age appropriate" education and both point out that this condition is not necessarily inconsistent with kindergarteners receiving "age appropriate" instruction that would "include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted
infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread
of HIV." (see the bill for yourself)

Even factcheck.org found that:

"It would have lowered the age at which students would begin what the bill termed "comprehensive sex education" to include kindergarten."

I guess they are stupid, knuckle dragging abstinence only right wing partisans too.

Since "age appropriate" has such a plain meaning, perhaps you can explain an age appropriate way to educate kindergarteners on the prevention of sexually transmitted
infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread
of HIV.

This should be good.

I do not need to read up on administrative law. It is no mystery to me. My point is that you cannot be vague to the point of turning over arbitrary discretion to agencies. Such enactments are routinely struck down by the courts.

The point you are missing is that the bill, as designed, specifically included kindergarteners to receive such education albeit in an age appropriate manner.

That's the difference between you and those on the right. Those on the right do not believe that kindergarteners should be instructed on such subjects - even if done so in a sensitive lefty "age appropriate" manner. Many on the left would disagree.

Your reading of the bill would have the "age appropriate" provision striking kindergarteners from the offensive instruction. That is not a reasonable read of the bill. Laws are to be read in such a way as to give effect to all provisions. Thus, kindergarteners are to receive age appropriate instruction on the topic.

Your reading is also not reasonable because there would be no way to detemine which grades would be excepted. Just kindergarten? Kindergarten and first grade? Kindergarten, first grade and second grade?

The issue of young children being schooled on such inappropriate topics was obviously known at the time because it was raised by other legislators as evidenced by the amendment that was never voted on.

You can have the last word Clark. Dazzle us with your brilliance.

9/17/2008 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Clark said...

Love to. Lott, will you please post the reply I submitted last night?

9/18/2008 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lest we think that "age appropriate" necessarily takes such discussion out of the realm of instruction to kindergarteners, by the same token, wouldn't instruction about sexual intercourse be equally inappropriate?

From The Pediatrioc Advisor 2006.2which has been adopted and is used at many hospitals across the nation.

Sex Education
By age 4, most children develop a healthy sexual curiosity. They usually ask a variety of questions and need honest, brief answers. If your child doesn't ask sexual questions by age 5, bring up the subject of sex yourself (for example, ask your child where he thinks babies come from or leave a children's sex ed book lying around).
...
Explain the birth process. Tell your child that the baby comes out through a special passage called the vagina. Help your child understand the process by seeing the birth of puppies or kittens.
Explain sexual intercourse. Many parents who discuss everything else postpone this topic. Get past this hurdle by reading children's picture books about sex to your child.


Thanks but no thanks Obama.

David

9/19/2008 2:02 PM  

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