May 14, 2014

Two Boys Kissing -- Education or Indoctrination?

My wife and I have lived in Fauquier County since 1972. Our two children grew to adulthood here and I have felt like Fauquier was home from the day we arrived. Today I feel like I live in a different country.

Finding out that the book “Two Boys Kissing” was placed in the High School Library stunned me. How could any parent think that a book described by Entertainment Weekly as “warm-hearted tales of teenage love” about boys is suitable for childhood education? This crudely worded alternate lifestyle education material includes blatant intolerance for any other view. It will not enhance the educational experience of children who read it.

What so many seem not to realize is that parents do not raise children, parents raise adults through childhood! The difference between those two concepts can make the difference between a parent’s progeny spending the majority of their lives (adulthood) loving life or living out years in quiet desperation.

To say that children are not influenced by information provided them by people they hold in high esteem, like teachers and administrators, is ridiculous. A book in their library that is so controversial is almost certain to inspire their curiosity. And if it is condoned by those they respect, then the perception of some is likely to be that behaviors described therein must be appropriate for them to indulge in.

The proponents of this book ignore the fact that the human brain is under active development up to the age of 22. It is well established that a teenager without proper guidance is less likely to learn to control reckless and irrational behavior. The consequences for those children are often self-destructive behaviors such as the use of drugs, alcohol, smoking, and promiscuity.

Children’s brains being under development is precisely why we do not let 14 year olds get a driver’s license, 16 year olds buy cigarettes, and 18 year olds buy alcohol. The simple fact is that the part of the human brain where a person’s decision making abilities are found (prefrontal cortex) is not yet developed enough for them to consistently make decisions that are in their best long-term interest.

Sex education belongs in a classroom for age-appropriate children where it can be taught in the proper context or left to parents to teach at home.

Rex A. Hoover