by Mass Resistance
Pro-abortion activists demonstrating against the ThriVe abstinence program provider outside of a high school in suburban St. Louis.
MassResistance Missouri has been helping the parents fight back. They have confronted the issue directly at school board meetings, and have been organizing parents in several targeted districts. This is one of the nastiest battles we’ve ever seen.
The sex-ed curriculum that actually follows state law
The Best Choice curriculum, provided by the group ThriVe St. Louis, is a sex education program that has been in the public school system in the greater St. Louis area for over twenty years. Its focus is teaching abstinence as the best method of preventing pregnancy.
Most people are unaware that the “comprehensive sexuality” programs such as the one recently implemented in the Parkway School District in suburban St. Louis – which normalizes sexual behavior, homosexuality, and abortion – are technically against the law in Missouri. Because of its focus on abstinence, Best Choice actually follows the state statutes regarding human sexuality curriculum in the schools.
Here’s what Missouri law says:
170.015. 1. Any course materials and instruction relating to human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases shall be medically and factually accurate and shall:
(1) Present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relation to all sexual activity for unmarried pupils because it is the only method that is one hundred percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity, and advise students that teenage sexual activity places them at a higher risk of dropping out of school because of the consequences of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy …
Over the years, the Best Choice program has been used in several ways. Some schools use it as their only source for sex education taught by classroom teachers. Others have brought in Best Choice educators as guest speakers to enhance their own curriculum.
The reason that Best Choice has been used by schools for so long, according to parents, is that it has dramatically reduced pregnancy rates and is well-liked by teachers, students, and parents. It’s successful.
On the other hand, in comprehensive sexuality programs the concept of “abstinence” can become bizarre (reflecting the radical outlook of the education staffers who create them). For example, the original 7th-grade “comprehensive” program put together by the Parkway School district in suburban St. Louis advised children that they should consider “anal sex or oral sex” for their “pleasure” because it does not cause pregnancy. After MassResistance Missouri parents found this out and exposed it, the school backed off from it. But this reveals the mindset of the Left.
Lies, deceptions, intimidation, hysteria to remove Best Choice
So now the pro-abortion movement has decided to use whatever unsavory tactics it can to completely force Best Choice out of every school. They have organized and funded a vicious campaign of misinformation and hysteria and are bringing their activists into all the school districts in the St. Louis area that use Best Choice in part or in whole.
The pro-abortion activists have four main talking points when attacking Best Choice.
Claim #1. It is “shame-based.” The truth: This is how the Left characterizes telling kids the truth about the very real medical and psychological consequences of having multiple sexual partners, the risks of having an abortion, and the advantages of not being sexually active. Healthy warnings are faulted for supposedly inducing shame!
Claim #2. It is “medically inaccurate.” The truth: The program discusses the failure rate of condoms and other forms of birth control, how birth control pills can affect the body, and the dangers and consequences of STDs. All of it is completely accurate and has been examined by non-affiliated physicians.
Claim #3. It is run by a Christian organization, and should not be allowed in a public school. The truth: Yes, it is run by a Christian organization. But numerous state and federal laws make it illegal for schools to discriminate based on religious affiliation when choosing vendors. The program has a non-denominational moral undertone – which the Left despises – but not an overt Christian message.
Claim #4. Parents can’t examine the Best Choice curriculum. The truth: This is a strange complaint. The curriculum is posted on the ThriVe website. You have to register on the website, but then you can see it. In the past, parents had to make an appointment with their school to see it, but it wasn’t kept from them. (And as we know, it is “comprehensive sex-ed” curriculum details which are usually hidden from parents!)
Driven by hate and emotion
The most troubling thing that pro-life parents have found is the intense hatred and anti-Christian bigotry among the pro-abortion activists fighting the Best Choice program. It is not simply a disagreement over policy to them, but a deep emotional rage.
The point person for the campaign specifically targeting the schools is Sally Hunt, who is also a parent in the Parkway School System. She has been very public about her hatred for ThriVe and Best Choice, and about her leadership role in this effort. She’s spoken at School Board meetings, protested, appeared in many newspaper articles, been interviewed on TV, and produced YouTube videos on this issue. She is not shy about using terms such as “archaic, misogynistic, religious fundamentalist, fear-based, Christian fundamentalist.” She claims that her family is “sex-positive.”
She posts her extreme views on social media, for example:
This is the mindset of the people who want to decide what your children learn about sexuality. And unless good people fight back, they will have their way.
The battle began last November in one district, then expanded
Sally Hunt began the campaign in the Parkway School district around October 2016. Parkway had recently implemented its controversial comprehensive sexuality curriculum. But it has also been using Best Choices for at least a decade. Hunt quietly met with the top school officials with her “findings” and “complaints” about Best Choices. The school officials were very accommodating to her, from what we’ve found out.
In following month, at the November meeting of the Parkway School Board, Hunt began publicly attacking the Best Choices program.
By February, 2017, she was taking her battle to other school districts in addition to Parkway. Hunt had organized a sizeable group of pro-abortion activists from across the greater St. Louis area to pressure local school boards.
Their strategy was to have local pro-abortion parents file “complaints” to the school district, then show up en mass at the School Board meetings, attack the program and its originator, ThriVe, and demand very vocally and emotionally that Best Choices must be removed. In addition, Hunt got national left-wing groups to have their lawyers threaten them with “separation of church and state” lawsuits. In a few districts, this was immediately effective.
Also in February, NARAL began demonstrating outside of ThriVe’s offices.
In March, the media blitz began. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a nasty article, followed soon after by others. There was obvious collaboration with Hunt’s group and NARAL.
MassResistance Missouri began fighting back. On their website, they exposed what was happening and who was behind it. They organized parents throughout the region to come to School Board meetings and confront the issue.
With materials from the pro-family think tank Missouri Advocates for Education Transparency and Accountability (AETA), MassResistance Missouri went district to district with a “Parent Manual and Toolkit” and gave two-hour presentations. Parents were shocked by what they heard.
In April, the St. Louis media covering this, including newspapers and radio, reacted to the effectiveness of the pro-life parents by changing their direction and attacking and attempting to demonize MassResistance Missouri. (We will have a report on that coming up.) It’s become a common tactic by the media. But the parents stood tall.
The battles continue
In the various districts there have been several cave-ins, a few victories, and many battles still continuing.
In May, the Parkway Schools reversed their own policy that sex education wouldn’t be reviewed again until five years had passed, and announced (through a letter to parents) that Best Choices could no longer be invited in by individual teachers, as had been the case. The pro-life parents are not stopping, though. The following School Board meeting was the most contentious yet, eliciting an incredibly unhinged reaction by the pro-abortion activists. (We’ll have a report on that coming up, also!)
We are extremely proud of these MassResistance Missouri parents. They’re a really special group. They have bravely and unflinchingly faced unhinged hatred, intimidation, political corruption, and unmitigated lunacy – and still kept going without hesitation. They see the evil, and they have no intention of halting their resistance.
We have more on this coming up!
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