Florida schools, Americana and Abstinence

I'm in Orlando for FETC and engaged in a shocking conversation with a computer science teacher today.  After I presented our offering and gave her a tour of the website, she asked if there was any information available on STDs.  Afraid where this conversation might be going, I explained that naturally, the answers was "yes, we cover 4 million topics from 135 reference titles - encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc and STDs are certainly included somewhere in there."  She explained that her school district couldn't condone the use of our site since it contained educational information on STDs and "high schoolers are very interested in researching these topics."  Ahh.....yeah.  Needless to say, the three of us working together were dumbfounded.  I've heard and read plenty about right-wing fundamentalists, but never necessarily experienced one on this level.   To deny children the right to learn and shelter them from understanding issues that will help them protect themselves from dangers that may lay ahead seems like a shocking misappropriation of state and federal resources and a betrayal by the education system in which they place their trust.  Do these people truly believe that 17 and 18 year olds don't know about sex?  and/or aren't thinking about sex? and that teenagers are better served by their parents and teachers looking the other way?  I chose not to pursue this debate with the teacher, but the things you see in the heartland are truly amazing...and in this case, disturbing.  By the way, in case any of you missed Jim Webb's Democratic response to Bush's State of the Union....he kicked ass - Jim Webb's Democratic response

By Josh Guttman

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