Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mosaic Rel8 and CJHS - Dialogue is Key

Mosaic has rallied their base and posted a response to my open letter. As you can see, I am accused of lying, which I certainly do not feel I have done.

I have only made claims of what my daughter relayed to me about the class, and the things I have learned from their website and Facebook page about the organization.  I am certainly open to hearing where I lied, and if I have I will certainly apologize. I do not want a religious group proselytizing in our school district, but I do not want to accomplish their removal through any form of deceit or misdirection.  I desire an open honest dialogue.

Mosaic PHC does not want dialogue.  Her mother posted the following comment on the post I displayed above:

My daughter attends the participating school that you reference here and it is a public school. I have taken a screen shot of your post. I find it interesting that you call yourself abstinence education when the school refers to what you do as sex education. Those are two very different types of education. One is science based and one has religious motivation. I have no problem with you teaching abstinence based education to your youth groups, your church rallies... Your private schools... But I do have a problem when you come into a public school with a religious agenda. Right, wrong, or indifferent my husband and I would not be fighting this had the school sent home an opt out letter being honest about what they intended to allow. We would have just opted our daughter out of the program. Other people I know would have taken up the offense while also not letting their child participate. It is humorous to me that you call my husband a liar. We are the ones who feel lied to by the school our daughter attends. They never told us the "sex education" would be abstinence education.

I grew up going to private Christian schools. I had abstinence education foisted upon me. I know what it is you believe & I understand why you do what you do. I could have raised my children in this environment, but I chose & continually choose not to. It is one of the reasons why my husband and I send our children to public schools.

I don't want my children thinking young earth creationism is a valid alternative to evolution nor do I want them to fear sexual relations outside of marriage. I know you disagree with me, but I believe relationships help you on your own road to self discovery. No young adult should have to hurry thru this process and grow up too quickly via marriage which is what abstinence until marriage propagates. I don't want my daughter getting married until she has had all the time in the world to figure out who she is. Telling her she has to wait until marriage to have sex hurries up that process because sex is natural and we all are born with curiosity and curiosity leads us to places where we get to come face to face with who we are & make the decisions we want to make and grow from there.

If my husband and I don't fight this fight my daughter will think we agree with what is being taught because we have sent her to this school... By not fighting we are guilty by association. She may make assumptions about how it is I feel and she may not feel comfortable coming to me with questions about her budding sexuality; she may think that I want her to wait. If she does not come to me, the chances are high that she won't get the information on disease & child prevention that she needs to stay safe and child free. She is also not likely to go to a place that will help her stay protected without my knowledge. My daughter will more than likely end up with the very things you don't want for her, like STD's & unwanted pregnancy.

Your scare tactics don't help prevent the things you strive to eliminate... They just silence the young adult. Young adults are going to do what they are going to do... History proves this. Abstinence education has been taught for years...to no avail. Teens are still getting pregnant & getting STD's. Why not tell people that sex is normal and natural and that we can help you protect yourself when you feel ready? I know your answer... It is against your religion... Which brings me full circle... I don't send my daughter to public school for a religious education... And that, Mosaic, is where you are guilty of being the liars.

You feel you have a mandate from your God to infiltrate places where the constitution has clearly given you no access. What you are doing is an insidious violation of the separation between church and state. I should have to take my child, extracurricularly, to another place to get your type of education... I should get to choose this for my child... But my right to choose it for my child was taken away by you and now I am having to fight to get you out. This is not how this should work. As Christians you would be aghast to find that your children were getting Islamic ideas on marriage forced upon them in their sex Ed classes... Why can't people like you see that you do the same thing that you hate?
I do not feel her mother was rude, or condescending. I feel like her post was an open invitation to dialogue. Mosaic did not feel the same. Her comment was removed, and she was blocked from the site.

Our meeting with the CJHS principal went NOTHING like my wife's attempt to reach out to Mosaic.  Although the meeting did not resolve the issue of this group continuing to have access to preach their message and instill their shame based rhetoric; it did open doors to further discussion with the school.  I do feel very confident, this program will be removed from District 118, and a program which is in compliance with state law will replace it.

This does not mean I am washing my hands and declaring the matter finished.  I am continuing up the administration to lobby for sex education that is in compliance will Illinois law. I now have been provided a copy of the curriculum and I will be reading it, and presenting my thoughts to the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum here in District 118.   I am willing if necessary to face the school board with my concerns, however after the positive meeting this morning, I do not feel that will be necessary.  As has always been my experience with District 118 in the past, the school is open and participatory in this dialogue. the

I do believe dialogue is key for all stake holders.  I want to invite Kathy Sparks, Julie Mayfield, Megan Tinney, and any other stakeholders in Mosaic's mission to an open dialogue.  I would love to have lunch, here in Belleville or over in Granite City; I will even buy.  Although we certainly disagree on methodology and meaning, I believe in dialogue you will see we are ALL interested in the best future for our area's youth.  Access to youth is a great responsibility; If you want to preach your message to my children, I only hope you will be willing to meet with me.  Dialogue is key, and the invitation in in your court.

EDIT 12/15/2014: My daughter's mother and I have separated since this post was written. I have edited my language to reflect that, but left her's in tact as posted to ReL8.  Her mother and I remain close to each other and will continue to be joint allies in the raising of all our children.