Remove Tender Care From Our Local Public Schools!
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Tender Care, our local chain of crisis pregnancy centers, has no place in our public schools during planned instructional time. While the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has no mandated standards of sexuality instruction outside of abstinence and HIV/AIDS information, students always deserve the “rigorous academic standards” that Conewago Valley, Gettysburg Area, Upper Adams, and Spring Grove Area school districts purport to uphold. Tender Care’s religiously-based viewpoint (https://tendercare.org/mission-and-values/ ), misleading statements and omissions about scientific truths, lessons of conjecture from published theologians, and non-standard (or difficult-to-verify) credentials in either healthcare or education do not reflect the firm foundations of education and evidence-based science that our students merit.
Schools send out correspondence to parents touting “standards” and “trained nurse educators”, but parents who attempt to verify the sex ed curricula through material reviews, citing board policy 105.1 (https://www.boarddocs.com/pa/cone/Board.nsf/Public ), are met with the schools’ inabilities to provide all of the materials to complete reviews. This reveals the school districts' lack of control over the programs. Former students who’ve suffered through the programs have shared their discomfort about Tender Care’s messages across social media. Parents who have observed Tender Care agents present their materials have found their presentations unsatisfactory and have questioned why certified health teachers couldn’t present better material. Still, school boards and administrators who have fielded the complaints of concerned community members for several years (https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-PDVGRZYXV/ continue to let Tender Care through their doors, telling parents who disagree with the programs that they can simply “opt out” their children. Meanwhile, most of our local middle school students remain in a class where they learn how to “Fill Up One’s Love Tank” from a Tender Care presentation derived from the work of senior associate pastor Dr. Gary Chapman.
We, the undersigned, believe the Conewago Valley, Gettysburg Area, Upper Adams, and Spring Grove Area School Districts have a responsibility to teach comprehensive, evidence-based sexuality instruction, as proclaimed by their own policies, missions, and values. By removing Tender Care from their schools, school districts reinforce their academic commitments to students and parents.
We, the undersigned, further recommend sexuality instruction programs already supported by experts in adolescent health education such as: The American School Health Association and The American Association for Health Education and aligned with National Sexuality Education Standards found here: http://www.futureofsexed.org/documents/josh-fose-standards-web.pdf . Rigorous studies have proved that truly comprehensive, evidence-based sexuality instruction reduces risky sexual behavior. Additionally, the certified secondary education health teachers who already have the standard credentials and access to continuing education would best teach this important content.
Equipped with this superior education taught by qualified instructors, students may make wiser choices concerning sex, and further benefit from healthier relationships as well as better physical health. In our collective opinion, these young people are worth the investment!
Reminder: Local School Board Elections May 21st, 2019 - Please vote for those who are willing to vote out Tender Care!
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