Pushback in One School District That Paid Off
Salvo 43 gave a "Commendation" (pp. 20-21) to Peter and Teresa Cardillo for an open letter they distributed to their fellow middle-school parents. Their letter exposed and protested the presence of a sex magazine called Sex, etc. in the school's library. The magazine approved of "hooking up" and gave information (along with "tips") on orgasms, penis and breast sizes, anal sex, condoms—and was deemed by the school to be appropriate for 12- and 13-year-olds. In response to the protest, the school board appointed a committee to evaluate the age-appropriateness of Sex, etc.
The Cardillos added a postscript to the letter in Salvo 43, with news that the committee had just informed them of its decision: Sex, etc. was considered appropriate—even for 6th-graders! It was a unanimous decision, they were told.
Case closed? No. The committee still had to report its findings to the school board at its next meeting, which was in November. According to local news source SandPaper.net, board member Stephen Kubricki spoke out at that meeting, saying that New Jersey law
requires that sex education in schools must meet three vital criteria. It must be "age appropriate," it must be "medically accurate," and it must be "culturally balanced."
Kubricki said the magazine was not age appropriate for seventh- to ninth-graders, quoting [the publisher] telling The SandPaper in its Nov. 1 article that "most subscribers (to the magazine) are high schools and a few middle schools."
Kubricki said he had also reached the conclusion that the magazine is not culturally unbiased.
"Do you think the magazine can undermine family values? My answer—yes."
So the committee's report was tabled. Then, at the December 13 board meeting, Sex, etc. was again in the crosshairs, according to SandPaper.net:
Peter Cardillo once again led the charge, saying his main problem with Sex, etc. being in the media center was the question of "age appropriateness." When he was cut off while reading his prepared statement due to time limits, he simply had his daughter continue to read it. She said the magazine said "hooking up" was OK, "especially if consensual." She also mentioned the magazine said STDs can't be spread orally or anally thanks to "Deputy Dental Dam." "Keep in mind," she said, "that there are 12-year-olds in this school."
It was later announced during the meeting "that 'the committee' had once again decided that the magazine was appropriate for the junior high media center." Despite this,
Kubricki made a motion to refuse the committee's report and remove the magazine from the media center. . . .
"The magazine clearly has a position, a bias, as to how they present material," said Kubricki. "I think there's a strong bias." He said he also found the magazine "quite graphic."
"The medical (in)accuracy really bothers me," said Thomas D. Williams Jr., the board representative from Bass River Township.
Kubricki said the magazine didn't meet the state's standards. . . . "I care that it violates our New Jersey statutes," said Kubricki. "We have a statutory obligation here."
The board voted 7-2 to remove the magazine.
An Example to Follow
At Salvo, we insist that resistance is not futile. And telling the truth and exposing falsehoods, especially when it comes to what children are taught, are acts of compassion and courage. Go and do likewise, wherever and whenever appropriate.
PS. Readers may notice a change in the format of Salvo. We're on more newsstands these days, and the new format will allow for better (and less expensive) distribution to both stores and subscribers. Otherwise, the content remains the same. Please share Salvo with your friends and tell them to subscribe!James M. Kushiner
is the executive editor of Salvo and Touchstone magazines.This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #44, Winter 2018 Copyright © 2019 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo44/resistance-etc