Forum: Education does not set an agenda; it informs decisions

By Kairi Kuritani / Herald Forum

There’s been a lot of talk lately about schools “pushing a curriculum,” and I’d like to correct the record on that.

In high school, I was taught world religion; we learned about the beliefs and history of all the major religions of the world, as well as some new age beliefs. But the thing is, at no time was I told which was right or wrong. I was simply given the information based on our reality, and left to draw my own conclusions.

The same can be said for inclusive sex education. Simply telling students that, in fact, LGBTQ identities do exist, what they are, and that queer people deserve just as much respect as any other identity, does not set an agenda. According to the Pew Research Center and Gallup, one in five Americans between the ages of 10 and 25 identifies as LGBTQ, and to erase that, as my sex ed classes did, would be ignoring reality.

In the same way that learning Catholicism in high school did not convert me, inclusive sex education will not force anyone to adopt an identity that is not their own. There have been studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics that debunk the so-called “social contagion” theory of gender and sexual identity, or that this increase in LGBTQ identity is driven by coercion by peers or educators. , and we should not make policy based on counterfactual arguments.

But that begs the question: what would promoting a program look like?

Maybe it would be like rewriting the Florida curriculum to deny the fact that George Washington was a slave owner, despite the fact that you can read his own will and see where he himself confirms this to be true .

Perhaps that would sound like the Florida Department of Education asking educators to deny transgender students equal access to school amenities and sports, in direct violation of federal non-discrimination policy.

It might sound like 22 state attorneys general suing the US Department of Agriculture for not allowing discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity in their free lunch program, and they want it revoked.

Let me repeat: almost half of the state attorneys general in our country want to grant states the right to deny access to food, during the second recession of my life, to children who cannot feed themselves themselves, based solely on how they identify. . This set an agenda.

It would be very useful for us to know the difference.

Kairi Kuritani lives in Mountlake Terrace.

Melvin B. Baillie