The Senate Hearing on AB458/SB324 (sex ed bill or "Healthy Youth Act") caused some overall generalized confusion yesterday.
Sen. John Lehman chaired the hearing that was attended by Sen.'s Hopper, Olsen, Erpenbach, Grothman, Jauch, and Hansen.
Testimonies were filled with the same rhetoric: the need for sex ed in schools (not what this bill is about), pregnancy stats (not what this bill is about), STD stats (not what this bill is about), sexual abuse (not what this bill is about), etc.
What this bill is about: Removing the ability of individual communities to include an abstinence-only curriculum in their HG&D programs should they so choose. Plain and simple. This bill does not touch the comprehensive sex ed programs already in place. It simply removed the ability of local communities to control what is being taught the students in their school districts as PP seems to think government $$ is being wasted on an abstinence-only curriculum.
Planned Parenthood slapped stickers onto supporters that said "Healthy Youth Alliance", but it seemed that the "Alliance" really did not know what they were allied for.
Rep. Kelda Roys began with introduction of SB324, but seemed to have little knowledge of what she was really talking about. She was sitting in for Rep. Lena Taylor, a co-author of the bill. Her comments basically inmplied that communities are not capable of working together to create a HGD (sex ed) for their own school districts. As she stated, "If you're going to teach abstinence, here is how to do it the right way." Funny, thought abstinence meant one thing, not the inclusion of options that encourage otherwise. Who are these Representatives and who voted for them anyway? They should be embarrassed.
Sen. Olsen asked Roys about mandating parents to teach a "certain" way. Her answer, "This is well in line with local control." Wonder how she can explain that?
Kimberly Wasserman and Jude Edmonds (reading a testimony for a friend) of OASIS, formerly the Canopy Center, formerly the Parental Stress Center both missed the mark, talked about off-topic issues, and were called on it by Rep. Olsen. :-) By the way, your local West Bend Mutual Insurance Company supports these gals (OASIS), so you can see what their money is buying. Kind of like working against your own citizens. No, not kind of....it IS. I dropped WBM president, Kevin Steiner, a note about this. Update to follow.
Somewhere in this mish-mosh of misunderstanding came a comment from Sen. Erpenbach referring to abstinence as an "old tool" and not really worthy of consideration in this day and age. Again, who voted for this Senator? Shame. And he has teenagers at home yet. Yikes! Guess Planned Parenthood will be waiting in the wings for these potential candidates.
A few of the more humorous testimonies:
Nicolette Pawlowski - Graduate student with UW-Madison (studies sex ed policy). Animated, dramatic, and ridiculously embarrassing. Even the Senators were caught rolling eyes and laughing as she gave a three-minute dissertation on something she knew nothing about. She just went on and on, in a wild and crazed manner, ranting about everything but what the bill represented. Sigh.
Dr. Patricia Quigly, Pediatrician, Madison - I have only one word: CLUELESS. She really made an idiot of herself in public. I had expected so much more. She shared information about a young female patient who supposedly lost a condom, um, somewhere, and had no idea how to find it, or where to look for it. (I hear you laughing.) She stated "Schools are the most appropriate place for sex ed to be taught." Guess this tells you how she feels about parents. Hope her patients are reading this. She also claimed that schools were "omitting" information. This is based on what information? She could not say. Just assuming, guessing, speculating. Sen. Grothman busted her on that one, as she pinpointed Madison, her area of practice, as most likely guilty of this. Of all the people that spoke, she was my fave (in an entertaining sort of way).
Father Alvaro Nova of Holy Angels Old Catholic Church in Milwaukee and illegal immigrant supporter. This priest was so amusing that I am going to devote an entire post just to his video. See above. :-)
Carly Hasse, Health/PE teacher at Verona High School, gave an animated speech as well, but got the runner-up Clueless Award when questioned as to her understanding of the actual bill by Sen. Olsen. She stood in line with those above who just did not get it. Hasse stated that her school district does not even use a curriculum for HGD. Huh? The Senators took note of this. Thanks, Carly!
Darcy Duffy (who is in the PP Fan Club) of Concerned Citizens for Women's Health, also a Hintz (D) supporter who is also backed by PP and NARAL (surprise! NOT) was cornered by the Senators when asked "What will this bill fix?" Her answer? Silence. Why? Because she had no clue! She had no idea what she was talking about and did not address the issues within the bill. It was blatantly obvious, as her red face showed when she turned away from the mic. :-D
Darcy Duffy -
It seems that the Planned Parenthood empire that stands to gain from the passage of this bill is intent on confusing even their own supporters in order to get their way. Senators who are lulled by the soft violins of PP tried to keep the true nature of the bill under the covers as well.
We aren't fooled. Governmental dictation of how to write our individual community HGD curriculums is transparent in this bill. What is ironic is that HGD is not even governmentally mandated to be taught! Go figure.