Planned Parenthood is behind King County schools’ sex education
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2012-06-20

The curriculum in use in the King County, Washington, school where children in fifth grade were recently taught how to have oral and anal sex, is the Family Life and Sexual Health (F.L.A.S.H.) state-approved curriculum. Planned Parenthood is particularly enamored with this curriculum, highly recommending it on its website, alongside lesson plans from the SIECUS Sex Ed Library. (Dr. Mary Calderone, a former medical director at Planned Parenthood, was the first director of SIECUS.)

The state of Washington OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction)—the agency that approves sex education programs for use in schools—recommends the Rutger’s-based Answer in its flyer as the resource for teacher training and staff development for state mandated HIV and state approved sexual health education. Answer is also recommended on the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood website, which goes on to say, “Teachers can earn professional credits from the ETR Associates Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP).” (ETR Associates began its corporate life as the Education Department of the Santa Cruz Chapter of Planned Parenthood.)

Answer promotes a Teen-to-Teen Sexuality Education Initiative called Sex, Etc. It offers the usual Planned Parenthood fare, including links to Planned Parenthood websites, advice on how to skirt parents, immoral sexual advice, abortion rights information, gay rights information, and instructions on how to have gay sex. Its website features a video claiming that when it comes to sex, “parents obviously don’t have the answers, and teenagers still need them. That’s where honest sex ed comes in.”

And who do you think might be training the teachers who are teaching the F.L.A.S.H. curriculum? A visit to Answer’s TISHE 2.0 (In-Service Training) Core Staff 2012 page features Mark Huffman, who just happens to be a former vice president for education and training at Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee. Also on staff is another former PP employee, Kurt Conklin, who is now the director of programs at SIECUS.

Additionally on staff is Nora Gelperin, recognized for her experience in training teachers nationwide in 2010. She received the Mary Lee Tatum Award from, that’s right, the Association of Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education. You might say she wrote the Answer book, in that “she developed Answer’s three dynamic online workshops ‘Sexuality ABCs (Abstinence, Birth Control and Condoms),’ ‘STD Basics’ and most recently ‘LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) Issues in School.’”

Current Planned Parenthood employee Maureen Kelly rounds out the list of presenters. She is VP for programming and communications with Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes. She also served for nine years on the SIECUS board of directors. “Kelly is the proud founder of Planned Parenthood’s Out for Health: LGBT Health & Wellness program.” Only two out of the six TISHE presenters do not list a current or past association with Planned Parenthood.

The TISHE 2.0 in-service teacher-training program is co-sponsored by SIECUS and Answer.

Planned Parenthood goes to great lengths to hide from parents its dominant position in school sex ed programming, but a few hours on the Internet reveals an extremely intricately woven web of deceit composed of organizations that spring from or are otherwise closely connected to Planned Parenthood. Those organizations and individuals are actually working with Planned Parenthood to call the shots when it comes to school-based sex education.