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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

$50,000 for a one lane foot bridge but only $167,000 for an I-94 overpass. REALLY?

Our family just got back from 2 wonderful weeks in Yellowstone National Park. It is hard to come back to the real world, but re-enter I must: Calhoun Road widening is on the Common Council agenda tonight at 7:45pm.

A reader sent me this Freeman article, Contentious Calhoun Road project on Brookfield agenda tonight Alderman wants state to pay for all I-94 costs.

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How about opting IN instead of OUT?

I too was outraged by the idea that 6th graders (and up) are to be taught about oral sex and that parents need not be upset by this because they can "opt out".   Opting out, however, is never an easy process.  The administration knows that and they are counting on you not doing it. (This type of curriculum is one of the many reasons parents choose private education or homeschooling.)

If you notice in the last paragraph on first page (I got this from Cindy Kilkenny's Brookfield City News), to opt out, you need to make a request in writing on a special form and you must fill out a form for each lesson. The exact date of the offensive classes are not known — they are only approximate. (The letter also stated that the curriculum would be available for parent review on the district web site. I could not find it...yet.)

Frankly, most of what is on the list of student outcomes are things I would rather be the source for than the school system. Do we really need to teach kids that some people vomit to lose weight? Notice that abstinence is not taught until grade 8. Shouldn't we be teaching that abstinence is one of the best ways to prevent disease, pregnancy, and poverty anytime reproduction is taught?

I also found it rather interesting that under Peer Pressure/Relationships (Grade 6), point #2 discusses "Impact of peer pressure". It is ironic that they are counting on peer pressure to keep your child enrolled in their program! 

What can you do?

If I was the parent of an Elmbrook school age child, I would contact every parent of my child's friends and join together to "opt out" en-mass. If your child has some friends opting out with him/her there will be little reason for them to feel they are unique. It will also make it known to the school district that you do not approve of this type of curriculum. 

There are two schools of thought on this. The one most school districts take is that children will hear about all this anyway so they need to "teach" our children all about every aspect of human behavior: drugs, sex, smoking, drinking, self-destructive behaviors, etc.

The D.A.R.E. program would be a good example of this type of program in younger grades. Judging from the numbers of young people I see smoking and those I hear about underage/binge drinking and doing drugs, I would say that type of instruction does not work.  Familiarizing children with forbidden subjects and topics does just that—makes them more familiar and less forbidden. Familiarization removes the taboo.

The other method of instruction is to teach a standard of acceptable behavior as based on absolute truth. For me, that is the biblical standard of Judeo/Christian values—the same values our Founding Fathers formed this nation on. 

We have ratings for TV shows, movies (although PG-13 seems more these days like the former R), video games, and music. Parents try to monitor or filter the Internet. Seems a shame that after all these efforts our school system usurps the parents rights to protect their children from objectionable material by implementing subjects their children could not be exposed to in the public movie theater! 

I favor the teaching the absolute truth and the moral principle that King David penned in the Bible: "I will set no base or wicked thing before my eyes." Psalm 101:3. That is pretty simple and I think is something most parents want. If some parents don't want those principles, then why not make them "opt IN" to Elmbrook's Human Growth and Development Program and leave the rest of us alone.

Your anonymous comments

Brookfieldnow changed its software while I was enjoying myself at the geysers in Yellowstone. Not only do the postings look different, but now you are able to submit your comments too. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this new feature.

It is good to get other people's perspectives on things; often one good idea will lead to another. I have enjoyed hearing from many of you over the years.

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HG&D curriculum NOT available yet

Today I received a copy of an opt out letter from one Elmbrook parent. Good for you! I hope many of you will choose this path. Better yet, I hope some of you organize.

As I mentioned in the Opt IN rather than OUT  posting, I could not find the examination copies of the K-12 HG&D which were to be "available for parent review on the district web site in July." as mentioned in the July 1, 2007 Parental Information Letter. My curiosity is now awakened as to what they will all teach.  

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