Parkway parents and community members are celebrating an astounding win after the Parkway Schools superintendent announced that all resources supplemented by outside sources will be eliminated from the district’s sex education curriculum beginning with the 2017/18 school year. Parents expect this to remove all resources that suggest & refer students how to get abortion without parental consent and should put an end the battle between the community and leadership for the past 18 months.
In an email sent on the evening of May 24, Superintendent Keith Marty wrote that “no external speakers will deliver or supplement” the district’s sex education curriculum.
That resource list includes YMCA, school SRO officers, and Safe Connections, St. Louis County Health Department, and Thrive, which delivered content in previous years.
But Marty’s statement also includes sources that supplement materials, so that includes FLASH, GLSEN, and Advocates for Youth. Parents appear to be willing to give up Thrive because FLASH and Advocates for Youth are getting cut, too.
The policy statement means the loss of Thrive, but it also means the removal of resources such as Advocates for Youth with their "1 in 3" marketing campaign to celebrate women's abortions.
“We love Thrive, but the sacrifice is offset by seeing abort-referral resources eliminated as well,” one high school parent stated. A middle school parent added, “They can’t selectively cut one external source from the resource list—that would suggest preferential treatment. And I know that Dr. Marty would never want to act in a discriminatory fashion. So if losing Thrive is what it takes to get rid of Advocates for Youth and all outside sources, it counts as a win for me!”
Advocates for Youth has long been one of the resources parents and community members have demanded be removed. Because it openly refers youth to Planned Parenthood for abortions, many parents, legal experts, and even state senators who authored the state law argue that its inclusion in Parkway’s curriculum is a violation of Missouri law regarding the delivery of sex education in K-12 schools.
Other resources appearing on the list with Thrive include: TeensHealth (Nemours), kidshealth, TeenTalk, St. Louis County Department of Health, HealthyChildren, and Safe Connections among others. While sources provoke different levels of controversy, many are particularly problematic for parents who oppose unrestricted abortions.
Parkway leadership has been steadily moving toward the elimination of external partnerships in the district, without parental input into the decision. Most recently, students and parents were outraged when the district’s leadership decided to eliminate external food sales for fundraisers and class parties as part of their new Food Safety Protocol.
The removal of external sources means that the district intends to take responsibility for all steps of creation and implementation of sex education.
Following this trend, the next logical step would be to eliminate the use of external presenters, curriculum enhancement programs, and entertainers in other areas which include Bloxels, World Bird Sanctuary and Paper Slip Theatre. While it is unclear whether those practices will lead to better policies, it does make clear who was responsible for them.
Let Dr. Keith Marty know that you approve of his removal of ALL supplemental resources provided by external resources including Advocates for Youth! Fill his voice mailbox with messages of support for his willingness to meet the needs of his pro-life students, families, and community members!