The Protect Child Health Coalition (PCHC), a network of concerned citizens, parents, professionals, leaders, and organizations representing the fields of law, academia, mental and physical health, politics, religion, government and more, exists to protect the health and innocence of children from those who would like to indoctrinate and sexualize them. The recent annual conference of the PCHC held in Dallas was not only an opportunity for parents and concerned citizens to hear warnings about the dangers bombarding our children—but also to hear inspiring stories of successes in holding back the tide that threatens them.
The View from Inside Planned Parenthood’s “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” (CSE)
One of the chief influences sexualizing children today is so-called “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” (CSE)—an ideologically driven, “rights-based” approach that goes far beyond merely including factual information about condoms and contraception. Several of the presentations at the PCHC focused on the threat posed by CSE, including the dramatic closing keynote address by Monica Cline. Sometimes messages from the “inside” of the opposition can be the most powerful, and that’s what Cline—a former sex educator and Title X (Family Planning) Training Coordinator—provided.
Motivated by a desire to help with prevention of HIV, Cline sought training from Planned Parenthood. In her training, she was immediately confronted with some stark realities, when she was told, “We have girls coming in here at ten years old” who have STDs, get abortions, and even have sex toys in their vaginas. However, Cline was assured, “We don’t teach them to avoid sex. We teach them to do it safer.” In other words, “We meet them where they are”—which Planned Parenthood assumes means, “already having chosen to have sex.”
Cline was taught to start her lessons with an “icebreaker” to remove the children’s inhibitions. This consisted of having them shout out every term they could think of for sexual organs and activities and writing them on the board—resulting in “a collage of dehumanizing terms” that effectively objectify the students sexually.
Several of her experiences made her begin to question the approach. When one student asked how to adapt to a sexual act she clearly found distasteful, Cline said, “You realize, you don’t HAVE to have sex if you don’t want to.” The students were dumbfounded: “No one’s ever told us that before.” They began on their own to brainstorm other ways they could have fun together without having sex.
Cline realized that Planned Parenthood considered sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to be a normal experience—something to be managed, not prevented. The last straw for Cline was when she realized that Planned Parenthood seemed to have little concern about sex trafficking leading to statutory rape. They considered prostitution a necessary response to poverty. “Why do you refuse to protect these little girls from having sex with adult men?” she asked. She was told, “It’s what they want. Maybe they get more sexual gratification from experienced men.”
Cline left her Planned Parenthood training and CSE behind and has now founded “It Takes A Family,” to focus on strengthening families against the forces that are too often destroying them. You can view Monica’s presentation here.
Several staff from Family Watch, which is a co-sponsor of the PCHC, talked about our work against CSE, as well. Erin Brewer reviewed the “15 Harmful Effects of Comprehensive Sexuality Education,” which range from sexualizing children and normalizing oral and anal sex to promoting early “sexual independence” and violating parental rights. You can view Erin’s presentation here. Katie Cook gave an overview of the valuable website StopCSE.org, including state profiles for each U.S. state and a “Defenders’ Toolkit.”
Family Watch President Sharon Slater (who was introduced to the audience as “a human tornado”) gave a keynote address offering a global perspective on the CSE battle, including the use of the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” (SRHR) as shorthand for the ideology behind CSE. Slater warned that the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is the biggest threat to children and families worldwide. However, she sought to encourage the child protection and parental rights advocates at the conference by describing a classic psychology experiment on peer pressure. It showed the presence of just one other person willing to resist the dominant viewpoint can reduce conformity to an incorrect view as much as 80 percent. You can view Sharon’s presentation here.
Other speakers focused in on more specific aspects of the CSE debate. Mary Ellen Siegler of the Massachusetts Family Institute also founded a grass-roots group, Massachusetts Informed Parents, urging parents to “Opt Out of Pornographic Sex Ed.”
Marsha Metzger warned of how CSE is embedded within “Social and Emotional Learning” (SEL)—a vague term that also encompasses drug prevention, violence prevention, civic education, and moral education. She revealed that SEL introduces Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lessons, initiating discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
The presentations focused on promoting what’s good, not just warning against and preventing what’s bad. Janet Oehl described the K-12 Standards for Optimal Sexual Development, an alternative to CSE standards that promotes sexual risk avoidance through abstinence. These were drafted by national experts and published by Medical Institute for Sexual Health. Kristie Jardot of Oklahoma’s HeartMatters described their programs to help students guard themselves from exploitation through digital media education.
Sexually Explicit Material in Schools
Unfortunately, sex education classes are not the only context in which schoolchildren may be exposed to material that is sexually explicit. Some books found in school libraries or assigned in English classes may have inappropriate content as well. Brooke Stephens shared about efforts to educate parents about such books—through websites like RatedBooks.org and BookLooks.org, as well as successes like the passage this year of Utah’s HB 374, which bars “sensitive” (i.e., “pornographic or indecent”) material from public schools.
Robin Paterson did both a panel discussion and a more in-depth workshop on how pornographic material can be accessed through online research databases that are provided to schools by subscription, from companies like ProQuest, Gale, and EBSCO. These are “digital encyclopedias” that may link to sites with explicit material—which will not be filtered even by computer or library pornography filters because access is through the database, which is “white-listed” to be always available. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) placed EBSCO on its “Dirty Dozen” list in 2021 because of ongoing concerns. Some states have begun trying to solve this problem with “database” legislation, and Paterson explained how concerned parents may be able to investigate the problem through steps as simple as using their public library card and looking for “homework tools” on the library website.
Attorney Mary McAlister warned about the dangers of “educational obscenity exemptions”—provisions in the laws of over 40 states that allow material that would otherwise be deemed “harmful to minors” to be distributed in an educational setting. Fortunately, some states have begun repealing this loophole that allows sexually explicit material to be presented to schoolchildren.
Ideological Indoctrination in Schools
Conference presentations focused not only on the sexualization of children by schools, but also their ideological indoctrination. Elana Fishbein, an Israeli-American immigrant with a doctorate in social work, founded No Left Turn in Education after seeing the aggressive indoctrination that was adopted in her own children’s school following the death of George Floyd in 2020. Her goal is, “To revive in American education the fundamental discipline of objective thinking … [while] emphasizing the role of the parent as the primary custodian and authority of their child.” Fishbein (herself a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces) emphasized the need for “soldiers” in this battle—volunteers who will be “boots on the ground.”
Diane Stover of the Protect Ohio Children Coalition spoke about their efforts against CSE, SEL, and CRT (Critical Race Theory). Using tips from the public, they have compiled an Indoctrination Map with data on 100 school districts in the state. Fortunately, their efforts have been aided by recently passed state legislation which mandates that all curricular materials must be available to parents.
Joel Thornton, an attorney with the Child & Parental Rights Campaign, spoke about Title IX—the federal law against sex discrimination in education—and how the Biden administration’s proposed changes to its implementing regulations “would open Pandora’s box.” A law passed to protect women is now being used to promote radical transgender ideology. But Thornton assured the audience they can “win by being the most reasonable people in the room”—and by threatening to sue their school district!
Jaco Booyens, who started a ministry to fight human trafficking, gave a wide-ranging keynote address that highlighted the links between pornography, comprehensive sexuality education, and sex trafficking. Sharon Supp of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) described ADF’s Promise to America’s Parents, demanding that governments promise to parents: Accountability (when parental rights are violated), Choice (of their child’s education and medical care), and Transparency (about their education and health).
Two speakers specifically addressed LGBT issues. Crystal Risotti spoke about the presence of LGBT themes in Anime and Manga—the unique comics and animated cartoons from Japan that have recently ballooned in popularity in the west. Therapist David Pickup gave advice on how to stop so-called “conversion therapy” bans, which may prevent even child sexual abuse victims from getting the talk therapy they need to process the consequences of that abuse. Pickup spoke of the importance of balancing truth and compassion, and emphasized that legislative testimony is usually only three minutes long—“All it takes is courage.”
Some speakers noted that their work had translated into political victories, as well. Deborah Simmons, speaking on behalf of the Texans hosting the conference, talked about how the 13 priorities set by the initiative Texas Education 911 influenced the platform of the Texas Republican Party, which adopted a plank to “Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids”—in part by repealing the state’s educational “obscenity exemption.” In closing remarks, one PCHC co-chair noted that in the election just held, conservatives had won three out of four seats on the state Board of Education in Nebraska.
SHOW UP. STAND UP. SPEAK UP.
Many speakers also gave tips on how to mobilize volunteers, with this motto as the key: SHOW UP. STAND UP. SPEAK UP.
The conference was both educational and inspirational. It should encourage more people to become active in the Protect Child Health Coalition and to attend next year’s PCHC conference. Membership in the PCHC is limited to those who are actively engaged in fighting CSE wherever it rears its ugly head, but the resources on the website are available to anyone concerned about the health and innocence of children. To become a member of the PCHC, fill out the registration form here.