Article Asking for More Comprehensive Sex Education Cut from Catholic-School Newspaper

Comments

1
The Catholic schools have a very important mission: They are the ones responsible for making sure Catholic children grow up and never, ever want to set foot in a Catholic church again. Let them be. Their job is too important.
2
@1 That was my reaction to my 12 years of Catholic schooling.

Poor Blanchet, though. I feel sorry for them. When I went there they were still called Blanchet, not Bishop Blanchet, and yeah it was a Catholic school and you had to take a religion class and occasionally attend mass, but mostly it was just a school. By my senior year it had started getting more conservative and then shortly after I graduated there was the name change to "Bishop Blanchet High School" and I took that as a sign that they were too conservative for me. So I'm both heartened to hear that they're still too liberal for the archdiocese and sad to think that can't last in this new, nazi-pope era.
3
What "capitulation and silence"?

The kid posted his article.
He expressed his views.

Freedom of Speech does not mean you get to say whatever you want in someone else's newspaper.

If The Stranger refuses to give the troll a two page spread to print whatever we want have we been denied our Freedom of Speech?
4
Damn Brendan, don't you even read Slog?
In Feb Dan posted an article from the Washington Post that stated "Sex education classes that focus on encouraging children to remain abstinent can persuade a significant proportion to delay sexual activity, researchers reported Monday in a landmark study... "

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…
5
Hey kids! Just post your articles on FB or a blog. School newspapers? You mean they still do that? How very last century. Of course the old farts running the school and the chancery probably have no clue what a blog is.
6
I love this quote: "[T]hey might think the religion department isn’t teaching kids what they’re supposed to believe."

Geez, that sounds a lot more like "indoctrination" than "teaching."

7
Newsweek on the same study:

"The New Abstinence-Education Study Is Good News. So Why Are Liberals Freaking Out?
Sarah Kliff

"The first peer-reviewed study to show abstinence education to be successful was published yesterday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. And, to put it succinctly, the liberal blogosphere is not thrilled.

"The study authors looked at African-American middle-school students in the Northeast who enrolled in an abstinence-only program (no instruction on contraceptives) and were taught that they should delay sex until they were ready.

"The students in this program were more likely to delay sex in the two years after the program, as opposed to those who enrolled in no program or those who were instructed in safe sex."

8
What makes you think the Archdiocese, the principal of Blanchet or the superintendant of catholic schools give a crap what SLOG readers think? The are private schools run on private dollars. They have no responsibility to the public at large. That's why people run private schools, so they can do what they want.
So...click on the links and write angry missives to your hearts content. But, if you're not a donor to their funds or a parent of a student who pays high tuition, why should they care?
9
"58% of students do not feel satisfied with the amount and quality of sex they have received at Blanchet... "
10
Ignorance is the Catholic Church's greatest ally.
Freedom is it's greatest enemy. Truth is it's destruction.
11
Jesus Christ, what is this, the 1870s?
12
And how is a Catholic school pushing a Catholic agenda no matter what newsworthy? I mean what were you expecting? Blanchet HS to start teaching real sex ed?
13
"Columbia University also conducted a study of teenagers who pledge virginity until marriage, and found that 88 percent did not keep that pledge"

88%? That is AWESOME!
14
@ 13,

An additional 100% went on to major in Sucking and Fucking at Cathoholic U.
15
How about running his piece in The Stranger?

@4 Because there is nothing wrong with teens having sex so long as they are safe. Plus any good curriculum is going to tell kids to wait until they are ready (not marriage as the fundies want). The problem with that study if I recall was that they did not compare it to a program that said no sex till you're ready and here is how to do it safely.
16
@5, @7, You might try reading the rest of the words in the study. The goal of the program in the study wasn't abstinence in the Christian model (until married). It was much more modestly targeted at getting middle school students to delay initiating sex from 12 to 14, and was accompanied with scientific information about adolescent development, not a bunch of moral claptrap.
17
15
16
We're glad you agree.
18
@1, perfect! Win this battle to lose the war. I have no interest in following this post's suggestion to reform the church so that it may survive.
19
@8 - your implicit assumption is that Slog readers will never be parents of catholic schoolkids. as the parent of three catholic schoolkids, one of whom is in 7th grade and seriously considering Blanchet, and as a former high school journalist, i very mush appreciate hearing about this situation. Blanchet will be hearing from me, and is unlikely to be receiving my tuition dollars.
20
Bishop Blanchet HS is a joke among the Catholic HS community. It is basically public school with a mediocre dress code (no frayed jeans) and required religion class, and the kids who choose that school over the other Catholic high schools are either not smart enough to get admitted into the better private schools, or really would like to go to public school and Blanchet is the closest thing they can get.

Parents, talk to - and then LISTEN to your kids. At Blanchet, like public schools, you get out of it what you are looking to get out of it. Doing the bare minimum is acceptable and will produce a diploma.

IMHO.
21
I always liked the Blanchet kids actually. They definitely partied way harder than the Sea Prep and O'Dea/HNA crowds and the girls put out more...

On topic though, sounds like this Dunn kid had the right idea. Instead of blindly fighting against a system with so much power at so many levels as the Catholic Church, he said fuck it and went someplace where he could post his article uncensored. Bravo young sir, way to rise above it.
22
If only there were some larger publication that still bought ink by the barrel that could publish Dunn's piece on the front page and give it the distribution it (sounds like it) deserves. Say, what's the cover story on next week's Stranger. . . . ?
23
UGH, High School. Everything seems SOOOOO important.
24
Now that Dunn has discovered how media controversy and attention is created, he ought give the article to a friend to photocopy and distribute samizdat style.
¡Vive la underground press!
25
I went to Catholic School, in Seattle, for 15 years. I started at Blanchet the year after the name change, Principal Hickey (newly from Michigan) didn't think it sounded Catholic enough.

In Health, yeah they emphasized that abstinence was the only way to prevent pregnancy and std's 100%. But they still went over every other method of contraception, and debunked several contraception myths. True, they didn't hand out condoms at the end of class. Unless things have dramatically changed in the 6 years since I graduated- I don't know what the 16% of kids who haven't received any sort of sex ed are talking about.

We had this one (not Catholic) abstinence/until marriage speaker come and talk to the Junior (?) class. But no one took him seriously. And I remember an editorial that ran in The Miter that tore his presentation apart, railing against the sex-negative message, and implicit misogyny in his argument, among other things. I know Grasseschi took some heat, but went to bat for the writer.

Blanchet was a good school, and I took some great classes there. We used Brown University's program for my Foreign Relations course; my Scripture class was taught contextually by an awesome feminist; Ethics and Social Justice classes were both rigorous, (Ethics qualified for AP status), as was the LA Honors program; and my science classes were top notch.

It makes me sad to think that the archdiocese would rather Blanchet offer a substandard curriculum in strict keeping with Church doctrine, than an objectively challenging one that actively promotes engagement with 'the living Church.'
26
Does this damage our strategy of playing nice with the medieval-era Church in the hopes that one day they will stop actively sabotaging any attempt to inject rational thought into the conversation that informs policy making on a global scale? Maybe if we pretend that the wafer really does turn into the flesh of Jesus when you eat it they'll return the favor and allow their followers to openly discuss the only proven preventive measures shown to reduce unwanted pregnancies and prevent the spread of HIV.

I personally can't think of any other option. Can you?
27
As a recent graduate of blanchet, I can vouch for the fact that they do not teach an abstinence only education. I remember my health/sex-ed teacher in particular clearly stating that as a catholic school, they must encourage abstinence but in no way did they try to indoctrinate students. They provided statistics about contraceptives, and left the option up to the students. It might not have been a comprehensive sex ed program, but it definitely wasn't totally discouraging sex.
Like other commenters have said, blanchet is a private catholic school but the "catholic" aspect is hardly more than a couple of all school services and a religion class or two. I know many non christians that atteneded blanchet that did not feel uncomfortable. These are not the fundy whack jobs that people might think they are.
As far as the freedom of speech aspect, i know for a fact that blanchet's student paper considers tackling this topic every year but typically decides otherwise. In the end the story just isn't newsworthy and does little more than stir the pot. I have trouble believing that this piece was written for anything more than shock value. I doubt it's as big of a problem at Blanchet as some people might want to think.
28
Oh, I see Joe Tyson has been at it again way across the country in Seattle. As I have said in a couple of other blogs, I was a close friend of Joe's in the seminary in Washington DC about twenty five years ago. I am speaking out about this for one reason. His activities against gay people recently were a total surprise to me. And now he is taking a really short-sighted position vis-a-vis these kids. There is a public health matter here. But I will let people more into that particular issue fight it out.

What I can say is that the person I knew twenty five years ago was nothing like this. A kind liberal would have described now Bishop Tyson then. I care for one reason. Joe Tyson can serve as an almost archetypal exemplar of what is happening in the Roman Catholic Church. It is a self-destructive turn around. But even having said that I want to make one specific observation about the guy I knew. To have such a profound change can only speak of having speak of having undergone some awful trauma in his later adult life. Joe must have been rejected by someone or some-thing to produce such a traumatic change. People do not change this much without trauma being part of the etiology. There seems to be little left of the sweet human being I knew.
29
I attended Catholic school, Blanchet in fact. Now, for the past four years have been attending a extremely liberal, state funded art school. I understand the extremes of the spectrum.
While I think this article brought up some very important issues about the Catholic church, I was extremely disappointed to read the blanket statements about the teachers. Mr. Lord, I have no experience with so I cannot speak for. Mr. Grasseschi is one of the most dedicated educators I have had the pleasure of coming across. He is extremely dedicated to his students and constantly reaches beyond what is asked of him to benefit the education of those who are students at Blanchet.

The following seemed to push too far:
"That's a lousy, cowardly example to set for students. School officials are afraid of the archdiocese (which is, presumably, afraid of the National Council of Bishops), so it teaches its students capitulation and silence instead of taking a principled stand."

I was left with a sour taste in my mouth. I avidly read the Stranger and this was such a disappointment. I understand the statement that is being made. I do. But to suggest Mr. Grasseschi is a cowardly example of an educator is far from the truth.
30
I attended Catholic school, Blanchet in fact. Now, for the past four years have been attending a extremely liberal, state funded art school. I understand the extremes of the spectrum.
While I think this article brought up some very important issues about the Catholic church, I was extremely disappointed to read the blanket statements about the teachers. Mr. Lord, I have no experience with so I cannot speak for. Mr. Grasseschi is one of the most dedicated educators I have had the pleasure of coming across. He is extremely dedicated to his students and constantly reaches beyond what is asked of him to benefit the education of those who are students at Blanchet.

The following seemed to push too far:
"That's a lousy, cowardly example to set for students. School officials are afraid of the archdiocese (which is, presumably, afraid of the National Council of Bishops), so it teaches its students capitulation and silence instead of taking a principled stand."

I was left with a sour taste in my mouth. I avidly read the Stranger and this was such a disappointment. I understand the statement that is being made. I do. But to suggest Mr. Grasseschi is a cowardly example of an educator is far from the truth.