Parents, time to step up and influence your own kids' attitudes about sex. Chances are they won't be getting that kind of talk at school from now on...
While the Illinois legislature never could garner enough votes to officially stop abstinence education programs and enact Planned Parenthood-backed, explicit sexually-detailed classes for kids from kindergarten and older, the Blagojevich Administration has starved out Glenview-based Project Reality. The group, founded in 1985, at one time received $1.2 million annually in state funds and private donations, announced publicly yesterday it is shutting its doors December 15.
In order to meet the demands of the 120,000 high school students enrolled in their abstinence courses statewide, Project Reality fought, begged and pleaded for state funding. For the past couple of years, the Blagojevich Administration gradually turned off the funding spigot. As the funding dwindled, the group cut staff and then shut its doors. What's left of Project Reality's efforts will merge with Abstinence and Marriage Partnership, Project Reality's founder and long time director Kathleen Sullivan wrote yesterday:
A & M Partnership is hoping and planning to continue publication and promotion of our much sought after Game Plan and Navigator texts which many of you use. The merger will give A & M the ability to offer a broader selection of materials covering several school grades. Project Reality has built a substantial foundation of schools and organizations and was able to serve them through state and federally-funded grants over the years. These grants are no longer available to Project Reality, but we believe this new plan of operation will continue to expand the reach of abstinence education to the youth of our country.
This development is a huge victory for those who benefit from teenagers being sexually active: abortion providers, HPV vaccine and contraceptive method makers. It's a tragedy for parents who want their kids to be taught respect for sex and marriage. It's a loss for those kids who've committed to waiting for marriage to begin sexual activity and need support and encouragement to stay focused on their studies and careers.
Illinois parents need to be aware that fewer and fewer schools will be offering abstinence education, and they, by default, will need to re-establish their parental role in providing direction and interaction to influence their own children's attitudes towards sex. No longer can that topic be left to school teachers and counselors.