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An “Open Letter” to Senator Joan Lovely and Representative Jerry Parisella

Senator Lovely and Representative Parisella:

Some thirty five years ago, my seventh grade daughter came home from middle school in Beverly and announced at the dinner table “You won’t have to worry about me.  I’m going to have safe-sex all the way through high school!”  After my initial shock and a few carefully chosen questions, I was informed that a representative from Health Quarters in Beverly had come to her health class to assure students that they could enjoy sex safely when they chose to indulge.  That night, I contacted my State Representative, Fran Alexander, and expressed my sincere displeasure that this instruction had been given to my daughter, (and to many others!) and Fran got me appointed to the Beverly Health Advisory Board where I expressed my opinion of this form of Comprehensive Sex Education and let it be known that many parents felt as did I that this was an intrusion on parental rights to instruct our children on this important and sensitive subject.  That year a group of likeminded parents succeeded in overturning an effort to distribute condoms to students per the school guidance office. 


Now after some three and a half decades, the Massachusetts Legislature, in Bills HB544/SB268 are further attempting to ignore parental opposition to the intrusions of the state to educate our children and grandchildren on this sensitive subject.  These bills endeavor to further sexualize our children, promote diverse sexualities, promote transgenderism, promote abortion and undermine parents and parental rights.


These bills will remove control of health education from local school committees and force schools to use curricula aligned with the “standards” of State Health Curriculum Frameworks.  These Bills mandate instruction on several topics that the average parent or school committee member would find objectionable.  Many of the required topics are designed to be taught in a way that conveys implicit approval of sexual activity among very young students despite the legal age of consent being 16 years old. It grants the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) the full authority to require classes for children as young as 12 years old to teach how to obtain an abortion without parental consent or knowledge, how to engage in “safe” sex, anal sex and oral sex.  It further encourages alternative sexual behaviors to avoid pregnancy.  Finally, HB544/SB268 removes the ability for anyone other than parents or caregivers with students enrolled in a district to examine curricula. This means that a concerned faith leader or grandparent, as am I, who does not have children attending the district schools would be forced to submit a public record request to view curricula.  Much of what is included in this bill contradicts the religious teachings of many parents and restricts our constitutional right to determine the moral upbringing of our children. 


I sincerely hope that when this bill comes to the floor for consideration that you will remember this letter, which represents the views of a vast number of your constituents.   I urge you to vote, as many parents, (and grandparents), against this overreach against parental rights. 


John J. Kwiatek

Millbrook Road