Rudy Giuliani appeared on Meet the Press yesterday and defended McCain's "sex ed for kindergartners" attack on Obama. He tried to make the bill sound as icky as possible by pointing out that it mentioned HIV-AIDS education for grades K-through-12, i.e., starting in kindergarten (of course, he didn't note that the bill called for any such education to be age-appropriate).
I pointed out over at DailyKos that the New York City public schools included HIV instruction for kindergartners. Now, I suppose someone defending Giuliani against hypocrisy charges could argue that he didn't have complete control over the NYC education system at the time. Regardless, that got me wondering about other education systems which support HIV education starting in kindergarten.
Well, the great state of Tennessee (not the most socially liberal of states) has a state Board of Education that includes HIV education for kindergartners in their policy statement (see page 6):
The HIV prevention education program shall:
• Be taught at every level, kindergarten through grade twelve;
• Follow content guidelines prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
Whoa! Not only does Tennessee call for HIV education to be taught in kindergarten. It does so on the basis of CDC guidelines! Could it be that the Bush administration supports such guidelines?
Apparently so! The CDC website says it funds the National Association of State Boards of Education. Here's what NASBE is doing with the funding:
Providing HIV-related information and guidance to state boards of
education and other education stakeholders on policies that promote
effective HIV prevention for kindergarten through 12th grade students in
schools across the nation.
What are NASBE's policies regarding HIV education?:
The goals of HIV prevention education are to promote
healthful living and discourage the behaviors that put people at risk
of acquiring HIV. The educational program will:
- Be taught at every level, kindergarten through grade twelve;
Look at how similar the NASBE language is to the Tennessee language. It seems likely that the Tennessee policy propagated down from the CDC and NASBE.
John McCain likes to portray himself as an opponent of wasteful and inappropriate government programs. Well, where he was he when the Bush administration was funding sex education for kindergartners? If he really objects to this kind of program, maybe he should have been going after Bush before he started going after Obama.