State Journal: Sex Education; Bedfellows

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

With elections set for May 14, a sex-education bill has become a high-profile issue in West Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial-primary campaign.

State Sen. Joe Manchin caused a ruckus with television and radio advertisements accusing opponent Charlotte Pritt, who has served in both houses of the legislature and also worked as a public school teacher, of backing a bill calling for sex education for 1st-grade students.

He admitted that the ad had cited the wrong bill number. But Manchin spokeswoman Lara Ramsburg said it correctly described a bill that would have required schools to offer "human growth and development" education, including information on contraception, to K-12 students.

Not only was the number wrong, countered a spokesman for Ms. Pritt, but the ad also misconstrued the bill's meaning. "The goal of that bill was not to teach little kids thoroughly about sex--you can't do it, they won't grasp it anyway," Greg Collard said.

If politics makes strange bedfellows, so, apparently, does talk radio.

One of the commercial sponsors of Alabama Gov. Fob James' newly resurrected radio call-in show is the Alabama Education Association, the teachers' union headed by Paul Hubbert, a former political rival of Mr. James.

The two men competed for the 1990 Democratic nomination for governor. In 1994, Mr. Hubbert, the AEA's executive secretary, sought the nomination again but lost to Gov. James E. Folsom Jr. Mr. James, now a Republican, then beat Mr. Folsom.

Mr. James started the weekly program during the campaign, but the campaign money that paid for it ran out in March. The sale of advertising time to eight sponsors--from a bank to a soft drink--put the one-hour show back on the air last week. It is heard on 28 Alabama stations.

Kelly Ammons, a spokeswoman for the governor, characterized the James-Hubbert partnership as a "wonderful working relationship." Mr. James, she said, "is thankful to anyone who will help him continue to get his message out to the people."

State ethics rules prevent advertisers from using their spots for lobbying. The AEA's ads encourage parents to be involved in their children's schools.

"We felt like the program provides citizens with an opportunity to have one-on-one contact with their state government," said Mike Martin, a spokesman for the union. "It provides us with access to that audience to get our message out."

--Jeanne Ponessa & Millicent Lawton

Vol. 15, Issue 33

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >