John McCain is not only willing to stoop as low as possible in order to win an election, he is against protecting our nation's very youngest citizens against pedophiles. McCain's campaign has just spoken out against early kindergarten children learning how to protect themselves against sexual predators. McCain endorsed the national television advertisement which says "Learning about sex before learning to read?" "Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family."
Obama campaign spokesman, Bill Burton, immediately fired back saying "It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls" and I heartedly agree with Mr. Burton.
The McCain campaign prepared this national television advertisement prior to a major speech given by Obama on education wherein he talked about doubling funding for charter schools, basing pay for teachers on results and replacing those who were not qualified. The McCain campaign was obviously in a rush to get out a national statement to counter this speech which contained many programs favored by moderate Republicans, teachers and parents as well. McCain aired his national campaign advertisement immediately after the speech and didn't even take the time to check the facts.
Obama, as state Senator supported a sex education bill in 2003, but was not a sponsor. The bill provided for age appropriate information.
Kindergarten teachers would have been required to teach their students how to protect themselves from sexual predators and about 'good touch and bad touch' while older students would have received age appropriate instruction as well as medically accurate information, the consequences of unprotected sex, the health effects of various types of birth control along with classes promoting abstinence. This bill included a provision for parents to pull their children from any class they wished. The senate never voted on the bill and it never became law.
Daily Herald ran a story in 2004 quoting Obama as saying "Nobody's suggesting that kindergartners are going to be getting information about sex in the way that we think about it."
Romney jumped into the fray by stating "I never had one person coming to me and say, 'You know what, governor, I'm concerned about something.' What's that? 'I'm concerned about sex education. I'm concerned my kids aren't learning enough about sex.' I never heard that."
No one ever had to approach Romney with these questions. Well before he served as Governor to the state of Massachusetts, there was already in place a program which allowed schools to offer age appropriate education as early as pre-kindergarten. According to ABC news, his senior advisor, Eric Fehrnstrom, confirmed Romney made no effort to remove or change the programs already in place once he became governor. Romney also had answered YES to a Planned Parenthood 2002 questionnaire when asked "Do you support the teaching of responsible, age-appropriate, factually accurate health and sexuality education, including information about both abstinence and contraception, in public schools?"
Now however, according to Fehrnstrom, Romney supports McCain in not supporting any sexual education whatsoever for kindergarten children and believes we should "Let's let our 5-year olds be 5-year olds." A lovely thought, but one that hands sexual predators our nation's youngest children on a silver platter.
"One of every seven victims (or 14% of all victims) of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies was under age 6"; "for victims under age 12, 4-year-olds were at greatest risk of being the victim of a sexual assault." [ Howard N. Snyder, Ph.D. for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics]
John McCain thinks five year old children should concern themselves only with butterflies and puppy dogs rather than learn how to survive in the real world. Instead of being adult enough to ensure the protection of these children against sexual assault, and in his eagerness to pander to the evangelical far-right, McCain does not want these young children to have the tools necessary to survive in a world that contains not only butterflies, but the harsh reality of sexual predators.
John McCain is more concerned about winning the Office of President than he is about innocent children remaining innocent to the horror of sexual abuse. With this one campaign advertisement, designed to take the spotlight off a speech by Obama on an educational platform that has broad appeal with Republicans, he has shown his total disregard for our most vulnerable citizens and the life long traumas those abused as children endure.
Sexual violence against children creates victims suffering from a wide range of symptoms such as unwarranted fears, poor self esteem, anxiety and eating disorders, not to mention poor grades. Victims of childhood sexual trauma may develop anger problems, make innocent but inappropriate sexual advances towards one of their friends or, when grown, sexually assault hundreds of children. As adults, the victims of early childhood assault may go into major depressive disorders such as PTSD, sometimes leading to financial failure and the failure of their marriages. Almost every single teenage prostitute today has been sexually assaulted as a child. These abused children can spiral into drugs and alcohol abuse and entertain suicidal thoughts. Sometimes they attempt suicide and sometimes they succeed.
It is estimated that there are 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today. [Forward, 1993]
Removing age appropriate education in kindergarten would leave children without the very tools they need to protect themselves against a lifetime of pain, if they survive the assault. McCain's plan would create a situation making more children more likely to become victims of heinous abuse. Is this a 'surge' John McCain supports?
Kindergarten teachers help parents take on the difficult and heart breaking task of trying to explain to five year old children living in a most innocent world full of butterflies and puppy dogs that there are those who would do them harm. These teachers tell their students that if they ever feel that 'Uncle Charley' touched them in a funny way, or they found themselves in any situation that makes them afraid or uncomfortable in any way whatsoever to 'GO TELL YOUR MOM AND DAD' immediately.