JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Middle schoolers get flyer, says they can get abortions, Plan B without asking parents

Jun 23, 2021, 6:27 PM | Updated: Jun 24, 2021, 1:57 pm
This Planned Parenthood flyer was distributed to 8th graders at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma. Stewart Middle School in Tacoma, Washington. (Photo: video from district Facebook)

A teacher in Tacoma distributed a flyer to 8th graders covering abortion, birth control, consent laws, condoms, and more.

Students at Stewart Middle School received the flyer as part of their science class. It covers a wide variety of topics around sex. Arguably the most controversial messages informed the students they can get abortions and birth control no matter their age and without asking for their parent’s consent.

The school is now apologizing.

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Controversial, inappropriate flyer given to children

The flyer, which was posted on social media by a concerned parent, informs students that they can get an abortion “at any age” without permission from a parent or guardian. A district spokesperson confirmed to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that the flyer (below) is authentic.

It also promotes Plan B Emergency Contraception, telling the middle schools you can buy it at a local pharmacy without a prescription, regardless of your age. Condoms? “You can buy condoms at any age,” the flyer reminds students. Same for birth control.

This Planned Parenthood flyer was distributed to 8th graders at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma.

And if the middle schooler is sexually active, the flyer covers the age of consent for sex and reminds them that anyone 14 or older does not need permission from a parent for STD and HIV testing or treatment.

The Tacoma Public Schools district says Planned Parenthood developed the flyer. So why was it distributed to 13- and 14-year-olds?

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Oops. Was it a mistake?

Eric Hogan is the Assistant Director of Secondary Education for the district. In a letter to a concerned parent, he apologized for the distribution of the flyer. Indeed, he says it was a mistake.

“The flyer is not part of our curriculum and should not have been sent home with students,” he wrote in the email obtained by the Jason Rantz Show.

Hogan confirmed it was only distributed at Stewart Middle School. And after an investigation, he had some answers on how this happened.

“Previously, Planned Parenthood taught within our schools and supplied the flyer that was distributed to students,” Hogan wrote. “We discovered a binder of curriculum materials was left behind for an incoming teacher to use for this year, and this flyer was in the binder. Not realizing the flyer wasn’t approved material, the teacher sent it home with students.”

Hogan said that all “un-approved materials” were removed from the binder. Further, he spoke to teachers and administrators about the approved curriculum for distribution.

“Corrective action has been taken with this employee,” Hogan noted.

He apologized on behalf of the school and the district.

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Willful lack of judgment?

It’s unclear why or how the teacher thought the flyer was age-appropriate.

Did the teacher review the flyer before distributing it? Was there any concern that the flyer reminded kids they do not need to talk to their parents before making the adult decision to abort an unborn child? Did the teacher even have second thoughts?

Passing out the flyer displayed a stunning lack of judgment. In fact, I think one can reasonably conclude it was willful that the teacher may have suspected the flyer to be inappropriate but passed it out anyway. For example, is the teacher a believer in pushing boundaries of materials given to kids, under the impression that they know more than the parents?

If this wasn’t intentional, and the teacher didn’t have even the slightest doubt about the material, it shows a notable lack of competence. What else is the teacher passing out that didn’t get the attention of a parent?

Schools should help bring families together

That Planned Parenthood representatives were even allowed on campus shows poor institutional judgment from the district. I suppose we should not be that shocked that this flyer was handed out.

It may be legal for children to get an abortion at any age, without parental consent, in Washington state. But it doesn’t mean we should be pushing the message on kids who have otherwise normal relationships with their parents. Anything that tells kids they don’t have to talk to loving parents or guardians, particularly on serious issues like abortion or birth control, should never find its way to a child.

Schools should help bridge any divide between parents and students; this flyer furthers it.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

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Rantz: Middle schoolers get flyer, says they can get abortions, Plan B without asking parents