Monday July 17, 2017
The letter "Planned Parenthood doesn't belong at RHS" (Reading Eagle, July 11) has prompted me to share my experience. As a retired health educator with more than 23 years teaching in middle schools in Michigan and Berks County, I take exception with Dan Bartkowiak's biased conclusions. In my experience as a health educator, Planned Parenthood has been an invaluable resource for accurate information on the reproductive system.
Contrary to Bartkowiak's erroneous assumption, there had never been any emphasis on abortion services in the numerous contacts I have had with Planned Parenthood. The hysteria that equates Planned Parenthood with abortions is inaccurate, as the majority of its services provide not only factual information but affordable and accessible gynecological services. Bartkowiak asks, " but what if the information is harmful?" I would suggest that ignorance of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy is the real danger.
It is always important to include responsibility and consequences when teaching about systems of the human body, and it is equally important to present medically factual and age-appropriate information. The reproductive health curriculum proposed for RHS does just that, and I hope the members of the Reading School Board adopt it. If trained professionals are hindered from providing relevant and accurate information to students, then children will get their information from questionable websites or their friends in the back of the school bus.
Linda B. Wood
Planned Parenthood belongs at high school