Did the McCain Campaign Misrepresent a Sex Education Bill Supported by Obama?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Age Appropriate?

It is widely agreed in the mainstream media that John McCain falsely accused Barack Obama of supporting a bill that provided sex education for kindergartners. The McCain camp made the assertion in a campaign ad released last week.

The Washington Post called the ad “dishonest and deceptive,” and The New York Times said, “At most, kindergartners were to be taught the dangers of sexual predators.”

But it appears those critics have not read the bill, which Obama backed as an Illinois state senator in 2003. It says curriculum in “any of grades K-12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.”

The Obama camp maintains the bill was intended to teach kindergartners only about inappropriate touching, but Byron York at the National Review writes, “The ‘touching’ provision did not have the prominence that team Obama has suggested it had, and certainly wasn’t the bill’s main purpose.”

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