Block Sex Ed Classes in a Maryland County?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 4, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Unresolved Problems" segment tonight, teaching sex in public schools. — One advisory, this upcoming report may contain pictures not suitable for young children.

There's a huge controversy in Maryland. Two groups have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block sex-ed classes in Montgomery County (search) where teachers use graphic images.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now for our purposes today, we'll be using a cucumber for the demonstration.


O'REILLY: The classes were supposed to start this week in six high schools and middle schools. Opponents say the curriculum is far too graphic and too focused on homosexuality. —A judge will decide tomorrow.

Joining us now from Washington, Steve Fisher, spokesman for Citizens For A Responsible Curriculum.

All right, very specifically, you know, I mean, we see this. It's pretty explicit, I would say. And a lot of people would object to that in public school. Anything else that you zeroed in on that you feel is inappropriate?


The thing that we were most concerned about was that we were totally caught off guard that they were changing a sex education program that we take a great deal of pride in. We think that the current curriculum is absolutely part of one of the best in the country.

When WMAL (search) broke the news on a radio talk show, a lot of parents like myself were like wait a minute, something's going on here. And this is not something that we really think our school system should be involved in. And the more we checked into it, we found out there was more and more reasons to be concerned. And essentially someone wasn't looking after our concerns and our values and our viewpoints.

O'REILLY: OK, but you got to be specific because most people don't live in the Washington-Maryland area.

FISHER: Well...

O'REILLY: So they had a curriculum that you were happy with.

FISHER: Yes and...

O'REILLY: And they changed it. Now what changes have disturbed you?

FISHER: First of all, the changes was to introduce sexual identity and orientation discussions as early as eighth grade. We found some of the reference materials for the teachers were encouraging children to self-identify their sexual identity outside of their parents' instructions and purview, and independent of their family's values.

O'REILLY: OK, does that mean that the teachers were asking children if they were gay or straight?

FISHER: The teachers were encouraging children to look at sexual identity beyond their biological [nature], to something one of the resources said to your inner self as far as whether you think...

O'REILLY: All right, so they were encouraging children to figure out if they were gay or straight?

FISHER: Right, in the classroom. And a lot of the parents are very much concerned that that's something they should...

O'REILLY: Well, what about the demonstration that we saw with the condom deal? Was that OK with you? Did you object to that?

FISHER: We were very much concerned about the video when we heard that. And then, when we actually were able to get a copy of it, which was not easy, we found that while it mentions abstinence briefly, it really goes into a how-to on sex. We also saw that there was material in there, that was wrong.

For example, they say protect yourself by the title of the video. They say it's 98 percent effective. And what they don't tell you is that 98 percent effective is only for pregnancy. And what we found out for women, married over 35...

O'REILLY: All right, so you don't think that they were cautionary enough in their explanation of barrier birth control, correct?

FISHER: Right. And also too, they did not mention that condoms do not protect you against a host of sexual...

O'REILLY: All right, so they weren't cautionary enough is your point. All right. So we have — they were encouraging students to basically identify their sexuality as young as eighth graders. They weren't cautionary enough in their explanation of barrier birth control. Anything else?

FISHER: Well, there's discriminatory. We found that their resources and the curriculum changes... We found out that they were going to modify the current curriculum to incorporate this information, that they were stressing that, for example, homosexuality is normal, and it's not a choice.

O'REILLY: OK, give me an example of how they would...

FISHER: Well, they have a resource [instruction book] for the teachers. It's called "Myth and Facts". And in this resource [book], if a student were to ask a teacher whether some religions consider homosexuality a sin, the teacher's response was to be the Anglican Church of Ontario, Canada says it recognizes same-sex unions. And it goes on to say we all know that some religions advocate hatred and bigotry.

O'REILLY: Wow, all right, so this was in a teacher's instruction manual for the course?

FISHER: It was the resource material that was being developed to be provided to the teachers.

O'REILLY: All right. So — but the student raises his hand. And you know, my religion says it's a sin. How do you react to that? Then the teacher, in your opinion, says this is based on hatred and bigotry?

FISHER: Well, the implication could be very strongly...

O'REILLY: Well, I mean, there's a difference between saying it and implying it, you know.

FISHER: Right. The other thing was that they were concerned that by introducing this into the classroom, and only bringing in one religious viewpoint without the other, that there may be other violations there.

O'REILLY: Right.,

FISHER: And we're very uncomfortable with them addressing, going down this path.

O'REILLY: OK. So the judge decides tomorrow whether Montgomery can change its sex ed curriculum. And Mr. Fisher, we appreciate you taking the time. Thank you.

FISHER: Bill, thank you very much. Glad to be here.

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