This letter is in response to the controversy surrounding Mary Jo Podgurski and the sex education curriculum at Peters Township Middle School.
I applaud any parent who advocates for their child’s education and uses their personal and family values as a guide for that advocacy. What disturbs me is the hypocrisy that was on display at Monday’s meeting of Peters Township School Board. One parent said, “This is an all-out assault on family values.” The value they were referring to was, of course, parental rights to choose when, what and how sex education will be provided to their children.
I’m curious: Do their family values include civility and honesty? A report on the meeting in Tuesday’s Observer-Reporter stated that whenever a supporter of the sex-education curriculum spoke, they were met with boos and hisses. Is civility not a family value to be taught and modeled to our children, rather than silencing any voice in opposition to our own? Is it a family value that you must make your point at any cost, even if it means slandering someone else’s character or taking information out of context to instill fear?
Mary Jo Podgurski’s reputation speaks for itself. She is a community member and professional who exemplifies family values in everything she does to support parents and youth through difficult times. The voices of her attackers not echo the family values of respect, civility and freedom of choice.
Mary Jo Harwood