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This is in response to Mary Schiavoni’s Guest column addressing the Maine Character Resources presentation at Scarborough High School. I have several points to address regarding the presentation of this course in our school. First, please acknowledge what this course really is-an abstinence course. All the portions that Ms. Schiavoni’s outlined in MCR’s course are included in the Scarborough health curriculum except the emphasis on abstinence. Second, it is highly suspect that not only was this course listed with Community Services as a “health course” but also that the parent that helped sponsor it will not reveal her name. If this is such a important topic and there is a significant need for this course in our area, why no fliers, contact with other parents, or notice in the community service calendar? Third, it appears, by report, that less than ten students attended this course, and therefore this course could have easily been offered in someone’s home. It certainly would have been much easier, since it seems that the sponsoring parent was already in contact with other similarly-minded parents.

The Question: Where are the positive character attributes and modeling by these adults? The offering of this course in the school looks like a behind-the-scenes, round about way of getting the “abstinence-only” model into the Scarborough School System when the answer was previously no.

No sound-minded parent wants their child of middle or high school age to engage is adult sexual behavior. However, the emphasis on ‘character development’ of this course and the behavior of the adults involved in the presentation of this course do not jive. Character building includes learning, developing, and following through with well thoughtout choices and decisions; taking responsibility for one’s choices; and standing up for what one believes even in the face of adversity.

The presentation of MRC’s course in Scarborough Schools will certainly be one that I will explain to my middle school daughter; I will help her identify and understand how and where poor choices and decisions were made.

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