Rant With Randi: Wow! Common Core Curriculum has lost it

Randi Crawford

Have you heard about this? An elementary school in New Jersey gave out an assignment to a group of eighth-graders that would make any parent I know rip their kid out of that school and start homeschooling. Eighth-graders, were instructed to write a “reactive response” to this situation: “You had a really rotten day, but luckily for you, your best friend is having an awesome party later. You go to the party and start drinking. You have a little too much to drink and start talking to this girl/guy you’ve never seen before. You head upstairs to get better acquainted despite several friends telling you that you don’t even know this person. You end up having sex with this person. The next day you can’t remember everything that happened and rely on your best friend to fill you in. A week later you find out that you’ve contracted herpes from your one night stand and that this is a disease you will have all your life and never know when an outbreak will occur.” Ummm, so there is sex, a one-night stand, an STD, alcohol, and your child is supposed to assimilate this information, react, and write an essay as to how they would deal with it. Does anyone else see how insane this is?

When in the world did we decide that it’s OK for a school to expose our “middle-school-aged” kids to alcohol, sex and STD’s? What can their young minds possibly think in order for them to write a “reactive essay” to this vulgar situation? For obvious reasons, several of the parents were outraged, and when they called to inquire about the insanity of this assignment, they were told that it’s part of New Jersey’s “Core Curriculum.”

This was a language arts class, not even health/sex-ed class where parents are usually able to “opt out” if they are not comfortable with the school teaching that content to their children. I write a lot about the moral compass of our society, and kids growing up too fast with social media...but folks, this is common core curriculum! If you read my last article, I wrote about this age group, and their use of social media, based on Anderson Cooper’s report. We learned that these kids were sending explicit pictures of themselves to each other and “friending” people they didn’t know online.

So I’m not blind, I realize that they are dialed into what’s going on in the world around them. But the report also discussed the very “immature” nature of the fighting the kids did online and pointed out that they are young and they are forging new territory. The kids were NOT talking about having sex, STDs, drinking alcohol, or having one-night stands. This assignment is absolutely disgusting.

Both of my children were taught “basic” sex education, at school, at the end of their fifth-grade year. Each parent was able to opt out if they chose to. And after giving it a lot of thought, my husband and I agreed to let our kids attend the “talk” with the rest of their class. It came down to this: Kids are going to talk about what they learned, and what they “think they already know.” We figure they might as well learn it together and get the same message so they don’t hear something ridiculous on the playground from Johnny X who thinks he knows it all and doesn’t have a clue.

I attended with our daughter, and my husband attended with our son. We knew exactly what we were getting into, and nothing was done without our knowledge. In this case, the school handed out this assignment without the consent of any parent. This completely undermines what the family may or may not be teaching at home, as well as core family values.

I believe that someone needs to be fired for making this part of a core curriculum. And the teacher that handed out this assignment, shame on him! Even if this is part of any curriculum, any person with common sense should know that it’s not appropriate and toss it in the trash!

What say you? Email me at