Carly Fiorina Co-opts Preschool Field Trip for Pro-Life Stump Speech


Fiorina put the children — whose faces Yahoo Health has chosen to obscure — front and center without their parents’ permission. (Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo)

Imagine you are a 4-year old child on a preschool field trip to the botanical gardens. One minute you are looking at flowers, the next minute, you are sitting at former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina’s feet as the presidential hopeful gives a “right to life” forum speech.

No, this isn’t the Onion; yes, this is what happened to a group of Iowa preschoolers yesterday at the Greater Des Moines botanical gardens who found themselves unwittingly used as props for a graphic speech given by the candidate in front of a wall-size poster of a fetus, reports the Guardian.

Parents of the children claim they never gave the Fiorina campaign permission to include their children in her stump speech; as parent Chris Beck told the Guardian, “This kids went there to see the plants. [Fiorina] ambushed my son’s field trip.”

Beck added: “Taking them into a pro-life/abortion discussion [was] very poor taste and judgment. I would not want my 4-year old going to that forum — he can’t fully comprehend that stuff. He likes dinosaurs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Transformers.”

The Mayo Clinic says that for toddlers, sex education isn’t a single tell-all discussion. They recommend taking advantage of everyday opportunities to discuss sex. If there’s a pregnancy in the family, for example, tell your child that babies grow in a special place inside the mother.

An episode of PBS Newshour that aired in May discussed the way that Dutch schools begin their sexual education programs in kindergarten in a way “to get kids thinking and talking about the kind of intimacy that feels good and the kind that doesn’t.” For example, children read storybooks with their teacher showing different animals hugging and are asked to explain why someone might choose to give someone else a hug.

Yes, this is considered sex ed. And, yes, that is what appropriate sex ed looks like for a 4-year old, who probably has no idea what the birds and the bees are.

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