Applauding Peoria’s Comprehensive Sex Education Curriculum

When a child is born, a doctor says, “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl.”

Assigning someone’s sex is based on biology — chromosomes, anatomy and hormones. But a person’s
gender identity — the inner sense of being male, female or both — doesn’t always match their biology.
Transgender people say they were assigned a sex that isn’t true to who they are. (Lisa Fields, WebMD, July 27, 2017)

We humans become cognizant of our sexuality much younger than some are ready to acknowledge.
Quoting the American Psychological Association “For most people, sexual orientation emerges in early
adolescence without any prior sexual experience.”

Young people have questions, lots of questions regarding sexuality. I posit that young adults of junior
high age, or even younger, are aware of their sexuality and are especially benefited by accurate, science-based information that is now provided by the Peoria Public Schools’ Comprehensive Sex Health Curriculum.

My applause aimed at their efforts is deafening.

Cheryl Hofbauer
Peoria, IL

Response to “The Missing Flag”

For the record, my grandfather earned a Purple Heart serving in a machine gun crew in World War I. My
uncle served in the Army Air Corps in WW II. My father served in the Army in the Korean War. My brother
served in the Navy during the Vietnam era. My niece’s husband earned a Purple Heart in Iraq, and my own son is currently enrolled in Air Force ROTC. I have nothing but the deepest respect and admiration for our armed forces and veterans.

That said, I don’t believe my personal feelings should influence the Airport Authority’s long-standing policy to not display the symbols of outside groups. After all, one only has to look to some of the divisive and violent rallies surfacing across our country today to see the slippery slope. The airport’s policy is not based just on my opinion, but rather is based on discussions with our attorney.

The POW/MIA flag is a powerful symbol with a wonderful message – our nation’s commitment to
accounting for those still missing in action or prisoners of war. Unfortunately, there are many groups with
messages that our community would find abhorrent. Thus, our policy has been to have no displays, rather than risk being forced to allow displays our community might find objectionable.

I would have liked to have had the chance to clarify our policy.

Just to be clear, the airport is not a federal agency, as Mr. Roger Monroe implied. The Airport Authority
is a municipal corporation created by state law, so we are much more like a city or village than we are the federal government. Although I would like to note that of the three military facilities based on or adjacent to our airport, only one flies the POW/MIA flag.

PIA supports the military and our veterans in many ways – hosting multiple Honor flights every year
and through partnerships with our military tenants to name a couple – but displaying the POW/MIA flag is
something we cannot do. Personally, I support the POW/MIA flag and all it stands for. Professionally, it is the airport’s long-standing policy not to fly any flag representing any outside group.

Gene Olson
Director of Airports
Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria



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