Back in 2011, there was a big news story about the “Organ Lady”, a woman who uses organs to teach children about proper health choices. Her instructional material, you may remember include, as a caution against cannabis, a pair of human testicles. Going through my computer, I found the letter I wrote to King5 regarding this “instruction”. Enjoy!
I am writing you regarding the story which aired and was posted on the King 5 website this last Saturday, relating to the “Organ Lady”.
Your story, while interesting, lacked some specific information and seemed to be quite supportive of this education method and program. The website of this group also lacks certain information related to the program in question. The website sends you to a set of pictures showing the organ collection (http://www.choiceandconsequence.org/TRIS_Follow_up_teachers_2009.pdf ), however this is not a complete list-the collection also includes a pair of testicles used to educate young boys and girls about the dangers of cannabis.
As the mother of a pre-teen child I worry about this program for a number of reasons. I do not want the school to pay to give my child or the children of others an education based primarily fear. The founders of the program are individuals who have been negatively effected by others addictions and feel this is influencing the way in which they are educating our children on important matters. (http://www.choiceandconsequence.org/FAQs.html#18 ) It is a wonderful thing to educate our children, when they are being given valid and useful information. My child has not experienced the “Organ Lady”, however a family friend has he was given a pair of testicles to hold that had been destroyed by testicular cancer and had it explained that cannabis is what causes testicular cancer.Currently 13 states recognize the use of marijuana as a medicine-one of the main reasons is that it is safer for cancer patients than many other medications and assists with the body’s ability to heal and handle chemotherapy and radiation. This number is growing. The medical uses being discovered are incredible. None of this information was presented.
Not only are fear tactics wrong, I feel that to use organs in this method desensitizes children to the living breathing parts inside of others-and should be approved by parents before children are exposed to it. Organs are not merely “neat” for kids to touch. They were human beings-and young children have not reached an awareness of mortality necessary to appreciate this fully. Are permission slips signed or is a child required to touch these regardless of their and their parents’ values and spirituality?
As a reporter, sharing news and information, I would hope for a more clear picture on a program that has so much influence over the way our children make decisions in the future, a more balanced report that shows both the pros and cons of this type of teaching methodology, a certain measure of unbiased in such an important report. I do not doubt that the founders of this program intend to help our children, I do question whether these methods are effective. I feel that we should not be allocating educational funds to any program that is presenting a message based in fear.
All the information I found on this “Organ Lady” program, I discovered with 15 minutes of internet reading and one story from one boy who held the testicles. As reporter at a major outlet, I am sure you had more time and resources to present a complete picture of this story, and yet did not.
As a concerned individual, who wants her children in the world given real, complete information, without the overtone of fear, I ask you to look again at this program, look at other educational models; fear is not the answer-information is and this is fear being presented as information.
Rev. Gloria Kalteich
Choice and Consequences FAQ page:
Seattle Foundations page about Choice and Consequence: