Nothing gets people riled up like a good debacle about sex education.
And rightly so. Where and when your kids learn about sex should be entirely up to the parent.
So it’s understandable that many Utahns are up in arms about HB363, which awaits the governor’s approval. The bill would ban teachers from teaching about contraceptives, sexual activity outside of marriage and homosexuality in Utah schools, even if a student asks about these topics.
I am all for abstinence education. It is the philosophy we will be teaching my daughter. I am also all for teaching my own daughter about sex. I want to do it in my own way, in my own time and couched in my own set of values and beliefs.
But that’s just the problem with this bill. It deprives other parents that same right. If another mom wants her child to learn about sex via the public school system, that’s just fine with me. In fact, if another mom refuses to talk to her child about sex, then I definitely want someone teaching him about the birds and the bees before he ends up on a date with my daughter with no commitment to abstinence and also completely ignorant.
Sure, the world would be a wonderful place if no teenagers had sex and no teenage girls got pregnant in the backseat of cars. But that’s not real. What’s real is that some kids need to hear about STDs and condoms in a classroom because they’re not learning about it at home. The only alternative, then, is learning about it in the locker room, and we all know how those conversations are just rife with facts and solid guidance.
My daughter is 5. I don’t know if I will opt her in or out of sex education when she gets old enough. I haven’t made that decision yet. But I like to know that it is a decision I get to make, not one made for me by legislators.
What do you think about HB363? Should topics such as STDs, premarital sex and homosexuality be taboo in public schools?