Teach our children well

State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson has an answer for folks who worry that allowing comprehensive sex education in public schools will lead to the demise of Western civilization.

Atkinson was one of several speakers at a news conference this morning promoting the Healthy Youth Act sponsored by Rep. Bob England, a physician from Rutherford County.

The legislation would allow parents of students in grades 7-9 to choose from two separate sex education programs, abstinence until marriage or abstinence-based comprehensive sex ed.

Religious conservatives say that providing students with information about how to protect themselves from pregnancy or sexually-transmitted diseases will lead to increased sexual activity.

Atkinson disagrees, saying

Just because we teach children about communism doesn’t mean they will become communists

It is also worth noting that some of the opponents of allowing any version of comprehensive sex ed were also supporters of the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program, which teaches kids to use firearms safely.

Apparently, kids will discover guns on their own, but won’t ever think about sex unless a teacher  brings it up. Who knew?

7 Comments

  1. sturner

    February 3, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Chris…the unholy alliance of the NRA and abstinence only sex education gives new meaning to the term “Shotgun Wedding.”

  2. Sean Kosofsky

    February 3, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Atkinson is right. This legislation will save lives and improve the overall quality of life for citizens of NC and children.

  3. Paige

    February 3, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    As a parent of two children, including one in middle school, I welcome the right to decide which curriculum is best for my child. This is a great way to get parents involved and to make sure all teens have access to lifesaving information.

  4. dmin

    February 3, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Personally, I don’t see why there would be an objection to the option for comprehensive sex education in schools. Do the opponents really understand what would be taught, or is it just a knee-jerk reaction? The parents who are against it are probably the one’s whose children need it the most. I can think of a certain prominent family in Alaska that might have benefited from comprehensive sex education in school, since abstinence until marriage education didn’t seem to work as intended for them.

    On the other hand, I don’t see why anyone would object to the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program. The NRA’s Eddie Eagle program does not teach kids how to “use firearms safely,” as suggested in the original post, but rather about accident prevention by featuring the instructions for children who ever encounter a gun: “STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.”

    Sounds to me like Eddie Eagle is not the firearms equivalent to comprehensive sex education, but more on the level Good-Touch/Bad-Touch. Have those who knock it ever investigated what it covers, and what it doesn’t, or is it the same knee-jerk reaction Religious conservatives have to comprehensive sex education?

    See:
    http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/
    http://www.childhelp.org/gtbt

  5. Randi

    February 3, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    This proposal seems like a great win-win solution to a difficult political issue. Personally, I cannot understand how schools cannot teach young people about such a central part of life – isn’t that what schools are for? But, the reality is that we probably are not going to get good sex ed back in our schools for a long long time – this way at least some kids will get the information.

    My son learned the facts of life from me – and when he turned 13 I was really glad that the message could be reinforced by the schools (he goes to a private school)!

    Great work.

  6. [...] know I’m a couple of days late to this discussion, but I have to contribute anyway. While getting away from our ridiculous state-mandated [...]

  7. Farley

    February 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    The Healthy Youth Act introduction is great news. As a former middle school teacher, I am very familiar with what happens when we do NOT teach our children how to take care of and respect their bodies.

    We must prioritize educating EVERY young person and subsequently allow them to make decisions about their lives; rather than withhold crucial information and then punish them for poor decision-making.