Our View: Let’s talk about sex
For a topic typically kept in the bedroom, sex always finds a way into all aspects of our lives.
It’s on your television, in your advertising, even in your newspaper. And, thanks to the government, it’s in your kids’ school.
You can switch off the TV and discard the advert, but the education of our children is ubiquitous. What they learn now shapes the future of our county, state and nation.
Math and science knowledge builds scientists. The arts give us writers and painters.
Sex education, when done right, builds a healthy, knowledgeable generation that makes informed choices based on facts.
No one is treating this subject lightly.
Enter into this discussion Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. Dacus spoke this week to the Nevada County Republican Women Federated and the Nevada County Tea Party.
A controversial figure himself, Dacus opposes the California Healthy Youth Act. That’s a 2016 law that teaches, among other things, comprehensive sex ed and HIV prevention to kids.
“Many of the new revamped health curriculum lessons will conflict with the values taught at home and church,” the local Tea Party’s website states.
Good thing parents can pull their kids from part or all of the sex ed program.
Dacus, like the rest of us, has his own political beliefs. That’s not at issue. The problem is that politics has once again entered into a subject where, in a perfect world, it has no business. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in. Politics always will be involved because that’s the nature of our school system.
Add sex to the politics of public schools and you’ve got a recipe for the most awkward clash you’ll likely ever see at a board meeting.
What we should do is get informed and make the best decisions for ourselves and our children. For some, that will include Dacus. Plenty of parents don’t want their children to learn about gender fluidity, LGBTQ awareness and the various nature of sexual desire at a young age. Some parents would rather tackle those issues themselves, or have their church get involved.
Others had poor experiences talking about sex with their own parents, never got “the talk” as a kid and are happy with a school system taking that burden from them.
Regardless of the path parents take, our children need sex education. The days of keeping this knowledge hidden from kids until the “right” age are gone. In fact, they never existed. There’s always the kid on the playground who’s going to spread misinformation. There’s always the search engine on your child’s computer, or phone, that’s a willing teacher if you or your designee isn’t.
Our teachers are saddled with a heavy burden. They must teach sex education to children — a job most of us would likely run from. These teachers take this task seriously. They want to follow the law, present the facts and teach our children the lessons they need to become responsible, sexually aware adults.
You as a parent in California have the right to remove your child from these lessons. The law gives you that right.
What isn’t as clear is the unstated responsibility all parents have to ensure their child receives sex education. Whether it’s from a school, church, synagogue or your own home. Children desperately need good information about sex to ensure they don’t repeat the mistakes of the past and make the correct decisions in the future.
Because, let’s face it, the topic of sex isn’t going anywhere.
Our View is the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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