There was a time when talking about sex simply did not happen. That was many moons ago. Now, teens are beginning to have sex at younger and younger ages, and this changes the playing field. Everyone knows that parents need to talk to their kids about sex education, but the lines are not as clear about sex education in school settings. How can we educate our children about sex without endorsing it and should that be a decision made by our school system? This is just one of the many considerations on this important social subject.
The Argument For Sex Education in School
Those that support this say it is because the kids are not getting the right amount of information at home, and that the school is only enhancing the subject for the parents that do talk with their kids. Schools have been known to give out condoms, and take other steps that help to ensure our kids do not get pregnant. They say that sex education helps those kids that are sexually active to do so safely. Some even claim that sex education in schools actually helps to prevent sex at a young age.
The Argument Against Sex Education in School
As a parent, I firmly stand against sex education in school. The reason is rather simple really. Sex education in school can run contradictory to what a parent feels is appropriate, and the parent should have the final say. Here is an example:
Sally is taught at home that sex before marriage is wrong, and that she should not engage in sex until that time. She is also taught about the dangers of sex, and the consequences that can arise such as early teen pregnancy and disease. Then Sally goes to school and attends her class on sex education. The teacher in the class delivers the message that students should wear condoms if they are sexually active, and other similar messages while at the same time, giving out condoms.
While these messages are accurate, they are also indicative of an acceptance of sex among teens and send a mixed message. This sends the wrong message to teens in comparison to what Sally is taught at home, and can confuse the lines that a parent has drawn for their children.
Sex education is something that should be taught at home, and then supported at school through basic sex education classes. Where the system has broken down is in the subject matter. Teaching children about how sex works and the consequences of early sex is a good thing. What they should and should not do is the area for parents, not schools.
While both arguments certainly have merit, I feel that parents should be aware of everything being taught to kids at school where sex is concerned. Parents are not informed of these important facts, and when they are contradictory to what the parent feels is right for their kid, it is simply wrong. Perhaps the right solution would be a combination of parents and teachers attacking the problems facing our children. This could only happen through closely working together and that is sorely lacking in the schools of America today.