Back when I started blogging (mostly) every day around the beginning of the year, I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough writing material to keep going on a daily basis. Yet every day I keep seeing an ever increasing bounty.
This is the latest, courtesy of whatever the hell they put in the drinking water over in Utah:
A bill that would require Utah educators to refrain from the discussion of contraceptives in sex ed passed [19-10] the Utah Senate Tuesday afternoon.
After the new bill goes into effect, the teaching of sex education in Utah classrooms has to be about not having sex before marriage and fidelity within marriage. Teachers cannot advocate the use of contraceptives anymore and they cannot talk about homosexuality, even if asked by a student.
HB 363 would also allow any Utah school to opt out of sex education and would ban students from talking to their teachers about pre-marital sex.
So if I understand the bill correctly, it not only limits “sex education” to telling kids not to do it before marriage, but lets parents opt their kids out of even hearing about that if it offends their delicate sensibilities.
That’s just wonderful. Nothing makes problems like rampant teen pregnency, the spread of STDs, and homophobia vanish overnight like refusing to talk about them in any constructive fashion.
No debate about the teaching of sexuality would be complete without an obligatory “ONG WHAT ABOUT TEH CHILDREN”:
“My problem is that we’re having essentially complete strangers teaching our children, who frankly we don’t know who they are and exactly what they’re teaching, with the most sensitive issues that do belong in the home,” said one Republican Senator during Tuesday’s floor debate.
You’ve got lots of problems, Senator. Like not realizing after all this time that a person needs a degree and formal education to become a teacher, but any two idiots with functioning reproductive systems can have a kid. Being a parent doesn’t bestow upon you any additional wisdom or judgment that somehow qualifies you to determine whether your child deserves to know about things that relate to public health or the world beyond the tip of your own nose.
Right now Utah allows schools to teach abstinence-based or abstinence -only sex ed. The difference is that the former focuses on abstinence (which is fine), but teaches other things like the use and failure rates of various contraception along with STDs; the latter just has a sign in the front of the room that reads: “PREMARITAL SEX MAKES BABY JESUS CRY”. Or something close to that. I think the exact verbiage is up to the school board. The dangerous part is their refusal to discuss anything else, allowing kids to find out on their own.
STDs and contraceptive failure rates are not two topics you want to learn “on the job”. But, as long as kids are being protected from those big mean immoral liberal schoolteachers, I guess that’s all that matters … even if they are saddled with a kid or a case of syphilis and have no idea why. Some people are unsurprisingly thrilled over this development:
“I think that our children are so important and we cannot afford to tell them anything but the truth…and the truth is the only way to protect yourself physically and emotionally is to abstain from sex until you are married and to be faithful in a relationship,” said Dalane England, Utah Eagle Forum vice president of issues. “When you have the truth and the whole truth you don’t need anything else.”
The Utah Eagle Forum is about what you’d expect: a bunch of self-proclaimed patriots and God warriors who compulsively regurgitate bible verses and labor under the false pretense that the Founding Fathers never intended there to be any kind of separation between church and state. Dalane England, whose comments leave little doubt why she’s the VP of “Issues”, likely believes she’s doing her Christian duty of claiming her particular interpretation of reality as the truth, leaving out the reality of the fact that the “whole truth” means being honest with your kids, and that lies of omission – when dealing with something as important as public health and human sexuality – can result in terrible consequences you can’t just ignore in hopes they’ll go away.