Sex education has been taking a beating in Utah schools as of late and now it may be gone all together. Heated debate between people who want students to be educated against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy and those who want abstinence education to be promoted has been going on for weeks. Now, there may simply be no sex education at all.
Utah says “No sex education for you!”
After about two hours of strong debate about sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancy and abstinence, a legislative committee just barely approved a bill Thursday night that will allow Utah school districts to end sex education.
The House Education Committee passed HB363 8-7, and it will now go to the House floor. Before advancing the bill, however, the panel voted to make some substantial changes to it.
Changes to the sex education bill
- Originally, districts would have been required to teach sex education with an abstinence-only approach, refraining from any discussion of contraception, homosexuality or sex outside marriage. Critics feared such a requirement would extend into other academic classes, such as history or literature.
- The committee, voted to remove the ban on discussing contraception, homosexuality and sex outside marriage. Instead, the revised bill prohibits only the advocacy of those activities, along with instruction in the “use” of contraceptives.
This is actually quite similar to Utah’s current sex-education law. But whether the amendment will mean teachers are still be allowed to discuss contraception under the bill was somewhat unclear Thursday night. Either way, the amended bill would allow districts to forgo teaching about sex altogether, which is different from current law, which requires high schools to teach about the topic, though instruction must stress abstinence.
Current law allows parents to take their kids out of sex education and districts may choose to teach abstinence only.
What does all this mean for the students in Utah? Basically they will be left in the dark and will have to rely on their religious parents to tell them about sex and proper uses of condoms…basically, it’s an epic FAIL.