This is very bad news:
The laws are changing to remove parental ability to opt their children out of sex education in public schools. This means that every kid in public schools, regardless of religious background or the parents’ wishes, will be taught the school’s version of sex education at 15 years old. This goes into effect in September of 2011. Thankfully, this is in Britain, not here in the US. Still, it’s a big deal.
What’s so wrong with that? Perhaps little, assuming that children will be taught responsibly. My childhood sex education experience, however, was anything but responsible. I was lucky enough to have to go through sex education at three different public schools across junior high and high school. Looking back, all three of these experiences were damaging to my health.
My first experience in junior high was perhaps the most damaging. I was taught how to masturbate from a cartoon video. I won’t get into the moral or spiritual issues or non-issues with masturbation, but personally, I very much wish I had not been taught this at that point in my life.
Obviously, sex education is important, and I do believe it is necessary from a very young age. But the way I will choose to educate my children will be vastly different from the haphazard approaches used in public schools. Public school teachers cannot be trusted with such a delicate and dangerous subject; the potential for damage is tremendous, and assuming parents are doing their job, the potential for any kind of a benefit is extremely minimal.
What are your thoughts on mandatory sex education in public schools? Have you chosen to opt-out your children in the past? Why or why not? Are you concerned with this new decision?