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  • What's next in the schools?

       September 10, 2008

    One of the things that Sarah Palin has been accused of is wanting abstinence-only sex education taught in schools. She's said she's "I am opposed to explicit sex education." Because of her daughter's pregnancy, critics are quick to say "A ha!" and point to Bristol Palin's pregnancy as the natural consequence of a lack of sex education.

    Personally, if I had a daughter, I'd chop up birth control pills in her food as soon as she turned 13. But that's just me. Other parents feel differently, and that's the point. Parents should be responsible for this type of thing. Instead of asking what kind of sex education we should be teaching in schools, why aren't we asking why in the world we're teaching sex education in schools in the first place? Between parents, the Internet and the playground, I'm quite sure that curious children can learn plenty. Wouldn't the time spent on sex ed and the money spent on health class teachers be better spent teaching kids, oh, I don't know, reading, writing, math and science?

    Somehow, we've started to expect public schools to teach everything. Just yesterday, I was reading an article about how bike-friendly Wisconsin is. Naturally, the comments to the article quickly degenerated into a "bikes suck!" "cars suck!" argument (seriously - these must be the same people who constantly shouted "Ogg sucks!" out of their dorm rooms years ago). One commenter suggested:

    Better still would be to make it part of primary or secondary educational curriculum. It's a little strange when you think about it—most people receive no bicycle education at all, and many bicycle facilities are designed as an afterthought to roads—is it really such a mystery why bike riders don't behave predictably?

    I'm aghast at the kind of society that move on when people receive no bicycle education at all. The horror. Clearly we must remedy this with a required quarter-long class taught by some Bicycle Federation member for the low, low price of $35-$50K with state benefits. Whew! We all dodged a bullet there!

    Maybe sex education, driver's education, bicycle education and the like don't belong in schools at all. For years, Wisconsin's DNR has successfully managed a hunter education program. It doesn't take up valuable class time and parents don't have to subject their kids to it if they don't want to. Sounds good to me.

    Posted by at September 10, 2008 09:10 AM

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    #  September 12th, 2008 5:22 PM      Squibbly
    I agree that sex ed and some of those other extracurricular projects are best taught at home by loving parents who want to keep their kids safe, but its hard to ignore the fact that there are way too many parents that are abdicating their responsibilities to the schools. Do you think that having these programs actually decreases the number of parents who have meaningful discussions with their kids on these important topics? You know, the parent thinking "Gee I'm sure glad they talk about that stuff at school so that I don't have to."

    Personally I don't want the schools teaching my child something that I feel I could better teach, and that is MY responsibility to teach.  



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