Sex Education in Our School System

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Amidala-Leia, Mar 24, 2002.

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  1. LMU-Lion Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 1
    That doesn't excuse them of their responsibilities. The choice is simple. A child's welfare and basic needs should always supersede a parent's selfish concerns. Please. "Oh, I'm too embarassed to talk about sex so I'll let little John find out the hard way." That's love and responsibility for you. Then again, aren't we inundated with stories in the news about parents sacraficing their children's welfare because their own problems are more important?
  2. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    LMU_Lion: You're right about parental responsibility; however, unfortunately, there are a lot of idiots out there who are breeding like rabbits, and there's nothing we're going to do to change that. You said you were an educator--you should certainly have first-hand knowledge of this, as I do. In the schools, if we want the future adults of America to be good citizens, we have to pick up the slack where their parents left off. This is unfortunate but true. There are some issues that we can't leave up to the parents, because these issues have to be addressed, and many parents will not address them.

    You mentioned teaching them in high school--I taught high school for eight years and I teach middle school now. High school is too late--many of those children are already sexually active, as are many of my middle school students. Many of these students either a) come from fundamentalist religious households in which the parents either believe that talking about sex will "put ideas into a kid's head" (ROTFLMAO--how many teens and preteens can honestly say that the idea isn't already there? I couldn't have when I was that age), or are too embarrassed to discuss it because they believe it is a "sin"; or b) are never home, or when they are home, are not attending to their children; therefore the children pick up false knowledge about sex from the streets long before junior high or high school.

    Quite frankly, given the way some parents act, I really don't care if they "approve" of the school's teaching their children about birth control and the facts of life. If they were doing their jobs, we wouldn't have to. I understand that this doesn't go for all parents, but it does go for way too many.
  3. McNerf-Burger Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 5
    But what right do schools have to do this in the first place? It is none of their business.
  4. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    It is part of their business. It's called education. They shouldn't be imposing morality on students, but they should be teaching them the facts and letting kids make up their own minds.

    This is such a conservative board, it's freaky.
  5. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    McNerf: Besides parents, children see school officials most. (Actually, some children see us a lot more than they see their parents.) If the parents aren't going to take the responsibility, and you say the schools shouldn't do it, who would you suggest? As adults, we are all responsible for the next generation. If someone doesn't take the initiative, these kids are left out in the dust, and that does no one any favors, not us or them.

    Uruk-hai:

    "This is such a conservative board, it's freaky. "

    Amen to that. And the conservatives here are so idealistic, it's freaky.
  6. Ariana Lang Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 1999
    star 5
    And if you asked the conservatives, they would say that this board tends to be filled with cynical liberals who try to beat down the conservatives at every chance they get.

    Sooo...to quote Obi-Wan, "What I said was true, from a certain point of view." We all see things differently. I know that as a conservative, I've often been very very nervous about (hitting reload, reload, reload, reload, reload) whatever I've posted, knowing that someone's going to just slaughter me for what I've said. (Except usually they just ignore my post and keep talking about whatever they were ;) )
  7. Khab Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 23, 1999
    star 1
    Normally it's the other way around, liberals are idealistic and conservatives are cynical. Weird.
  8. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    Don't feel bad, Ariana, I've done the same thing; and you wouldn't believe how many threads I've gotten beat up on around here because I'm liberal.

    As far as "cynical liberals"--well, a lot of us tend to be liberal because we are cynical--because we've seen a lot of problems that the conservative solution simply isn't going to fix, and some other problems that nothing is going to fix, and we therefore have to make the best of. Actually, I prefer the word "realistic," as opposed to "cynical"--but on some things, I probably wouldn't argue the fact that I'm cynical.

    In my viewpoint, conservatives seem to assume that everyone has grown up with ideal parents; enough food, clothing, and money; and been educated well in all areas. If this were true, the conservative solutions would work; however, unfortunately, some children are brought up under circumstances that are less than ideal.

    Case in point: the thread topic. It would work to keep sex education out of schools and in the homes--if everyone had parents who would teach them about sex. It would work to keep birth control "out of the hands" of teenagers--if teenagers never wanted to have sex and never gave in to these desires. But that's not how the world is. Those of us who are stable adults are responsible for the next generation, and for making the world a better place.
  9. Ariana Lang Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 1999
    star 5
    Actually, I'm kind of a cynic too in some cases, and in others rediculously idealistic. It's really weird. I was just using a sweeping generalization to make a point. I'm not saying all of you are cynic liberals!
  10. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    I hate having to be classed as just "conservative" or "liberal." I, personally, don't claim to be either. I don't base my opinions on "the conservative point of view" and likewise with the liberal point of view. I find that neither side is always right, or even more often right than the other. I instead choose to look over the situation for myself and then use my own judgement to draw my own conclusions. Even if those conclusions tend to follow one side more than the other, I am not bound to either one. Why let a group of people do your own thinking for you?
  11. nyjets Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 4
    they bring these hot chicks to guys high schoolstrying to tell them to not have sex before marriage. there not listening there just thinking about having sex with them
  12. McNerf-Burger Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 5
    I dont believe the school has any right whatsoever to do anything, especially regarding sex ed, that the parents dont want them doing. That is going way over the line. Maybe the parents dont do it. Well, oh well. Its still none of the school's business.
  13. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    IMHO, I find cynicism in the conservative camp more often. But I think it's where the cynicism lies is the interesting aspect.

    Conservatives are cynical about the ability to improve society

    Liberals are as a_g said.

    and discussing liberal/conservative issues are a bit off topic. THey do inform the views in this thread, but they aren't the heart of this thread.
  14. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    McNerf: So, let me get this straight:

    You've got kids out there whose parents are not doing their jobs. We're supposed to just wash our hands of these kids, and let them learn from the streets, or from their peers? Parents should be allowed to screw up anytime they want to with their kids, because their kids are their property and their possessions rather than living, breathing beings who will grow up to be adults and have to live in society?

    It's pretty heartless to say "well oh well" when we're talking about children here.

    Or am I completely wrong, and instead you're under the idealistic impression that all parents do their job correctly?

    Any school official will tell you that our jobs go beyond teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. Because many kids see us more than they see their parents, we are partially responsible for raising them, for character building and teaching about societal issues. And no educator who cares about children is going to be able to only teach academic subjects and then stop--there are too many lives at stake here. And any educator who does not care about children has no business in the classroom.
  15. Darth Fierce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2000
    star 4
    Perhaps the discussion of cynicism and idealism can be continued here.
  16. Fingorfin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2001
    star 4
    McNerf-Burger, when this society gave control of education to the government, it did so because it realized that there were some things that the children would need that some parents could not or would not provide. Although I loathe admitting that the government is a better option than the private sector, this is one of the few cases where that it is. Because the people have given this power to the government it is the responsibility of those that educate to make sure that their students are equipped with the knowledge that they need to make proper decisions. Sometimes, this may require teachers to provide information that the parents of the children do not like. Parents object to sex education for a variety of reasons, but mostly it is becuase they get so hung up on the sex part that they forget that the primary purpose is education. The responsibility for a child's moral instruction lies with the parents; this is true. But, that does not give the parents the right to deny their children information that helps them make informed decisions, because ultimately it is the child that will make the decision. It is the right of the school to provide this information, even against the will of the parents; because denying this information to children has consequences for society beyond the scope of the individual child and his parents.
  17. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    Fingorfin: Amen to that.

    And I might add that the fact that some parents are hung up on sex is a major problem in society today.
  18. Darth Fierce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2000
    star 4
    Fingorfin and anakin girl
    "Parents object to sex education for a variety of reasons, but mostly it is becuase they get so hung up on the sex part that they forget that the primary purpose is education."

    Just to make sure this isn't a straw-man argument in the making, what specifically is included in the "variety of reasons" the parents in question have in objecting to sex education in schools? I don't understand what you mean when you say they are "hung up" on sex.
  19. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    Examples of things parents say in objection:

    "You're going to teach my child about methods of birth control? You're condoning teen sex!"

    "You can't talk about that in school! You'll give little Johnny ideas!"

    "You can't teach that in school because you're not teaching him or her that sex is a sin and that people go to hell for fornication."

    "He/she can't go to the health department and get birth control without my permission!" (New flash: one, you're not going to give your permission for your 16-year-old to have sex. Two, your child will never ask, because he/she knows you're not going to give permission. Three, your child may very well decide, "oh, one time won't hurt"--because you haven't taught him any different since you haven't taught him anything--and what are you going to do when your child comes home either pregnant or after having impregnated a girl?)

    The main ones who I believe are "hung up" are the parents who believe that the best way to teach about sex is to never mention that it exists. I know some people whose parents never mentioned the word "sex"; I even know a woman who got married without knowing that sex led to pregnancy, and therefore ended up pregnant on her honeymoon. That's pathetic IMHO.
  20. Fingorfin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2001
    star 4
  21. Dacks Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2001
    star 2
    I'm a firm believer that sex education, if done properly and at the right time, can be very effective. I live in Montreal, Canada, a pretty liberal place when it comes to sex education. By the time I hit grade seven, I was already scared to death of STD's and teen pregnancy. Not because of anything my parents had said (cut them some slack, I was still pretty young) but because of what our sex education teachers had told us. They didn't do it to scare us either, but just warned of the possible results of sex.

    Now, a few years into university, not one of my female friends has been pregnant (to my knowledge) and not one of my friends has an STD (again to my knowledge). At one point I went down to Daytona Beach with one Canadian friend and one American friend. The latter was the only one who engaged in unprotected sex and didn't seem to concerned about it. A lot of Canadians I know would never dream of that.

    I think this is a good example of effective sex education. I'm pretty sure that statistics show less teen pregnancy among Canadians and the age at which Canadians become sexually active is probably the same as Americans, so there's no proof that teaching it in schools "puts ideas in Johnnie's head".

    By the way, for those who say it's not their business: When there's a fight, should teachers break it up? If a kid makes a rascist comment, should a teacher address the issue? I mean, it's not math or philosophy, so why is it their business?
  22. Darth Fierce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2000
    star 4
    ag and Fingorfin
    Okay, I see where you're coming from. Although, you should consider that, just as there are under-qualified parents out there, there are under-qualified teachers out there as well. Sex is a touchy subject, and you might be a little more sympathetic to responsible parent's fears about what might be presented to children from an authority figure.
  23. Fingorfin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2001
    star 4
    No doubt about that, Darth Fierce, but unfortunately the school system is not capable of teaching only to the children of irresponsible parents. The responsible parents will already be talking to their children, and letting them know where they stand on the issue, much as anakin_girl said her mother did. There will always be bad teachers, but this cannot be used as justification for denying children access to education. If a teacher is fond to be incompetent then he should be removed, just like anyone else in any other job. It is the responsibility of the school to make sure that the teachers are adequately prepared to deal with the students. This is why most schools have a standardized curriculum for all subjects.
  24. Darth Fierce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2000
    star 4
    Agreed. I just wanted to point out that there are some legitimate concerns - it's not all paranoia on the parents part.
  25. 1stAD Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 5
    To be fair towards conservatives, I went to elementary school in a fairly conservative neighborhood in North San Diego County (in the 51st district). Guess what? We had sex ed. in FIFTH GRADE. That's right. A bunch of 10-11 year olds learning about it. Of course, there were a few parents who opted their children out of the course, but you get the idea. The presentation of the material (based on my memories of it) was very objective and they weren't preaching morality to us kids.

    On a side note, several classmates at my college opted out of a student-run sex ed. seminar. So there are probably people of ANY political or religious persuasion who are never comfortable discussion these matters.
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