A recent story in the news about a middle school teacher in the Salt Lake area has me bothered. The teacher apparently crossed the line in teaching her students about sex.
I don't know much about the specifics, but the more I do hear, the more the story seems over blown. Only time will completely answer that question.
But for now there is a legislature who wants to criminalize her behavior. I think that is going too far. If she has done something wrong, she will lose her job. If not, she will still struggle with the residual aftermath for the rest of her career.
I do not think it is the schools place to teach our kids about sex. It is the parents place. But I also believe that about drugs and religious issues. The focus of our school should be to educate our children and not to take over teaching of morality.
Helping reinforce citizenship, work ethic and decent behavior while learning is all part of the package.
But because drug abuse is a major risk for all our children, we have used the schools as a forum to supplement and sometimes override parental views on the subject.
We do not fear that hearing about drugs in school will make a child want to use them. But for some reason we are convinced that if we talk about sex, that is exactly what will happen.
I spent years teaching my girls that abstaining was my moral stand. But reality hit our home and I needed to address the situation and made sure my children knew and understood all the risks and ways to protect themselves, including abstinence.
But I felt like I was fighting the battle alone. I did not know what other parents were teaching, especially those with sons. Peer pressure weighs so heavily in decisions kids make. My kids also were sure I was just being a prude.
I would have made sure each of my children went to a class that discussed sexual health issues in a frank and honest way. I feel it would have helped reinforce my views, not undermine them.
Yes I would want to review the curriculum and also be invited to attend at least some of the classes. I would like the emphasis to be that that having casual sex, even with the best protection, is risky.
We cannot deny the fact that for teenagers, the issue of sex is the elephant in the room. The less we acknowledge it, the larger it becomes.
I may be facing the same things all over again in a few years. Right now seeing people kiss on TV still gets a big "EEWWW" from my eight year old.
For those who do not want any discussion of sex at all in the schools, step up and make sure your kids know the whole picture. It is okay to take an abstinence based stand, just don't think that there may never be a day when you might find out that your child slipped away from your value system.
You can make sure they understand all the options while continuing to reinforce your stand.