WAYNE — As parents we want our children’s education to equip them with the tools and knowledge they need to make decisions that will forever impact their lives. Age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education is a critical part of that equation.
Nebraska and our schools are moving in the wrong direction. As a student 30 years ago, I learned more about sex education than today’s Nebraska youth. I was shocked when I found out my teenage child never learned about puberty, hormones or any practical information regarding her developing body. She was never taught about reproductive health, contraception, sexual orientation, gender identity, consent or healthy relationships.
Some say these are controversial topics that don’t belong in the classroom. But learning about consent should be something we all want for our kids, so they know what’s appropriate. Teaching them how their bodies work and how they become pregnant is critical health information that shouldn’t be learned from the internet or life experience.
I cannot tell you how many social media posts I see of parents complaining that our schools fail to teach today’s youth practical skills and knowledge, like budgeting, doing taxes or changing a flat tire. One individual even lamented about his daughter taking algebra. Why should she learn math instead of learning to do the laundry and balance a checkbook? If parents can’t even teach their children to basic life skills, I’m not confident that I trust every parent to teach their child about consent or sexual and reproductive health.
Not every parent wants these health education standards, but I assure you there are Nebraska parents who do.