CON: Should schools have ‘the talk’?

Hanna Kang, Assistant Editorial Editor

Sex education debate has always managed to be at the top of the American priority list. The argument has been ongoing since the 1960s when sex education was introduced. At the advent of this “sexual revolution,” the government decided that parents were ill-equipped to provide sexual education to their children in their homes. Recent debates have once again shoved aside parental authority and discarded a majority of the long-held foundations of sex education. This is no way to inform teenagers about the sensitive topic of sex.

The Health course offered at Diamond Bar High School features a segment on STDs and sex education. The Health section of the Course Description Booklet reads, “The Physical Health Education segment is designed to provide basic information and understanding in the health areas of…STD’s, sex education… such that students will make sound decisions in their lifestyles.” While it may be true that DBHS hopes for a smart future for its students, the school is not in the position to decide what a sound judgment is.

I am in no way advocating the restraint of knowledge of human sexuality from young adults. They have every right to be educated on this subject and only through such instruction will the teenagers be prepared to encounter and engage with the reality of sex in a mature manner. After all, nothing should be able to prevent a young person from receiving high-quality sex education.

But my sentiments on this matter toward the opposition ends right here. Proponents of sex education in schools argue that students will be provided with straightforward and objective lessons no different from those given in classes like math and science.

They are completely wrong. Sex is not a subject that can be taught like any other subject offered at school. Given the level of sensitivity of the topic, one wrong move may insult racial and religious sects. And there is no such thing as an “unbiased” and “value-free” sex education, which the opposing side presents as the solution to such problems. Every teacher has a distinctive teaching style and preference, and it is no doubt that their own beliefs will rub off onto the students during the course of the lectures.

The essential problem that lies within this sensitive topic however, is the controversy over parental responsibility. Again, school sex education advocates erroneously contend that parents are incapable to manage the sexual education of their children.

Parents know the needs of their children best and their complete intervention in matters concerning them, especially in moral and religious matters, is vital. Sure, parents can enlist help along the way, but they are ultimately accountable for their kids’ intellectual and moral progress. Therefore, parents’ deserved and constitutionally protected authority should no longer be trampled upon. Their judgment and insight are what really allows the children of the next generation to make healthy and sensible choices.

It is true that the state has a genuine interest in reducing teenage pregnancy. However, it is wise to curb the state’s currently overwhelming control over what teenagers learn about sensitive issues such as sex education. Actually, that may be the key to parents being allowed to take on their responsibility for the betterment of their kids’ education.