The Utah Senate passed a bill yesterday barring any mention of homosexuality in the classroom as well as sex education outside of an abstinence-only curriculum. It also gives schools the option of forgoing sex ed altogether. If signed into law by the governor, bill HB363 would reverse current state guidelines requiring public school to provide sex ed courses for students from eighth through twelve grade.
"I would hope as we make this decision, that we won't think if we say abstinence only, that fairy dust will have been sprinkled and that teen pregnancy will no longer be a problem," said Republican state Rep. Francis Gibson. Democratic Senator Ross Romero echoed Gibson: "It's concerning when now we're trying to dictate morality. We've been discussing this as if every child has the benefit of two loving and caring parents who are ready to have a conversation about appropriate sexual activity, and I'm here to tell you that's just not the case."
Even the Utah PTA is pissed: "I just can't believe they did this," said the organization's president-elect. "I think they're going to have to revisit it in a couple years when the teen pregnancy rates and teen [sexually transmitted disease] rates shoot through the roof."
Some state lawmakers, however, feel that morality has finally returned to Utah with the new bill. "To replace the parent in the school setting, among people who we have no idea what their morals are, we have no ideas what their values are, yet we turn our children over to them to instruct them in the most sensitive sexual activities in their lives, I think is wrongheaded," said Republican Senator Stuart Reid.
It remains to be seen what Governor Gary Herbert will do with the bill when it reaches his desk, but it seems like Utah's on the right track. It's like that old saying,
unplanned teen pregnancies and vicious STD outbreaks ignorance is bliss, right?