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Staff Editorial: Scandals Spark Reevaluation of Sex Education

Staff Editorial: Scandals Spark Reevaluation of Sex Education

Staff Editorial

In light of recent scandals, including the accusations about Jerry Sandusky and Brian Fine, questions about how to better protect and educate children about sex and what is appropriate and what is not have come about. Sex education in America has always been a very controversial topic due the nature of the subject. Some people believe that it is the responsibility of the parents to educate their children on sex while some believe that schools should be responsible for teaching these things to students. However, the responsibility of educating the students about sex does not just lie with the parents or with the school, instead that responsibility is shared. It is this disparity that causes a lesser amount of education, which leads to students being less prepared for the real world.

In Virginia, it is required that schools follow the standards of learning and the set curriculum of Family Life Education from kindergarten to twelfth grade that it is set up by the Virginia General Assembly. This FLE is updated at times and has very stringent rules in regards to what is actually taught. While this sounds like a very effective program with an efficient plan of action; there is still much more to be done and to be taught.

Due to the strict nature of the curriculum, it can take a longer time to change what exactly is taught. For example, the education guidelines for FLE were updated in 2011 to include information about dating violence and abusive relationships to be taught at minimum once in middle school and twice in high school. This seems very late to just start teaching that when “one in every five female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner,” according to

The dynamics of society are constantly changing and therefore the curriculum should be dynamic and informative as well. The program does try to cover the basics of sex education while still leaving some things to be taught by the parents; however, the basics are not enough. As the age teens start having sex drops, the rate of teen pregnancy increases, and the rate of abusive relationships increases, it is apparent that something more needs to be done to prevent these things. Education has always been said to be the key to success and that same statement applies here. The more extensive and comprehensive sex education can be, then the more prepared students can be in order to handle these situations while still in high school and later on in the real world.

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  • J

    Josh KentMay 30, 2012 at 4:23 am

    This subjectis veyr controversial, and itshould be. I understand why the State of Virginia feels like it has a responsibility to inform young adults about sex education and practicing safe sex. I also understand why some parents are a little concerned about their children learning about this in school. Some times it goes against morals in the hosue or even religion. Regardless, I completely agree with the State board of education making it curriculum in schools. Without such classes, students might be practicing unsafe sex, leading to the transmittion of stds and increased pregnancies.

  • D

    De'Alva GlaspieMay 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    As in every case, knowledge is the answer. True sex education is here for students but is it really enforced? Yes it’s a requirement in middle school to take a class in sex education but you really can’t learn anything from that. A true talk of “the birds and the bees” should come from parents or someone else of close relationship. Sex education teaches you about what in actuality is happening but parents teach you the emotions and actions that come with it. So yes a sex education class is necessary so parents won’t have to feel too shy about going in depth but still learning from a parent is always a better choice.

  • B

    Becca SoonMar 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I think that parents should take the lead role in teaching their children about sex. The parents are the ones that know their children the best and they would be the best at approaching the subject. Then again, there are some people out there who do not have parents who will take the time and inform them on that matter. Therefore, in that situation, teachers should expose kids to it but not on a personal note as a parent would. Either way, young adults need to be informed about it, whether it is in school or at home.

  • J

    John ShumarMar 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I believe that it is the parent’s job to educate their children about sex. They do not need to be informed about what to teach or told how to do it (The fact that we are here is proof they know what they are doing), and I think they would, as parents, inform their children about the dangers of sexual activity as a teen. However, this is the perfect parent, and not everyone has one. Should it be the parent’s job? Yes, but since they do not always fulfill that role, I think it is a good idea to have the teacher educate teens about sexual activity. What should they teach and to what audiences? I think that should be the parent’s decision-but in a way, we already have that system because we have to show our parents the material our health teachers are going to teach, and then get it signed. If anything, family life is having the talk with your friends. I do not think there is anything wrong with it.

  • K

    Kayla BishopMar 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I really liked the topic of the article and i agree with the ideas in this article. I too think that the sex education that is now currently being taught in schools is not enough anymore society has changed and what is being taught needs to change with that. i feel that sex education should be started at a younger age and taught in every health class i feel that the state restricts the schools from teaching the students all the information they should know so that the stay safe and smart. I am very disappointed when i walk through the halls of a high school and see multiple pregnant girls i feel that if we were better educated there would be less teenage pregnnancies. Im not putting all the blame on the schools because i believe that the parents also have a responsibililty to teach their children about sex. I think that the parents should also become more informed and do some research about the best way to apporach your child to talk about sex so it is not akward for you both.

  • C

    Caleb JohnsonMar 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    No one person can say when the best time is for young growing adults to be educated about family life. No one person can say who is responsible for teaching them. However we all know and can say that it needs to be taught. If parents don’t agree they can easily send a complaint and ask for removal of their child from the class during family life education and the school will be more than happy to accommodate these wishes. The school should continue to properly educate teens on sex.

  • N

    Nelson LearyMar 27, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Sex education in schools is a hard topic because not all parents want their children to know about those things for they may be sensative matters. Unfortuneately the school part is not that effective because students do not realy pay attention to the matter, they only pay enough attention to the class so that they can pass into the next grade. The true educator of this topic should be the parents, because they will be living with the negative aftershocks should they sadly happen. Schools should not stop their program, but the parents should not have to rely on them to be the only source because they should be teaching their children just as much if not more than the schools becasue they can be the examples of what to do and not do.

  • A

    Alexandra CrowderMar 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

    After five years of watching the same family life slideshow and repeatedly banging my head against the desk in boredom, I can safely say that there is definitely not enough taught about sex in sex education. In fact, the only thing I ever learned was that girls have babies and that ‘abstinence is the only way’. It makes sex sound dangerous and awful, which only encourages rebels to have it. I’m not sure why it’s not understood that teenagers yank the chain they’re trapped on, and they’ll continually try to push the boundaries until they’re free. However, while I say that, sex education should avoid making people who are or have been sexually active the enemy. It only leads to shaming and bullying, which is something that enough teenagers go through already.

  • M

    Matthew SchneckMar 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    As it is so often stated, the best defense against any negative influence is knowledge. This holds true for prevention of sex crimes as well. Many individuals are very concerned about schools teaching children all the aspects of the family life classes. I feel, however, that these classes help children, especially teenagers, avoid becoming victimized by sexual predators in their lives. I strongly support the school district for continuing to teach this controversial subject even though it is contested by many individuals.