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Should parents have to sign a permission slip for their children to take sex education?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on June 15, 2005

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Photo of Dan Chirpich

“No. I feel it’s something that should be standard in school. It’s something every kid should go through.”

Photo of Jay Hill

“No. I think that education is supposed to be on every aspect of life, preparing the child for adulthood. I think parents should get involved beforehand by participating in the school system.”

Photo of Tammy Bock

“I would say no, because then you would have conservative parents preventing their kids from receiving the necessary education.”

Photo of Richard Charlton

“I would say no. Sex and procreation are necessities, and it’s necessary for children to learn about it. Especially the scientific and medical aspects as well as the responsibilities and dangers.”

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Richard Heckler 12 years, 11 months ago

NO. Why would parents not want their children to know? Permission would be granted through enrollment? We know this is being driven by the religious right who once ran around indulging in sex at some point in their lives...I assume.

Children seldom are conceived the first time around so enjoyment must have been behind some of their efforts. They concern themselves so with other people's sex life and pregnancies you'd think their children would be first in line. Education will help prevent pregnancies.

Perhaps more sex in their lives would keep them from becoming grumpy and always meddling in our private lives such as the things we want our children to know. Such things as how much time and money is involved in raising a child.

If becoming pregnant what about diet and exercise:

Healthy eating habits we know are good for the body and the brain cells. Nutrition is essential to enable the brain to shoot the proper natural chemicals in the right places for coping with stress.

Work in a reasonable schedule for walking or swimming as running,jogging and working out at the gym is not everyone's cup of tea. As most folks know losing weight requires patience. An aquaintance or two lost a fair amount by cutting back on quanity at every meal plus walking.

Nutrition we know provides energy naturally as well as good sleep. Of course eating too much of the most wholesome foods on the planet can also create weight problems. Becoming a vegetarian may bring weight down a bit faster however it is not a magic solutition.

Cruciferous veggies(broccoli,cauliflower,cabbage,chard) are cancer fighters so let's feed ourselves as often as possible.

Do children or anybody need bad cholesterol? No

When speaking of granola bars what is the first few ingredients:oats,flour, nuts or does a sweetener come first on the list? If sweetener is among the first items listed there is too much sugar or whatever. That is a rule of thumb.

Plain water, which is easily absorbed by the body, not only is perfectly adequate but is the best beverage to drink. Leading sports physiologists have found that the difference between sports drinks and plain water is meaningful only to people who push themselves to the activity level of elitist, dedicated athletes. Smart Water, a bottled water, is also a source of electrolytes which can be readily purchased at the wholesale level.

We all need electrolytes which are are abundant in avocados, bananas, chard, citrus fruits, and green leafy vegetables, as well as many other common foods. Juices such as grapefruit, tomato, V8 and orange juice are also good sources of electrolytes.

craigers 12 years, 11 months ago

What age are we talking about here? When would they be teaching this material to the kids? My answer could be different depending on that.

neopolss 12 years, 11 months ago

It seems more of a courtesy than anything.

Dear Parent:

We plan to discuss with your child various sexual behaviors, reproduction, disease, and terminology. We recommend that you talk with your child beforehand and reveal the nasty things that mommy and daddy do. This will gurantee that your child carries no interest in sexual activity for the next twenty years of his or her life.

Signed, School People

jonas 12 years, 11 months ago


Thanks, I needed that.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 11 months ago

Just this minute I read in a Kansas City Star that local school boards do not need to follow s State School Board mandate. Let's get rid of it and save $80 per day plus expenses per member.

lunacydetector 12 years, 11 months ago

i'd want to see exactly what specific teachers are teaching before i give an answer. some teachers have an agenda.

happy_me 12 years, 11 months ago

Permission slip NO Heads up letter yes. All children (Preteens) need to be educated about sex. It is an uncomfortable subject for some parents so they avoid it until its too late. If the education isn't given at school some kids may never get actual/reliable information. Education is the key. If they know whats going on they are less 'scared' during those prepuberty years. (At least my girls were, not so bi***y, because they knew what to expect and that PMS was only an EXCUSE and to get over it. They also practiced safe sex until they were in comitted relationships that were stable enough for children.)

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 11 months ago

I'd have to say no. Because there are to many clueless stick their head in the sand type parents out there. Most of the time the kids of these type of parents need the education even more than other kids.

ms_canada 12 years, 11 months ago

Well now, lot of good comments so far this am. A lot to agree with. I liked yours merrill but must disagree with one of your remarks. The part about the religious right. I think I would fall into that category, but must tell you that I think sex ed. in school is vitally important and parents should not have to be asked permission. Responsible 'religious' parents teach their kids that the act of procreation is a God given gift. And also to neopolss, why on earth do you think that the love that you and your wife share is nasty? I assume that you are male and married. What is nasty about it? We all know that kids have insatiable curiosity and need to be told. then comes the natural question - who is teaching and just what are they teaching? Here I think that parents should be given that info. Meetings could be held with school boards and parents. Here in my city, parents are given a copy of the whole course to be taught and can ask for a consultation with the teacher of the course. To be sure, there are always some who object but by and large there are very few problems. I sure wish that my generation had been given more info as teens and even pre-teens. Sure would have saved a lot of grief for some of the kids I knew.

Anne Bracker 12 years, 11 months ago

There is so much more to sex education than just teaching about intercourse. Parents and the school should create a partnership to start informing kids at an early age. Learning about good touches (a hug from a friend, a pat on the shoulder) to bad touches in kindergarten and early elementary school is a good place to begin. Enforcing positive self images and self confidence, while discussing appropriate behavior toward others should quickly follow. I consider these things the very beginning of teaching sex education because it can have a direct impact on how teens and adults view romantic and sexual relationships later in life. People with self confidence and a positive image of themselves are less likely to "do it because everyone else is" or some other lame peer pressure reason.

For example, few years ago I took my 6 year old (at the time) niece shoe shopping. The man who helped us find shoes for her was nice to us and appropriately friendly. My niece wanted to give him a hug to thank him. I explained to her that it was a nice thought, but we don't hug people when we don't even know their name, let alone people we don't know well, and it led to a short discussion on the topic.

As kids age, these types of discussions lead to talk about appropriate behavior for preteens, then further evolve (oops - is that a bad word in Kansas?) into the more technical details of sex. Many parents have problems describing the actual sex details with their children, but the schools can do that while they focus on instilling their own morals and values about sex in tandem with the school discussions. It then becomes not just what the kids know, but how the kids will use that knowledge in a manner that the parents find appropriate.

optimist 12 years, 11 months ago

I can't believe what I'm reading. One of the respondents actually said the school shouldn't seek the parent's permission because the parent might oppose their child's involvement. I don't usually resort to calling names, but she's an idiot and clearly not a parent.

As a parent I absolutely demand to know what the school intends to instruct my children on outside of reading, writing and arithmetic. It is not the schools place to determine how my child is taught about sex education. That is for me to decide. The public schools have, like any good bureaucracy, overstepped its intended purpose. Schools were intended to educate children about history, language, literature and the sciences, not to become a surrogate parent. Schools have become a place where individuality is socially engineered out of the children not only through their education but through the rampant promotion of behavior altering drugs. I for one will not entrust my children's education solely to the public schools.

enochville 12 years, 11 months ago

I have no problem if schools teach about sexual reproduction in a biology class while discussing human physiology. I do have a problem with dwelling on the subject, discussing anal sex, masterbation, homosexual relations, etc. On NPR, I heard a teacher in New England explaining with her class how homosexuals have sex and that there was nothing wrong with it. She said that her state's allowance for homosexuals to marry empowered her to teach these sorts of things. That infuriates me. Public schools have no right to indoctrinate our children with values that are so diametrically opposed to the sensibilities of some of the public. If you can't relate to me on this issue, think of some value you hold dear being directly taught against at school.

Now, I believe that it is healthiest to expose people to arguments for and against your position. If you suceed in having them see things your way, they will be stronger when confronted with opposing views. But, since a particular school teacher may or may not effectively express both sides of an issue, their status in a child's life may cause the child to accept the teacher's view. Now, I can teach my own child my beliefs, but not every other child in the neighborhood (nor should I really, but neither should the teacher). Why should I care what other children believe? Because majority rules in this country, and I don't want the state which I financially support converting more young minds to liberal values which are opposed to mine.

In summary, basic sex should be taught just like they do for other organisms in biology, but no condoning of other forms of sexual expression.

Redneckgal 12 years, 11 months ago

I would have to say no. If a parent has raised a child with a good value system to begin with it seems pretty unlikley to me that one course would undo all of that teaching. When I was in school we always had one or two "more holy than anyone else" parents who objected to their kid being in sex ed. And guess what? It seems like it was always their daughter that got pg or their son that got someone pg.

Shelby 12 years, 11 months ago

It's simple: tell parents exactly what is being taught. If they disapprove, they can go to the PTA meeting and raise a fuss.

If I had kids, I would NOT feel comfortable having somebody, for example, distributing condoms to my junior high student for the sense of entitlement it would give them. I also would not want them viewing pornography in the classroom for similar reasons.

I had sex-ed in junior high and it was a somewhat tame experience. Dennis Dailey came to our class one day, though, and things got out of hand. He is not a very mature guy.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 11 months ago

I do not believe that the school's should be sending a permission slip home to the parent's in order for the child to participate in sex-ed.

"Optimist" said that he/she believes that the public school's have overstepped their intended purpose of teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic and that sex-ed should be the parents exclusive domain. See, the trouble with that is, most parents do not talk with their children about sex! Oh sure, some may have a conversation that goes like this:

Parent: "Jane, do you know about...ahem, about...well...about..." Jane: "Do I know about sex? Yeah." Parent: "Okay, good. I'm glad we had this talk."

The problem with this (other than the obvious) is that most parents wait until it is too late and their child is too old! 11 is the new 13, as the saying goes. Not only that, but most kid's are going to be too embarassed to talk with their parents about sex, so they likely are not going to listen. Think about it - when you were a pre-teen or teenager, did you ever want to think about your parents doin' the nasty?? If they're talking with you about it, then it means that they did. Now, obviously, they did - BUT YOU DID NOT WANT TO CONFIRM THAT!

enochville 12 years, 11 months ago

It is most unfortunate that many parents don't teach their kids things they should know. Things such as: how to file taxes or rent an apartment, how to set goals and make a plan, how to attend to the needs of a significant other, how to communicate, how to deal with painful emotions, and how to navigate sexual relations, etc. I want to help parents learn how to parent and instill good values, but I do not feel that it is the role of society to teach the majority's values to the children of such parents.

A greek philosopher named Plato authored a book entitled "The Republic," in which he proposed that all children should be taken from their parents and raised by the state and identified early for the profession they were most suited for. I find that idea horrendous. The only kids the state should raise are the ones whose parents are abusive and cannot be placed with relatives. So sex ed should not be thought of as making up for insufficient parenting.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 11 months ago

When I was in grade school, they tought us about mentruation but not about sex ed. I sure wish they had! My Mom sure wasn't talking about it and I would have been too embarrassed to ask, anyway.

Permission slip...good grief, NO!

When my daughter was 6 she started to ask questions about sex. I gave her the info that I thought she could handle at the time but told her there was much more and when she wanted to know more to just feel free to ask. She's going on 11 and still is a very open talker with me.

On the other hand, my 8 year old will discuss very little with me. I definitely want the school to teach her what she is unwilling to let me teach her. (I'll still try) I make it a point to talk to each of my girls when I "tuck them in" for the night. It's a good one-on-one time but you can't force communication.

Neopolss, I let my daughters know that there is nothing "Nasty" about sex between two people who love each other. I would never want them to feel that way about something so pleasurable! But I also realize you probably can't fully explain what you mean without some trigger finger happy one zapping you.

ms_canada 12 years, 11 months ago

sunflower sue - your children are so fortunate to have a mom like you. But the truth is that you are somewhat of an exception, I believe. Most parents are too embarrassed to talk about it. And yes, I agree with all those who commented that it is very important to know exactly what will be taught and by whom. Parents, check it out, ask questions. The intricacies of human relationships are not things that can be taught in a classroom. There are certain values that can only be passed on by parents or other mentors that come into a child's life. Hopefully the mentors will have good values. Not always the case. Best to pray a lot for wisdom and guidance when raising children.

Confrontation 12 years, 11 months ago

You know what's interesting, no one has said anything about the lack of condom information in these classes. Sure they discuss HIV/AIDS, but what about prevention? I worked in the STD field for 4 years (until last fall), and the Lawrence schools are providing inadequate information. These kids who are not taught about condom use and safe sex are more likely to not be prepared when the moment arrives. At certain high schools in Topeka, graphic images of STD's (warts, discharges) are shown, and it has an amazing impact. Too bad they wait until these kids are freshmen/sophmores, since several of the kids approach the instructor after the class to discuss certain bumps/discharges that they already have. All of you conservative parents who think you are preparing your kids by telling them their bodies are temples and they need to wait until marriage are setting their kids up for a lifetime infection. The better method would be to encourage them to wait, but tell them about protective methods since they most likely won't wait. We all have high hopes for our kids, but in reality, very few will wait until marriage, and it is even less likely his/her partner will be a virgin. Also, kids need to know that there are STDs that you can get from skin contact only, with no penetration (HPV, Herpes, etc.). If you really want to know how to persuade them to be smart, show them some graphic STD pics on the web. Viriginity is an ideal, but definitely not a reality today. Believe me, I worked with a ton of Jr. High kids and teenagers from well-to-do families here in Lawrence.

Confrontation 12 years, 11 months ago

I don't think sex ed teachers should have to discuss masturbation, since I'm sure most people figure it out themselves. Offtotheright seems obsessed with the extremes. No sex ed teacher is going to whip anything out and demonstrate it to the classroom. If he/she does, then there is another issue there. I would greatly encourage NO SEX to any child, but there comes a time when they will need to know how to protect themselves. For all of you interested, check out websites on Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. These often don't have symptoms in either men and women, although men like to claim they are "clean" if they are symptom free. Plus, these two diseases are some of the biggest causes of infertility in women. They can go undected for years.

acg 12 years, 11 months ago

I'm appalled by the number of teens that think oral sex isn't sex at all. My 14 year old niece was under that impression until I heard her say something about it once and I just freaked out. According to her a large number of her friends have done it, several times, thinking it's really no big deal. Oh the horror! When I was a teen I was the birthing coach for my sister in law when she had said niece and I remember to this day the fear and revulsion I felt when I left that room. I didn't let a boy touch me until I was 19 because of that day. Great birth control method. Irony? That day was Oct. 14, 1990 and on that day I proclaimed to God and everyone that I would never go thru anything that looked like and hurt like that. I'm pregnant with my 1st, due date? Oct. 14. You gotta love the big guy's sense of humor. :)

acg 12 years, 11 months ago

Maybe you thought I was complaining about being pregnant extreme, but you couldn't be father from the truth. It took two years to get here. I'm not sure I understand what your post meant, if indeed it was aimed at me.

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 11 months ago

I never will forget that when I was in high school we had a classmate who's father was raising her and her brother on his own. Mom had taken off for parts unknown years ago. This father was almost violently opposed to sex ed especially for his daughter (by god my kid learns all she needs to learn in know the type) he never let the kids be in any after school activities or mix much with any of the other kids. Right before we graduated when his daughter turned 18 and moved out we found out that the creep had been molesting her all those years. Thats why he didn't want her to have any sex ed...she either might figure out something wasn't right or else she might tell the teacher. I'm not saying that all parents oppessed to sex ed are perv's but it does kind of make you think.

neopolss 12 years, 11 months ago

And also to neopolss, why on earth do you think that the love that you and your wife share is nasty? I assume that you are male and married. What is nasty about it? We all know that kids have insatiable curiosity and need to be told. -ms_canada

Neopolss, I let my daughters know that there is nothing "Nasty" about sex between two people who love each other. I would never want them to feel that way about something so pleasurable! But I also realize you probably can't fully explain what you mean without some trigger finger happy one zapping you. -sunflower_sue


The above letter was meant as a joke. Please laugh at any moment. I'm sure all of us smile with joy when we imagine our parents humping the bejesus out of each other sarcasm

It may be beautiful, but most of us don't like to imagine our parents or our kids in the "moment of passion." It's fine to discuss sex with your kids, but don't mention to your kids all the wonderful ways that you express your love (especially if it involves outfits or clown costumes in any way). There is such a thing as too open.

acg 12 years, 11 months ago

There is no class that can convey all of that. I have a 5 year old in my home, too, a stepson and every day is something different. I do think sex ed is a good idea in school, but a well rounded sex ed class. Kids need to know that being abstinent doesn't make you a geek and oral sex is sex too and they need to know what STD's are all about and they should see the graphic images of it all, they need to know about pregnancy and child support and that it means forever and they should know how to protect themselves if they decide to become sexually active. Parents, however, (mine included) sometimes think that teaching this stuff will intice a teen to hop in the sack and that's sad. I think it's exactly the opposite. I gave my virginity away when I was 15 because I was tired of having my friends raz me about being a virgin. It wasn't until after I witnessed the birth of a kid, after 21 hours of horrifying labor, that I realized what sex actually all means. Then it was a different story altogether.

Redneckgal 12 years, 11 months ago

I kind of agree with tell it sometimes parents who are so opposed to sex ed may have something to hide. Not very often maybe but I can see how it could happen.

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 11 months ago

Extreme... What furries? I hope you're referring to the sabretoothed Ewoks! They don't have sex, because they want to get to Heaven. See, after years of ankle-biting on the Dark Side, they devote the last 15 years of their life to Ewok Christ. It's a beautiful display of hypocrisy and self-indignation.


Parents should know when sex is going to be discussed at school so they can integrate topics of their own concern at home.

I applaud Confrontation's posts about the rosy optimism with which some parents blind themselves. No parent wants their child to be a 14-15 y/o mother or father. The fact is, it happens. Kids need to be armed with knowledge about how to protect themselves and know how to identify symptoms of STDs.

I was one of the students who got to see those fun colorful slides of the entire gamut of STDs. It was truly stomach-turning and made me never want to even THINK about sex for fear of festering boils developing on my brain.

Yes, the "ICK" factor is a VERY potent one. Those who would oppress homosexuals use it to their fullest advantage.

italianprincess 12 years, 11 months ago

I just found out recently that my son is sexually active. Hes going to be 17 in July and I have already had the talk with him.

Hes got alot going for himself, so I basically told him about messing his future up. I told him he better be wearing a condom and his g/f better be on some type of birth control. He also knows instead of finishing high school and going to college, he would be working two jobs just to raise a baby.

I'm a single mom so he knows and sees how hard it is at times to raise him and his little brother. They should teach sex ed in jr high and leave it out of elementary school.

I believe my son brought home a letter in his 6th grade year about the health dept giving a class. Each parent who wanted their child to participate should sign it and even attend the class. I did attend the class with my son and other parents were there also. You would be surprised with the questions ( the kids asked privately by writing some down on a paper, then they got put into a box ) that they asked. Each question has no names attached as not to embaress anyone of course, but these kids really didn't have a clue.

Sex Ed should be taught, but leave it for Jr High and just hope and pray your own kids aren't playing nowto where they may be paying for it soon. Teach them if you have a feeling they are active.

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 11 months ago

"Apparently [your talk] wasn't enough" - OffToTheRight

That's kind of unfair to our ItalianPrincess. You cannot expect a parent to assume 100% responsibility for keeping their bundles of horomones (once bundles of joy) abstinent. IT WON'T HAPPEN.

And it doesn't depend on how long you yak at your kids, and if you expect a little chat do result in full chastity until marriage, you'd better be a damned good talker. Did you/will you have your "talk" at gunpoint, OTTR?

acg 12 years, 11 months ago

Extreme, I reread my earlier post to you and realized I sounded a bit snarky. Sorry, apparently, according to my fiance and boss, I've been snarky at everyone lately. Maybe that's the preggo hormones, or maybe I'm just a bitch. ; ) Sorry again.

optimist 12 years, 11 months ago

I for one will not tolerate the ignorance, laziness or immaturity of another child's parents to dictate to me how my children learn about sex. If the school wishes to offer this class and parents wish to pass their responsibility off to the school I have no problem with it. Those parents have made their decision; however this is still the United States and parents have a near absolute domain over their children in guiding them through their childhood. The schools (government) should stay out of our homes unless invited.

Everyone posting here that thinks parents should not have a say in this decision elude to the unnamed other parent who doesn't communicate and teach their children about these things. I don't know that guy. I think they call that projecting. It's sort of like in the movies when one character, clearly speaking about him/herself, states "I have a friend (in need of advice)"

William_Rothgraeger 12 years, 11 months ago

I think sex education is essential for youths today. We don't have to encourage it just because we're willing to talk about it. It's a good way to start fighting sexual abuse and the staggering frequency of rape.

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 11 months ago

Two words for you then optimist...private or homeschool for your kids.

donsalsbury 12 years, 11 months ago

I'm continuously amazed by the people who comment here. Sometimes I'm amazed at the very trite cliches that people like to use to belittle those who may think differently from them. Other times I'm amazed by the people who have, well, amazingly intuitive input, on both sides of the issue at hand.

Then I'm often amazed even more by the fact that these great points are completely ignored by the respondants. I don't know if it's because there is no need to argue or insult the one who wrote the insight, or if they disagree with it so vehemently (yet have no pithy retort) that they feel it's better to ignore the wise among us than attack them, in the hope that no one will be swayed by such influential reasoning.

donsalsbury 12 years, 11 months ago

Fortunately, ms_canada was willing to praise sunflower_sue for her post. I think it's great that sue is looking out for her girls and is very relationally involved in their lives. I wonder if your 8-year-old would be more willing to discuss intimate matters with an aunt or grandmother, or a trusted female family friend?

Having said that, let me draw praise to enochville's post, namely this section:

"Why should I care what other children believe? Because majority rules in this country, and I don't want the state which I financially support converting more young minds to liberal values which are opposed to mine."

Some people read the above quote and think that enochville is a conspiracy theorist. I read it and want to add that I also don't want the state which I financially support converting more young minds to moderate or conservative values which are opposed to mine. While I consider myself conservative by Lawrence's standards, there are many who are all over the political spectrum whose beliefs should not be taught to my child as the only way. There are many churchgoers in the religious right that are farther right than I am, scolding parishioners for having their hair too long or short, or their clothes not appropriate because the ladies' calves and arms are showing, and so forth. There are secularists who would like to discriminate against religions of all kinds, and there are those short-sighted 'fiscal conservatives' who would prefer to let the needy and disabled in society suffer even more by discontinuing services so that low taxes can remain over the short term, without considering the long-term consequences of such actions.

Next, I want to compliment jayhawkanne for her observation that a certain level of 'sex ed' is appropriate for even very young children, for their protection. Whether these children should be taught such safety priniciples as 'good and bad touching' is obviously the core of this debate, but kudos to jayhawkanne for pointing out some much-needed education curriculum that should be reinforced both in the school and in the home.

Lastly, I personally think the only detailed public sex ed classes should be provided to adults who have children or are expecting children. This should be included in an expansive course on parenting that should be required by the government. (Note that religious versions of this course would suffice) Ah well, enough of my wacky ideas...later all.

ms_canada 12 years, 11 months ago

extreme makeover - I can't quite figure out what kind of pictures you want to take of sunflower sue and me. We are both women. What are you implying? But thanks for the kind words.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 11 months ago

Off to the right,

16 is very young for what? Based on what? This is why Sex Ed is very important.

IP presented a honest replay of her situation in which she should be held in the highest of esteem for her candid approach. Clear,concise and honest language is easily understood. Children appreciate honesty as they do not wish to be treated like 3 year olds for the rest of their lives.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 11 months ago

Good for Ital Princess for talking to her son. So often, boys are excluded from any responsible sexual behavior by proud papa's saying "That's my boy, Huh, huh!" (I've personally seen this too many times!)

I applaud you, IT...and may many kids have the knowledge that you are trying to share. I disagree on the Jr high level, though...the sooner the better in my opinion.

Fangorn 12 years, 11 months ago

"All of you conservative parents who think you are preparing your kids by telling them their bodies are temples and they need to wait until marriage are setting their kids up for a lifetime infection." Well you know, the other way is so much better. I mean the Sexual Revolution has opened us up to so many things: rampant STDs, skyrocketing out-of-wedlock births and the frequent corollary of lifetime poverty, broken marriages, the cheapening of one of God's greatest gifts.

No moral values come into play teaching math or art or social studies. (OK, rarely come into play.) This is decidedly not the case with sex ed. Schools should be very transparent to parents regarding their sex ed curriculum. And this should be well in advance, not a note on a half sheet of paper sent home the day before the sex ed unit begins. Parents who agree with the values inherent in the sex ed curriculum, or who don't care, or who are simply happy to delegate the responsibility to the school can let their children attend. Parents who may object to the content or morals being taught can address the issue beforehand with their children or with the teacher, or else they can deny the school permission to teach the material to their son or daughter.

italianprincess 12 years, 11 months ago

My son's g/f is not a little dare you assume that she is. You have no idea who she is, what type of family she comes from or anything about her.

I certainly can't keep my son tied and bound from experiencing life. I just told him like it is. I'm honest with my kids, don't talk to them like they are babies and speak my mind. They are both being very responsible by using their brains and PROTECTION.

To be honest here........I was 15 when I had my first sexual experience. It was the summer of my 9th grade year going into high school. My own mon came up to me and asked me very bluntly......Are you having sex with your b/f? I told her yes, I didn't lie and she took me down and got me on birth control. I didn't have my first baby until I was 24.

Talk about honesty and thanks to all of you who believe I did the right thing about talking to me son.

raven 12 years, 11 months ago

IP: I am proud of you!! Not only are you honestly and openly talking with your children you are willing and ready to stand up for your son's g/f as well. Offtotheright how dare you assume the g/f is a "little tramp" but IP's son obviously is not. (No offense here IP as we all know your son and probably his g/f too are upstanding kids). But, immediately it is assumed the girl is the tramp.

IP more parents should speak openly with their kids and help them along the way. You sure cannot stop them, so at least they feel comfortable coming to you for advice.

ms_canada 12 years, 11 months ago

You are so right donsalisbury - there are quite a few posters on this board that exhibit exceptional intelligence and really should be commended. I always appreciate the comments of enochville, ceallach, fangorn, larry and 'our' italian princess. Others just slip my mind at this moment. If it wasn't for these lovely people I would never click on LJW. But at the same time I do have a good belly laugh frequently thanks to some of the others. Really do not appreciate the naughty ones and just skip over them. Sure wish they would fade away into the night. Ah but, this is not a perfect world, is it?

ms_canada 12 years, 11 months ago

Oh and by the way folks - have you noticed that LJW has at last got the profiling system up and running and a few have already added their profiles. I think that mine will come as no surprise to some of you. I think that, living so far afield, has given me the freedom to perhaps share more than some of you. I am usually a very open person with not a lot to hide. And again where in the world is carmenilla? On holiday perhaps. I sure hope she has not left us. Agreed???

enochville 12 years, 11 months ago

donsalisbury: thanks for your comments. I agree that the state should not convert our kids to conservative or liberal values. Passing on values is the prerogative of families, churches, special interest groups, private media, etc.

enochville 12 years, 11 months ago

I wanted to make a general apology in case anything I have ever posted offended anyone. I know that I have expressed my views rather passionately about homosexual relations and I know that we have at least one homosexual who posts here. My intent is never to give offense and I never attack people, I just disagree with behaviors and ideas. But, I respect the right of all people to have different beliefs and practices. I enjoy being able to exchange ideas here.

ms_canada: in setting up my profile I noticed that in a city as small as Lawrence I could not say much without quickly destroying my anonymity.

italianprincess 12 years, 11 months ago

Yes her parents know she is and, yes as a parent don't think I didn't sit her down and talk to her also. Her age I will not tell you, but know that shes older then him and shes a smart young lady. I give her much credit for being so honest with me when confronted with questions regarding her and my son. I'm sure her own mom has given her the talk like I did with my son.

Who knows if they will marry each other in the future. They are in high school and will both be seniors this year. Right now they are thinking senior year, and where they or each may want to attend college not whether they will be getting married.

As far as them being active with others, don't think I didn't ask. I sat them both down and asked them if they were eachothers first experience and they said yes. I guess as a parent one can only hope they were then and make sure they are using protection now.

If you want to know something from your kids..........ask them. Be honest and straight forward with them.

italianprincess 12 years, 11 months ago

Oh I almost forgot this.........If my son were a daughter I would have had the same talk with her.

I would be straight out like my mom and ask her if she is having sex. If she said yes, I would be on the phone making the first appointment possible for birth control like my mom did for me.

Why do some people think boys and girls are so much different then boys when it comes to sex and life. Its like boys think about sex more because they are boys. Is there a medical known fact out there I'm missing?

Kids have, are and will be sexually active whether you want them to be. They are going to either be honest with you, or hide it behind your back.

I like that we have can talk openly with eachother as mom and son and that he trusts me.

ms_canada 12 years, 11 months ago

tom foolery - what is the masculine form of "tramp"? stop picking on italian princess. From what she has told us about her son, he sounds like a fine young man. So he is sexually active, he has a few things to learn yet. At age 16 none of us had the smarts of an adult, did we? I would hazard a guess that he is no different than 95% of young fellows in this world. Now I am not saying that I am condoning his actions, I don't believe in pre-marital sex, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak. This young lad seems to have other fine qualities. Just give him time to learn and pray that IP always has wisdom to counsel her young lads.

sapphic 12 years, 11 months ago

yeah... i'd have to say no on the signed permission, but yes on informing parents that it will be taught. it's bad enough that schools cannot teach evolution. the next story i'll see on the news is that schools have to teach children that babies are delivered by storks!

William_Rothgraeger 12 years, 11 months ago

I'm sorry you're taking so much abuse on this board, italianprincess. It does happen that teenagers have sex and I'm happy that you and your son are close enough that you can speak honestly on the subject.

You are one of the fortunate parents that have some positive influence in his decision-making process, although you can't make his decisions for him. Recognizing him as an individual, I wouldn't think you'd want to (make his decisions for him).

sunflower_sue 12 years, 11 months ago

Offtotheright...YOU are just the sort of person I mentioned earlier that would slap your boy on the back touting a job well done and then turn around and call the girl a tramp.

FYI, (and here I will be as honest as IP and open myself up to your bad judgement on this issue) I was 14 when I first had sex. As I mentioned, it was not taught in school nor was it discussed with my Mother. I was an A student and in the National Honors Society. Took honors classes all 4 years of high school. I was no dummy. I was also not a tramp. I have not had many sexual partners (not due to lack of dates). I had my first child at 26. For you to assume ANYTHING about someone who is sexually active at a young age is rediculous. Smart, well-adjusted kids are having sex whether you like it or not. Thank goodness some of them have Moms like IP who are willing to educate their children and not alienate them for doing something that it is in them to do. Sure, we all hope our children will wait until they are emotionally ready. Unfortunately, thier bodies outgrow their brains and we just have to do the best we can.

I'm betting you don't have kids but if you do, (especially daughters) I really feel for them!

sunflower_sue 12 years, 11 months ago

ms_canada, Believe it or not, I just got 2 messages from you in my "bulk" e-mail folder. (I did not open them.) I'm sure you didn't send them since you don't have my e-mail address so I just wanted everyone out there to have a heads-up on whatever this is. I certainly do not hae anyone's e-mail addresses and do not send directly to anyone. Has LJW got a bug? I'm interested in hearing from you, Ms C, to confirm my suspicion.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 11 months ago

Ms C, just figured this sneaky phenomenon out. Didn't know this was possible 'til I sent myself a message. Cool! I'll go read 'em now.

Carmenilla 12 years, 11 months ago

Hi all...I haven't been commenting lately because I find some posters on here completely intolerable and I'm sick of the complaining. Its turning me into a complainer too! Italianprincess is getting the craptacular treatment that I get whenever I make a comment about something. The poster who is taking her to task is so "holier than thou" it makes me sick. That kind of stuff is pretty annoying and makes this forum a drag. I just get trolled out so easily. But is it just me or do the chicks get the most grief? First Lulu, than me, someone wants to take pictures of 2 grandmas, and now they're giving IP crap about her son. Really is this a meeting place for bitter misogynists or what? I know thats not all of you but some stick out like huge gangrenous sore thumbs. It just ain't fun anymore for me folks. Some have called me overly sensitive but I think the problem is that I ALWAYS defend myself. Some people can't handle a strong woman.

My answer to the question is NO. Basic sexual education should be taught without the need for a permission slip.

enochville 12 years, 11 months ago

Carmenilla: I am sorry that you have not posted as much because of some inappropriate comments of others. Please remember that there are those of us who want to hear what you have to say.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 11 months ago

Off to the right and Tom Foolery....I don't know of and have not read on this board any parents suggesting to their children to go out and have sex. Most parents likely are sticking to abstinence until reality is revealed. Once reality is the order of the day smart parents switch gears and think protection from pregnancy....verrrry smart.

Oddly enough teenagers have minds of their own and are not likely to give up the joys of sex per request of parents or anyone else for that matter. Which is a big reason the discussion of the effort and money involved in raising a child ought to be a priority in Sex-Ed. Unless young parents are receiving sizeable monetary support from both set of parents babies can make college a little more difficult especially on the sleep or lack thereof.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 11 months ago

The bottom line is when an unmarried couple becomes pregnant yes it is the woman's fault because somehow the male had nothing to do with it. And the dude is still too cool.

I am convinced that many legislators are of this frame of mind.

The woman could ALWAYS say no, however I guess the male counterpart is incapable of saying no or pulling IT out. Does this bogus philosophy suck or what.

I am convinced that many legislators are of this frame of mind.

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 11 months ago

Hum...kind of wonder if offtotheright is a watered down hoofy? Remember him?

sunflower_sue 12 years, 11 months ago

Carmenilla, Welcome back. I've missed your posts, too.

BTW, I'm not a grandma but my nickname in high school was "Mom" 'cause I was always taking care of my friends... so maybe now, I should graduate to the nickname of "Grandma". Hopefully, I won't actually be a grandma for at least another decade but, anything is possible and I will support my children through whatever comes along. A baby is always a blessing. I and my hubby were both "OOPS!" babies (last in each family) and as my Mom always told me: "Unwanted does not mean unloved"! That "unwanted" part may sound a bit harsh but my sister was 6 months old when my Mom got pregnant with me. No, she didn't WANT to have another baby (at least not right then, or ever)...but she loved me all the same.

italianprincess 12 years, 11 months ago

Isn't it great to be a strong woman, one who can speak her mind and not care what anyone says............

Thats all I'm going to say.

Have a great night, I'm going to relax .

Ceallach 12 years, 11 months ago

Well, I finally finished reading all of today's posts and I feel as if I have been to sex-ed class -- now I'm sooooo confused!!!! Good points made on both sides. And thanks to extreme_m we even had some comic relief along the way :)

acg: As per your 2:57 post. Ever watch the movie Delores Claiborne? (sp?) My favorite line from that movie is when Delores says, "Sometimes being a bi*** is all a woman has left!" I feel certain many of us have felt that way, I know I have. So don't worry, if your fiance and boss were carrying the baby they might just display some "b" symptoms of their own :)

Carmenilla: We need your input and insight girl, stay with us. The barbarians may occasionally be at the gate but we can always ignore them, after all, they can't get any farther than we allow.

Barbarians: Don't laugh, you know who your are :):)

Fangorn 12 years, 11 months ago

Carmenilla: I'm sorry you felt it necessary to watch from the sidelines for a while. Your posts have always been worthwhile. I am glad you've decided to break your silence.

Btw, I haven't seen remember_username post recently. Anyone know if he/she is on vacation?

Sapphic: I simply can't pass over your flagrant mischaracterization of the evolution issue. The theory of evolution will continue to be taught in schools. And no one (that I know of at least) is proposing a ban on teaching it. All I'd like to see is that criticisms of the theory are allowed to be discussed in the classroom. When discussing sex ed, we often see comments like: "If a parent has raised a child with a good value system to begin with it seems pretty unlikely to me that one course would undo all of that teaching." I would apply the same thought to this theory that's treated like holy writ: If the belief in evolutionism is based on such solid scientific ground, then surely exposure to a little criticism of its premises won't undo all that teaching.

Ceallach 12 years, 11 months ago

IP: I hope you have a relaxing night. Don't let the opinion of others bother you. It's always easier to critique from a distance. When it comes to your family, you are the one in the trenches and it sound to me like you are fighting the good fight. I don't think it's easy to be any kind of a woman, let alone a mother who is as dedicated to rearing and preparing her children as you appear to be. I know I seem to be on a movie kind of thing tonight, but sometime watch "Fried Green Tomatoes" and adopt the woman's warcry "Tawanda!"

Fangorn 12 years, 11 months ago

acg: btw, congratulations on your (up-coming) new baby! Regardless of what each of us here thinks about sex ed, etc., I think most posters who have children would agree that being a parent is one of the most wonderful experiences a person can have. I'm excited for you!

ms_canada 12 years, 11 months ago

carmenilla - I tried to write earlier, hope you see this. I get gremlins some times on this machine. Anyway, I wanted to say, I am so glad you wrote. Please don't leave us. Just ignore those nasty fellows who bad mouth you. There are plenty of us who really appreciate your comments, so keep them coming. Hang tough as they say. We need your input.

Fangorn 12 years, 11 months ago

Das_Ubermime: While I strongly support education, my support for "public" education in its current format is tepid at best. More and more money is spent with declining results. I would very much love to see public education return as an effective institution in our civic life. But I don't believe any of the current popular "fixes" (including NCLB) will work.

I agree that teaching morals is the responsibility of parents. Unfortunately, sex ed is almost never values-free or values neutral. Too often the values advocated in such classes run directly counter to the values taught in the home. That's the biggest problem I have with how sex ed is being conducted in our schools.

Regarding my comparison, I fail to see how it is fallacious. All I'm saying is that if one asserts that parents' moral values can survive a little opposing viewpoint, then one must certainly believe the teaching of evolutionary theory should be able to survive a bit of scientific criticism. I'm not talking about teaching creation or "intelligent design" here. I would just like to see students exposed to the problems with the theory. If those who support the teaching of evolutionism believe it rests on solid ground, then it too will survive a little opposing viewpoint.

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