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Do you agree with the State Board of Education’s decision to require parental permission slips for children to be taught sex education?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 16, 2006

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Photo of Dominic Isley

“I don’t have a problem with that. I think parents should be made aware of the classes their kids are taking.”

Photo of Eileen Jones

“No, because I think too many children will just slip through the cracks and not get the education they need.”

Photo of Ashley Rowland

“No. If the parent doesn’t want the kid to go, they can sign something. I think the kids need to learn it there, because they do a good job of explaining it to them.”

Photo of Jeremy Antley

“On face value that shouldn’t be a problem, because it should ultimately be the parent’s decision. But I would stress how important it is to have sex education in the schools.”

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RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

It's called "Smurf Turf".

And it is cool.

trueninetiesgirl 12 years, 3 months ago

i understand teaching them sex ed. but why are they giving the kids condoms????????i have had all three of my kids threw this class and they were all given just in case they were having sex. thats like giving them permission to have sex.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 3 months ago

Will it be all-day sex ed, or will they have only half-day sex ed to save money?

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

I don't think permission slips should be required. But I would like to know what they are being taught so that I can fill in all the info that they leave out.

Eagle_aye 12 years, 3 months ago

My child took Human Sexuality at FSHS and she is still a virgin at 17, as well she should be. I think you should only have parents sign a form if you DON'T want them to take the class---maybe more would have a honest education.

Sporg 12 years, 3 months ago

How old were they when taking this class?

Could always make water balloons out of them.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

Gosh dangit OU, the one time I actually want you to win you go and screw it all up.

Don't worry trinity, I have tall cubicle walls.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

curioso -

I think you got removed because your post broke the board, not because of its content.

I know that the '>>' signs you put without a space or carriage return jacked my line lengths and set the margins all off. It may be you got pulled to unbreak the board?

Cause honestly, what you said wasn't really that risque, though it was funny.

kansaskev61 12 years, 3 months ago

Why issue permission slips? Just set the kids in front of the TV tuned to "Desparate Housewives" or "Grey's Anatomy" or "Sex in the City" or "Oz" or "Queer as Folk" They'll get a very well rounded sex education and Mom and Dad don't have to do a thing!

Steve Mechels 12 years, 3 months ago

Kansas was already opt-out; any parent who did not want their child taught sex ed had the ability to remove them from that part of their education. This is going to be a nightmare for teachers. My guess is the next step is just get rid of sex ed.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 3 months ago

Maybe it'll next be opt-in opt-out. You have to opt in before you can opt out.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

All I know is having sex education in school avoiding an extremely uncomfortable "chat" with my parents.

On the other hand, can someone tell me what a "turf professional" is? They know a lot about turf?

Sporg 12 years, 3 months ago

Actually, all they would need, is to see one episode of "Drawn Together."

kansaskev61 12 years, 3 months ago

Good one Sporg...I forgot that one. I haven't seen a complete episode. The animation ain't that great!

Sporg 12 years, 3 months ago

Wow, I didn't know that if you gave a kid a condom their clothes magically fell of, and then they were suddenly nekked with someone else.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

My picks are in!

Kids are going to find out, whether it is in class or at boy scout camp. I would prefer in class and would allow my kids to take it. Maybe they could teach me something??

irnmadn88 12 years, 3 months ago

As a child born in the 60's and came of age in the 80's, I synthesized the sex education messages at the dawn of AIDS down to:

Sex makes babies, or it kills you.

trinity 12 years, 3 months ago

i think people ought to be able to opt their kids OUT of sex ed, instead of IN!!! geeez, now it's going to be so very difficult for some kids to even get into the sex ed classes if they have to BOTHER mum and/or dad to sign a damn permission slip.

but on the other side of the token-this may open up avenues for discussion of sex matters between parent&child, no? hmmm...

l_eustacy 12 years, 3 months ago

Harley is right; now, the ones that need it won't get it. It needs to work the opposite way - a note to opt out.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago


I learned my lesson Earl.

TOB, I would guess they play chess during that time.

mefirst 12 years, 3 months ago

For sex ed, you must opt in, but high school students (minors, mind you) who do not want their names and contact information given to military recruiters must opt out, as per the No Child LEft Behind Act.

Talk about bassackwards.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

OMB: Turf isn't always green though.

What do you do then? If only Dominic was here to enlighten us.

Eudoxus408bc 12 years, 3 months ago

Seriously, parents should be teaching their kids about sex. I don't see why either side cares about this at all. Perhaps what we need to do is have the state adopt and raise all children from age 3 to 18. That way no one is unfairly treated and parents wouldn't really have to do anything.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

I know we're on a great talk about sex here but did anyone see that the national debt is going to go to $9 trillion now? That's a lot of zeroes after that 9. This government is awful.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

And I have a question.

Yankee Doodle. What did he call "Macaroni"? The pony? The hat? The feather?

I just don't know.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

And why can't someone invent a ladder that has stairs like an escalator for people with bad knees?

sgtwolverine 12 years, 3 months ago

And Gootsie, did Yankee Doodle stick a feather in his hat, or did he stick it in his pony's hat?

YourItalianPrincess 12 years, 3 months ago

As a parent of a 3rd grader, yes I want to know what he is being taught in class. If sex ed is going to be taught to children in school then parents need to be informed.

I was born in the 60's, raised in the 70's, and my parents didn't teach me anything about it. I learned about it through friends or on the street as some would say. My mom did ask me at the age of 15 whether I was sexually active and I didn't lie and told her yes. She made an appointment the next day and we were off to the women's clinic for birth control. I didn't have my first child until I was 24 after I had finished college.

Sex education needs to be taught at sometime or another, in school and at home. I as a parent want to be informed if sex ed is going to be taught to my child just so I will be informed. Its always good to know the subjects they will be covering also.

Shardwurm 12 years, 3 months ago

I don't care whether you want your child to receive education in the school or not. That is none of my business.

What I DO care about is that you have the choice.

Too many are willing to hand over all responsibility for such things to other people. Unfortunately, teachers are all too willing to accept it and over-inflate their importance.

Nonetheless, no matter which side of the fence you're on, I personally believe that allowing a choice in the matter is what is important.

For those of you so worried about other peoples' children and what they'll be deprived of, the easiest solution is to make this class opt-out instead of opt-in. That way the children whose parents don't care will be in automatically. Those who choose to keep their children out can.

In any case, thank you for your overwhelming concern for other peoples' methods of raising their children. It's always good to see that criticism of ideas and values is alive and well in Lawrence.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Still favoring opt-out, not opt-in.

Gives parents just as much control over what their children learn, but doesn't drop the kids of uninvolved parents through the cracks.

Question: Do more parents object to their kids getting sex ed, or not object?

It seems to me that the decision ought to be geared towards the least hassle for the largest number of people. If more than half don't want their kids in sex ed, then opt-in requires the permission slip return for fewer kids. If more than half are perfectly willing to have their child taught about sex as an academic subject, then opt-out requires the permission slip for fewer kids.

Why not break it down to a bookkeeping issue? Crunch the numbers and require returned info from the smallest number of people possible to minimize the strain on parents and teachers and kids, who already have quite a bit to think about.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 12 years, 3 months ago

Most school districts already send a note home explaining when and what is going to be taught. If parents don't want their student in the class, they can send in the note opting out. There are some parents who are so uninvolved in their child's education, they probably don't see the note, but those are the kids who aren't getting any education at home about sex, so they need to be in the class. The parents are already involved if they want to be. They can see the curricullum anytime they want. Parents can know everything that schools are doing! Anyone who tells you different is a liar, plain and simple. Guess what. Students can even say prayers at lunch if they want, or before they take a test. It's just that the school cannnot lead prayers or promote a religion. I'm sick of these people who paint schools as this evil empire trying to turn kids into sex-crazed atheists. TV, movies, and video games are doing that. Do you really think that teachers want kids to go out and have sex? They do believe that the more imformation someone has, the better decisions they can make. It doesn't mean they are going to make the right decision, but it's the best we can do. Most kids get their info from movies and TV, and some really believe it.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Way to cut straight to unrelated hyperbole, there, Eux.

No need to go all Huxley on us. It matters to me because it's my money being spent either way, and I'd hella rather that money get spent teaching kids how to avoid the pitfalls of sex instead of taking care of their unwanted children, taking care of them when they leave the bad marriage they were forced into all shotgun-style, taking care of them when they have AIDS or cervical cancer linked to HPV, and in general paying higher health care costs all around so they can get the treatment they could have avoided needing.

Will adequate sex ed eliminate all that? No, but it gives kids tools to avoid it, much more so than abstinence-only education, and I believe it will decrease the risks associated with sex.

Do parents have the resources and information to provide up-to-date info? Mine sure didn't. They talked about morals, and ethics, and the importance of shared intimacy as an expression of love (incredibly important to the decision whether or not to have sex), but they couldn't tell me about asymptomatic chlamydia, or the controversy regarding nonoxynol-9 with regards to HIV prevention, success rates of diaphragms vs. condoms vs. oral contraceptives, and the irregularity of the female menstrual cycle for its first few years that meant that there were no real 'safe days' even if you understood the biology behind ovulation (incredibly important to how you have sex when you decide to).

Both facets, the moral and the biological, are necessary for kids to make responsible sexual decisions. The moral part should be taught at home, by the parents. But unless the parents are very aware of the ever-changing body of information regarding sexual health, the biological aspects are probably better off being taught in a classroom setting.

No one really wants to take the teaching of responsible sexuality away from parents. But it's obviously clear that a great number of children are receiving absolutely no moral or ethical guidance from their parents, and so I think they should at least get the technical basics so that in the absence of responsible decision making tools about whether to have sex, they at least have responsible decision making tools about how to do it.

Sporg 12 years, 3 months ago

"Kids are going to find out, whether it is in class or at boy scout camp."

hehe... boy scout camp... hehe

Realistically I don't think you want kids learing about sex in boy scout camp. I don't understand what the big issue here is, its information. Parents choose whether or not to be informed about what their child is taking in school. I believe the district has to provide information on classes if you (as a parent) request it.

Why does everything we do have to be a freaking war? It's just freaking sex, it's a part of life and it's a part of what we do. Giving children (and adults) information to be more informed should not be this freakin' difficult! From reading the article it seems like they want to put a bunch of stipulations on the program in order to receive funding. Stupilations like abstinence, I'm willing to bet there is a religious motivation behind that. Yes, abstinence should be tought, realistically how many kids are going to follow it? From paying attention to more things nationally,kids are performing more oral and anal acts of sex these days, and are "saving" themselves for marriage. Disease spreads this way too... People just need to freakin lighten up, pay attention to what's going on around, and help educate. Sorry about the rant... oh yeah... hehe turf specialist... hehe

beatrice 12 years, 3 months ago

true: they are giving them condoms because they are having sex, whether you want to admit it or not! Condoms protect from disease and pregnancy. Just because you leave the keys on the counter doesn't mean you have given the kids the permission to drive the car -- just because they have knowledge and access to condoms doesn't mean you are granting them permission to go out and do the old hokey-pokey (and thats what its all about).

bankboy: "This government is awful." Better watch it -- keep criticizing this current administration's budget and people are going to mistake you for a liberal! : ) I'm with you on the need to cut the debt, although I suspect we would disagree on much of how to go about it (for instance, I'm totally against tax cuts for the wealthy during a time of debt and war.) Anyway, it is good to see conservatives finally speaking out on the national debt and deficit.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 3 months ago

"they are giving them condoms because they are having sex, whether you want to admit it or not."

Wow. That's a pretty big statement. Maybe too big. Sure, plenty do -- but definitely not all of them. Perhaps that's the wrong assumption to make.

Also, I think the more apt illustration would be if you gave the keys to the kids. It doesn't sound like they're just leaving the condoms lying on the counter.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 3 months ago

By the way, up here in Michigan, according to the board of education site, schools are not required to provide sex education, but they are required to teach about "dangerous communicable diseases." I don't know how many districts do provide sex education; my wild guess would be that most do. Anyway, parents can opt out, and once they opt out their kids are out until they actively opt back in.

trinity 12 years, 3 months ago

well gawsh between the smurf turf, yankee doodlin', and now ronburgandy's thoughts of "great sex...hmmm....", my day is TRASHED, lmao. i can picture(even though i have no clue what he looks like) ronburgandy sitting there at a cubicle with a cartoon balloon over his head, rubbing his chin thoughtfully, thinking about that great sex! ;)

just be sure the balloon isn't too big or the string to long there, ron...

sunflower_sue 12 years, 3 months ago

OMB, That story is too funny! Reminds me of the time I took my teetotaler mom out to buy her some hooch for a cough. (She has high blood pressure and back then they didn't make a cough syrup that she could take...and I wasn't old enough to buy it for her.) She was embarrassed that she would be seen buying alcohol by someone she knew. While she was looking away, I mouthed to the checkout guy to call for a price check. He did and her embarrassment was complete. My poor mother! I don't know how she ever got stuck with a rotten kid like me.

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