Sex ed bill insults parents, ignores students’ well-being

In Blog, Capitol Review by Mark Hillman

Even with recent amendments, House Bill 1032, which mandates how sex education must be presented in our public schools, is an affront to parents who take their faith seriously and who want their children to do the same.  It’s also an insult to anyone who knows that sex can be emotionally or physically harmful, even if it’s consensual.

HB 1032, apparently the handiwork of ACLU and Planned Parenthood, is an unacceptable intrusion on the authority of local control of our schools.  The Colorado Constitution gives locally-elected school boards “control of instruction in the public schools of their respective districts” (Article 9, Section 15) and prohibits the General Assembly from “prescrib(ing) textbooks to be used in the public schools” (Article 9, Section 15).

The bill mandates that school districts either teach “comprehensive human sexuality education” as prescribed by the General Assembly or not teach any type of sex ed whatsoever – not even the basic “birds and bees” discussion.  That is not an acceptable or responsible choice, and it is not proper for state legislators to impose this mandate on our schools.

Determining how this sensitive subject matter will be taught and, specifically, how to appropriately address issues such as “the health needs” of our students is best reserved to our local school boards in consultation with parents and school staff.

The bill continues to advance the view that the most important consideration for students regarding sexual activity is consent – as if pre-mature sexual activity is harmless, so long as it is consensual.

Yet responsible parents are keenly aware that the damaging emotional, psychological and physical effects of pre-mature sexual activity are very real, even if teenagers may have “consented” at that moment.  That’s because teenagers concept of “consent” isn’t any more fully developed than their understanding of “love,” which we all confused with infatuation in our younger days.

This is not “youth empowerment,” as the bill suggests, it is mis-education.

By setting our children on a course to learn life’s most important lessons the hard way, we are subjecting them to heartache, anguish and physical suffering that we would not condone in any other area.  We don’t hesitate to tell our children not to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes or use drugs – either until they are more mature or as a matter of making good life-long choices.  We tell them to make healthy choices about what they eat and physical exercise.  In these cases, our schools back up the parents.

But regarding sex, “progressive” legislators seem to believe that sex among minors is no big deal so long as both parties consent and use contraceptives.

If they want to raise their children that way, that’s tragic, but it’s their business.  However, it’s outrageous to use our taxpayer-funded schools to indoctrinate everyone else’s children.

HB 1032 contains an expansive definition of “culturally-sensitive,” that conspicuously excludes anyone who believes that sexual activity should be delayed, either until an age when students more fully understand the emotional and physical consequences of their choices or until they are ready to make a lasting commitment to another person.  That many people are guided by their faith to make that choice should not distract from the reality that postponing sexual activity is a wise choice for K-12 students.

The definitions and viewpoints which would become law in House Bill 1032 present schools with the choice of either ignoring sex education altogether or teaching it in a manner that is an affront to parents who take their children’s well-being – and their faith – seriously.