Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sex Ed Veto Spells Relief for Utah Families

A tasty object lesson some parents use to teach their kids about sex.
by Todd Robert Petersen

SALT LAKE CITY—Thousands of Utah families secretly pumped their fists in the air at the news that Utah Governor, Gary Herbert, had vetoed the controversial House Bill 363, which would allow public schools to drop their sex ed courses. Schools that chose to keep sex ed would have to teach an abstinence-only curriculum.

Many Utahns who publicly supported this bill were privately concerned that the duties of explaining human sexuality would fall to them.

Marjorie Kleinmann, president of the Barry Goldwater Middle School PTA said that she and many of the other parents in her ward very much wanted to be on the side of conservative lawmakers, who believe that the public schools are turning Utah children into sex-loving liberals.

Kleinmann said that "it sounded like a fantastic idea for all of us teach sex ed at home, until I realized that meant I would be the one who had to tell my sweet Alexis which part of her father's anatomy goes into which part of mine. No thank you." Kleinmann's solution is simple, "We all know that Utah school teachers are basically freeloaders. With this veto, they can start earning their keep."

Benson Smith, a biology teacher at Emigration High School voiced similar concerns. "Many students come to us with interesting ideas about sexuality. Last year a senior said my lecture on endosperms was pornographic and that he had given my name to his uncle who is a stake president." Smith said that his goal in science classrooms is not to make students into homosexuals or partakers in raucous sexual practices, "That sort of takes care of itself." Instead he just wants his students to understand that they "didn't get here because their parents sat on the same toilet seat."

A fellow teacher at Emigration High confirmed Smith's characterization of Utah kids as naive and mostly-confused about sex. "I have a student whose family refers to parts of the human anatomy using the brand name of Hostess products. You know, 'Twinkie' for penis, 'Snowballs' for breasts, and 'Suzie Q' for vagina. When he told me this, I asked him why his family didn't just use 'Ding Dong' for…you know, ding dong. He looked at me like I was wearing a Yoda mask and speaking Pig Latin."

Many of the youth in Utah are also relieved that they will not have to learn the facts of life at home. A student from Beaver High School, who asked that her identity be withheld, told the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer that when her mother shrunk from the duty discussing menstrual periods, their father took up the mantle. "He took my sisters and me out to Dairy Queen and demonstrated the process with a stack of napkins and the ketchup bottle. I don't even want to think how he'd deal with orgasms or STDs.

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