By Kendra Holliday | August 25, 2016
Last night my daughter and I attended a school board meeting that featured sex ed.
The school sent a survey out to parents last year. Over 1000 parents responded (I was SO excited to fill it out!), with the majority of parents in favor of updating the curriculum to include important topics beyond pregnancy and STIs, such as gender and LGBTQ issues, consent, and exploring sexuality.
As a result, the board voted and approved the improved curriculum in March. HOORAY! You can read details here.
I’m Co-Leader of Sex Positive St. Louis and I graduated from the school in ’91. My sex-positive daughter is a sophomore now. Needless to say, we strongly advocate acceptance, inclusiveness, and accurate education when it comes to the wide range of human sexuality. We were in good company, with plenty of rabbis, physicians, professionals, sex and health educators, and representatives from local organizations such as Growing American Youth and TransParent.
But some people are having a fit over the change. They think the curriculum, which draws mainly on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for sexual education, is medically inaccurate. They also think providing information sends a dangerous message and encourages teens to have sex. Let me ask you – did you have sex as a teenager? Most of us did, and we fumbled around and made lots of mistakes. I wish I would have been better informed at that age.
People both for and against the teachings that will promote acceptance and better emotional health attended the meeting.
The people against the change wore white to symbolize purity and innocence.
One of the white people kept repeating the word “pornography” with such passion that it made me want to run right home and watch some! Another white person demanded that the school stick to “education, not indoctrination.”
A mom and her incredibly brave and shaking 16 year old son got up to speak – Andrew Bennett has been getting bullied and slandered by some of the white adults, online and in person.
As they spoke, some of the white people shouted angrily at them and some turned their backs on them.
You can watch footage of them speaking here. The building was surrounded by police and security.
Teen hero Andrew is saving lives by putting himself out there. I can’t wait to see him speak in front of thousands of people someday.
My daughter got to witness adult behavior – some mature and respectful, some not. I’m proud to say the people we sat with exhibited good manners. But I have to confess – as soon as we got to our car, we burst out laughing and repeated the word “pornography” all the way home.
I got compliments on my Planned Parenthood “I LOVE SEX ED” shirt. 🙂
I counsel adults mainly in the 40-70 age range who were grossly misinformed when they came of age. If the next generation gets proper education, then I can be put out of business and bake cupcakes or garden instead. Or, if we choose to remain ignorant, I can make lots of money mucking around in all the guilt and shame baggage.
I prefer the former.