Sex-ed belongs at home not in classroom, lawmakers decide

Posted at 9:52 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 23:54:49-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The birds and the bees were the topic of discussion at the Capitol Tuesday night as hundreds of people attended a meeting to voice their opinion about a sex education bill that was eventually voted down.

House Bill 246 would have given parents the choice to enroll their children into enhanced sex education classes that focus on a variety of topics from puberty, to STDs to birth control to pregnancy.

"We have to accept the reality that teens do choose to have sex and that we should not be restricting information from them," said supporter Jose Jacon.

Bruce Rigby spoke out against the bill.

"This is about abortion people, this is the ground shaking in the United States because of abortion right here," Rigby said.

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, who sponsored the bill, said there are a lot of epidemics that need to be stopped.

"I want to see sexually transmitted diseases going down, I want to see unintended pregnancies going down, I want to see abortion use going down," King said.

However, those against the bill say talking about sex in the classroom will only increase these problems.

"Inappropriate sexual related behaviors come from this," said Jeremy Boberg.

Those in favor of the bill say sex among kids is something that can't be ignored.

"Many of the students in these classes have already experienced unwanted sexual contact. It's very critical for them to have accurate information," said Alana Kindness.

After a short discussion, the majority of the committee said they believed sex education should be taught at home, not in the classroom.

"I think it takes away the responsibilities of the parents, what their role is as a society," said Rep. Michael Noel, R-Kanab.

King said many parents are not qualified to teach their kids about sex.

"How many parents know the difference between a sexually transmitted disease and sexually transmitted infection? How many parents know the difference between gonorrhea and chlamydia, not many," King questioned.

King said he is disappointed about the decision but he's not surprised. He plans to bring this bill back to the legislature next year.