One Utah lawmaker wants to make it easier for parents to talk to their kids about sex education. This morning, a bill that would require the state school board to develop education materials for parents to teach children about sex at home passed out of committee, but lawmakers say this bill isn’t about trying to take sex education out of Utah classrooms.
Republican Senator Stuart Reid of Ogden doesn’t want parents to shy away from having ‘the talk’ with their kids.
“A lot of times parents are nervous about it. They feel uncomfortable talking about sex with their children. This is a tool to help break down some of that discomfort.”
Reid is talking about a computer program that he would like to see developed by the State Board of Education as a way to help parents better teach their children about health and sex education.
“It aligns itself with the information children receive at school but it is put online and it is part of an online service for the parents so they can take that and use that to go over it with their children and where necessary they can interject the values and other values that they think are important.”
Senate bill 39 passed out of the Senate Education committee with a vote of 4-2. Democratic Senator Pat Jones voted against the bill saying it’s unfair to ask the state board of education to develop the curriculum.
“This is something parents ought to be doing. There are plenty of websites out there if they need help..if they don’t feel comfortable talking to their kids. I don’t think we need legislation. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
State superintendent Martell Menlove also spoke against the bill saying it would be difficult for the state to create a program that to fit the needs of all parents and students.
Reid said this is purely a parental involvement bill, and is not intended to move sex education out of schools.
“It doesn’t impact anything that is going on in schools today. It doesn’t impact that at all. All it does is encourage parents to teach sex education in their home.”
The bill is now headed to the Senate floor for a vote.