Thursday, April 26, 2007

Missouri Sex Education

A new bill, HCS HB 1055, was just approved by the Missouri House of Representatives yesterday. There hasn't been much news coverage of this bill, and surprisingly little opinion, so I thought I'd throw my two cents on the topic into the vast void that is the interwebtubes and hopefully make at least a couple more people aware of this bill.

The short description of HCS HB 1055 states that the bill "changes the laws regarding sexual education instruction in public schools and establishes public awareness and services for alternatives to abortion programs." That seems innocuous enough. Change is good right? But further inspection of the bill reveals some not-so-desirable changes

The actual text of bill states that a sex education course should, among other things, "(3) Present students with the latest medically factual information regarding both the possible side effects and health benefits of all forms of contraception, including the success and failure rates for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; or shall present students with information on contraceptives and pregnancy in a manner consistent with the provisions of the federal abstinence education law, 42 U.S.C. Section 710;" (emphasis theirs). Really, the only word in that statement that bothers me is the "or." This leaves it up to school administrators and school boards whether the students in their charge will be presented with all the facts about safe sex and adolescent sexuality gathered by decades of medical research and thousands of medical professionals, OR if they'll simply be told, "Don't fuck each other, OK?" That seems like a pretty important "or" to me.

This optionally educational or irresponsible sex education is similar to teaching a gun safety course in which the instructor can either give the pupil a loaded weapon and tell him not to use it, or give the pupil and loaded weapon and tell him how to engage the safety, how to remove the ammunition, how to carefully store the gun, how to clean it safely, etc. The former seems ludicrous, but that is essentially what we are doing to Missouri students. We put them in small rooms for hours at a time, week after week, year after year, with peers their own age and with similar developing hormone levels. These kids are ticking time bombs of lust, powder kegs dangerously close open flame. And the solution HCS HB 1055 proposes is not to douse them with the knowledge of STDs (or STIs, or whatever they're calling them these days) or diffusing them with safe sex practices, but to scold these volatile kids, "How dare for thinking of exploding!"

HCS HB 1055 also states, "7. No school district or charter school, or its personnel or agents, shall provide abortion services, or permit a person or entity to offer, sponsor, or furnish in any manner any course materials or instruction relating to human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases to its students if such person or entity is a provider of abortion services" (emphasis theirs). This is, of course, to prevent those lewd sex-mongers from sneaking into our students' classrooms and whispering into children's ears, "Sex.... Sex.... Don't worry about the consequences; we've got abortions for that! Just have sex! Sex...."

This is just some of the language of the bill that I found a bit disturbing. I advise everyone to read all of HCS HB 1055 for themselves (and read the summary, too). If you agree with me (and some other people) and some of the points I have made and you want to help change this bill or stop it from becoming Missouri law, I recommend you go to the Planned Parenthood Take Action page and send a letter to your local senator condemning the bill. If you don't agree with some of the points I've made and you want to make sure this bill does pass through the Missouri senate, well, I'm not sure what you can do. (Write your senator, too, I guess.) But either way, let me know what you think about HCS HB 1055 and its possible effects on Missouri students.


  1. no wonder kids are stupider these days. with an educational philosophy of "what they don't know can't hurt them" there's an awful fucking lot they won't and don't know. whatever happened to teaching people to think for themselves? or preparing them to chose for themselves? it's not the education system's duty to moralize, or to advertise, or to feed kids mountain dew and snickers, or to recruit them into the marines.

    i wonder ... could we trade in public education for public health care? more people need the privilege of health care than take advantage of education ...

  2. Yeah!

    btw... what's up with the superhero storyline?


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