Currently in the Utah legislature, poised to become law, is HB 0246.
I read, in the Tribune, that Representative Brian King felt that the bill was important because, “Knowledge is power,” and “I don’t believe in keeping our kids ignorant.”
They certainly won’t be ignorant– nor innocent; not a chance.
With this bill, we meet its parent: the Common Sexuality Education Standards movement. Slightly more twisted than the other sets of common standards, it has hit Utah through HB 0246, Rep. Brian King’s bill– oddly titled “Reproductive Health Amendments”.
Now, along with CCSS (Common Core for English/Math) and along with NGSS (common science standards) and along with AP US History (common un-history standards) –here are common, national, sexuality education standards. Like the “common standards” predecessors, this set is twisted ethically, is “progressive” politically, and is anti-local-control.
Be clear, because I wasn’t until today: “Sexuality Education,” which this bill offers us, is not the same thing as “Sex Education”. At all. Old fashioned sex ed can be compared to a civics class that teaches kids that there is such a thing as voting, while “Sexuality Ed” is like a civics class that teaches kids which political party to join. National Sexuality Standards are here to change beliefs and values about sex, not to teach the biology or the consequences of sex.
“Sexuality education is a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs, and values.”
Sex ed was about the science of reproduction; legitimate, academically. Sexuality education is actually a new religion– it forms beliefs and values.
This bill gives Utah “comprehensive sexuality education” starting with children about nine years old.
Before we read what’s in the bill– first, let’s look at what was taken out of Utah’s previous sex education law.
You see a lot of
crossed out words. These used to be in the law and won’t be, if HB0246 passes. Read them.
Why were these struck out?
[(A) the importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage, and fidelity
106 after marriage, as methods for preventing certain communicable diseases; and]
107 [(B) personal skills that encourage individual choice of abstinence and fidelity.]
108 [(ii) (A) At no time may instruction be provided, including responses to spontaneous
109 questions raised by students, regarding any means or methods that facilitate or encourage the
110 violation of any state or federal criminal law by a minor or an adult.]
Am I reading this correctly? Will Utah teachers be forbidden from teaching fidelity and abstinence as viable methods for preventing communicable diseases? And, are Utah teachers no longer forbidden from providing instruction that might encourage violation of laws?
What illegal acts will we be teaching, then? Are these words referring to abortion-related laws, or pedophilia, or what? There was some reason why were these lines were removed, and the law altered. I want to know what that was.
Here’s more that got removed from Utah’s previous standard:
156 abstinence before marriage and fidelity after marriage, and prohibiting instruction in:];
157 [(I) the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior;]
158 [(II) the advocacy of homosexuality;]
159 [(III) the advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices;
161 [(IV) the advocacy of sexual activity outside of marriage;]
It appears that Utah teachers are no longer prohibited from teaching students the “intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior; the advocacy of homosexuality; the advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices; or the advocacy of sexual activity outside of marriage“. They can “teach” all of it, if the bill passes; nothing says they can’t.
I have to say, with a grain of gratitude, that this bill does look slightly less horrific than the National Sexuality Standards in full, in one way: the Utah bill delays comprehensive sexuality classes until after third grade. The National Sex Standards begin several years earlier, in kindergarten.
Otherwise, they are in synch. The language and intent matches, and the Utah bill is patterned after the national sex standards, as part of the Future of Sex Education Initiative (FoSE). –For example, if you click on the FoSE link, as with the SIECUS link, it uses and defines “comprehensive sexuality education,” the term that the Utah bill also uses 12 times.
The Utah bill plans to start sex ed after grade three, so know this: the National Sexuality Education Standards for grades 3-5 include: being able to describe male and female reproductive anatomy and functions; being able to describe the changes of puberty; and being able to “define sexual orientation as the romantic attraction of an individual to someone of the same gender or a different gender.”
Do you feel fine about forcing –on children as young as nine years old– “lessons” on genital anatomy, reproduction, puberty and both hetero- and homosexuality? At what point is this not science, not biology, not decent? At what young age do sexual education lessons cross the line, becoming something other than teaching truth?
At what point would any statement about sex be declared by decent people to be improper, perverted, deviant, and emotionally abusive? For me, that time is right now.
A term I see getting flashed around a lot in FoSE and HB0246 is “age-appropriate”. Age-appropriate– by whose definition? By whose values? ( Before you answer, before you research the people behind the national initiative, let me stop you: Laughably, the Utah bill prohibits political doctrine –as well as religious or other) from being taught. See lines 67, 205. So none of these lessons or standards are, in any way, political, we are to convince ourselves.)
Reading the bill and reading the national sex standards initiative’s documents, I think: never have I understood more clearly the idea that there are no such thing as age appropriate standards. Every child is different. Every developmental stage is different. What one child asks about, and is ready to learn at an early age, another child is horrified to speak of until a decade later. Being insensitive to that fact, by promoting one-sized set of national standards, top-down, on a topic as sensitive and potentially damaging to a child as personal morality and sexuality, is child abuse.
By 6th-8th grade, the national sex standards have children defining sexual intercourse; differentiating between gender identity, sexual expression, and gender expression; explaining “the range of gender roles”; and defining sexual abstinence only as it relates to pregnancy prevention.
In the Utah bill, “abstinence” is explained using words that I find to be pornographic, especially in the context of having a sixth grader (eleven year old) read it. See line 95-96.
95 (f) “Sexual abstinence” means not engaging in oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse or
96 genital skin-to-skin contact.
There should be a whole bill written prohibiting the exposure of an innocent mind to that sentence. That’s not the curriculum or the test; that’s just the legislation about it. And it seems at cross-purposes to define the term that is no longer to be part of the message. (Abstinence is out, they said.)
The National Sex Standards have high school students analyzing the influences that impact when and whether they engage in sexual behaviors; differentiating between biological sex and sexual orientation; demonstrating ways to communicate about when and whether to engage in sexual behaviors; oddly, at this point there is little to no scientific or reproductive aspect of sex education– it’s about activity and engagement.
Notice, in HB 0246, that students will be:
129 reducing the number of sexual partners
The bill also pushes “day-after” contraception/abortion:
138 (ix) provide instruction about the health benefits and potential side effects of using
139 contraceptives and barrier methods to prevent pregnancy, including instruction regarding
140 emergency contraception and the availability of contraceptive methods.
That’s all I’m going to say about the bill itself. Read it, and tell your legislators what you think about it.
Some people are afraid of being labeled as conservatives, as believers in God, or as morally strict. Please don’t let the promoters of this bill intimidate you by calling you a backwoodsy, out of touch, prudish, fearful, religious, whatever. This bill, and these standards, are way beyond anything academically or ethically reasonable.
This fight in front of us, Utahns, is about protecting our children, unmuddied by SIECUS’s extreme political agenda.
It is an agenda of zero morality.
Pretending that sexuality education can be taught without reference to conscience, modesty, or morality, is a lie. There is such a thing as human conscience, and right and wrong, especially where sexuality is concerned.
(I keep thinking about the lesson from last Sunday, in church: “The Body is a Temple“. The body is so much more than an object for pleasure. Every body is holy, housing a spirit child of God. Procreation is how God’s millions of beautiful children form physical families. That matters– how it happens, when and with whom it happens, all matters– almost more than anything else that the body can do. Yes, human sexuality is good and right, but steering it is not a free-for-all. It is not without a governing morality.)
That’s where the national sex standards, and HB 0246, are wrong. They pretend that human beings are without morality, without a sense of right and wrong, and that there is no unhappy consequence beyond disease or unplanned pregnancy that could result from acting out sexually, in any way, and at any age. Those are lies.
One of the main tests of life is “Will my body rule over my spirit, or will my spirit rule over my body? Will I yield to the natural or to the eternal?” We get to choose. These standards say that, in essence, there is only a body, no spirit; and there is no reason to restrain whims.
I’m not suggesting that Utah–or any state– should teach denominational religious doctrine in public schools. Of course not.
I am saying that it is wrong to promote and teach a prescribed, “new” morality (in my mind, the same, old fashioned, immorality). It is so wrong to teach little ones, nine years old, heterosexuality and homosexuality, in a school setting. It is wrong to teach that there is no such thing as perversion, nor anything wrong with sex obsession, or gender reversals. It is wrong to include so many teachings about deviant and degrading sexual behaviors as if they were normal and good, while excluding fidelity and chastity from the conversation.
(For future reference, some organizations, listed as promoting the National Sexuality Education Standards, are: the National Education Association, the American School Health Association, the American Association of Health Education, the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education, the Future of Sex Education Initiative, The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) and Advocates for Youth. Consultants listed include: Planned Parenthood; the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Netword (GLSEN) and many more. Utah’s standardized test provider, American Institutes for Research, (AIR) is openly on board with the National Sexuality Education Standards and its values, too.)