April 8th, 2010
07:51 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Sex Education is a Crime?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Is teaching sex education to kids a crime? One Wisconsin prosecutor cautions the answer could be yes. In a March 24 letter, Scott Southworth, the Juneau County district attorney, warns five school districts if they proceed with new state sex education courses teachers could face criminal charges for contributing to the delinquency of minors.

Since under Wisconsin law minors can't legally have sex, teachers would essentially be endorsing the behavior and could be held liable, Southworth said in the letter.

Southworth also said the law could convert sex education classes "into a radical program that sexualizes our children as early as kindergarten."

"While it is true that some children will wrongly choose to engage in sexual behavior before entering adulthood, our school districts should never promote illegal activity," Southworth wrote.

The D.A. says forcing schools to instruct students on how to use contraceptives encourages them to engage in sexual activity.

"It is akin to teaching children about alcohol use, then instructing them on how to make mixed alcoholic drinks," Southworth wrote in the letter.

The new sex education program take effect this fall. But Southworth is calling on school leaders to suspend the classes until the state legislature amends or repeals the new mandates. The law took effect in March, after approval in the state assembly and senate by a slim margin with no Republican support.

Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, a co-author of the legislation called the D.A.'s letter "irresponsible", in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "His purpose is to intimidate and create enough panic in the minds of school administrators that they'll turn their backs on young people and their families," she said.

The new law still allows parents to remove their children from sex-ed classes and schools can offer to not off the instruction.

Tonight on 360°, you'll hear from district attorney Scott Southworth. We're keeping them honest.

We're also following the investigation on Capitol Hill into America's financial crisis. A congressional panel criticized two former leaders of Citigroup today for failing to understand the risks it took with mortgage-backed securities that led the company to lose an estimated $30 billion dollars and forced it to take a $45 billion bailout from the government.

Charles "Chuck" Prince, the former CEO of Citigroup and Robert Rubin, a former board member and top adviser at Citi were grilled by the panel. Rubin was also Treasury Secretary under Pres. Bill Clinton. Both men argued nobody saw the crisis coming. It's something we hear regularly from those who held leadership roles when the meltdown began. Tonight you'll hear from Andrew Ross Sorkin, author of "Too Big To Fail", who gives raw insight into the financial crisis and how it happened. Sorkin says Prince and Rubin offer "no real apologies." We'll see if he thinks the reform measures in place and those still being debated have any teeth.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Jimi

    Its amazing the kind of access kids have to information, internet ,cable tv etc. so, whether we teach em or not they will get to know. So, if they schools can give em the right perspective they need our support.

    April 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  2. Tom

    Someone please file a Bar complaint against this DA.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Todd

    The conservative or liberal morals of sex ed should be taught at home, not in the schools. I'm fine with traditional sex ed being taught – the biological facts, and encouragement for abstinence along with educating about the potential consequences of sex eg pregnancy and disease. Contrary to the rant of Anderson's liberal guest last night, it IS against the law in Wisconsin for a minor to engage in sex, and therefore the DA actually does have ground to stand on, IMHO. Parents need to start taking responsibility for their children's education instead of relying on the schools to do it. Stop blaming all your kids' failures on the system, the government, the schools...take a step back and look at what your role is as a parent, and make sure YOU have equipped your child(ren) first and foremost. The apple doesn't often fall far from the tree.

    April 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  4. Boomer in Mo

    In the 1960s, the churches in my small rural town hosted a series of sex education courses, taught on four or five Sunday nights by doctors and youth pastors. It was medically and morally based. We learned everything, including about sex drive and hormones, the physical act (most of us had seen the cows and the bull interacting anyway), birth control (the "pill" was pretty new) and why to avoid having sex as a teen and why it was best to wait for marriage. Now the religious right has convinced politicians that "just say no" is the only thing a teen need to know. Guess what? Teen pregnancy is rampant. But the religious right wants to cut welfare off and starve those babies and their teen moms. There is a disconnect in this country between reality and fact and people who do a lot of praying but darn little in the way of helping anyone.

    April 9, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  5. Robbie

    We are currently working with programs that are educating our students on the facts and true mechanics of the the body and sex. If we don't do this who will, I heard this guy last night say they want to prosecute the teachers for teaching this, I can't believe this. I have the parents sign a waiver and they also have the opportunity to see the lessons as well as materials that will be taught to the students before we bring it to the class room. I have no parents deny the students the opportunity to receive this information and actually request the kids to take the class because of this information. Most parents do not know themselves because they were never given the information from their parents or schools and are very receptive to this new information and type of instruction. The presenters are very professionals and share very important that each one of these students will take with them forever. This is one of the most important classes today in the public schools next to English, Math, Social studies, and so on but if a student get's infected with an STD they won't be able to use their education if they are dying.

    April 9, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  6. Val

    It's time for all parents as part of their parental responsibility to teach their children about the consequences of sex and how to prevent unplanned pregnancy and disease. I wonder how many parents who do not teach this or who are opposed to this in the schools have lived to regret their stance on promoting ignorance? OF COURSE the best course for any young person is to abstain from having intercourse until they are in a committed, loving relationship after the age of 18, but sexual activity usually starts MUCH younger and if the circumstances are there and the hormones are raging it's sort of like trying to stop a train by putting out your hand.
    A lot of people are not going to like the way that I decided to handle this issue. I have three sons aged 33, 31 and 30 and by the time the eldest son was 17 I decided that my approach would be to put a box of condoms under the sink in the hall bathroom and told the oldest boy that they were there for him and his brothers. I would guess that I bought about 4 boxes of about 20 by the time they were out of the house. By the time the other boys were another year older it was common knowledge where I stood on the issue of unprotected sex. I lectured many, many times about how std's can be spread even though the person spreading them can have no symptoms, how having a baby out of wedlock can complicate your life with having to pay child support for 18 years, while in many cases not being able to be a real part of your child's life if the relationship with the mother deteriorates, and how it can be the cause of strain in future relationships and how AIDS can kill. Of course I stressed also the importance of love and how sex without love is only lust and that many girls can confuse lust with love and get very hurt and that it is wrong to manipulate women to satisfy their own selfish urges. That being said, only my youngest son is a married father of two, aged 4 and 2 so in this world where sexual images are constant and kids are getting conflicting messages I feel as though I must've did something right. If kids are allowed to drive at 16 that is an adult responsibility. Does telling them to wear a seat belt promote wreckless driving????

    April 9, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  7. Thomas

    Southworth is living evidence of how educating people can be bad. In his life he's been educated (somewhat) about the law, and now look at how he's abusing it.

    April 9, 2010 at 6:03 am |
  8. Darlene A

    Thanks for bringing this to light. Wisconsin isn't the only state with these laws and teens are caught in the legal crossfire. They deserve better from us.

    In California, we provide teens "family planning" information, then arrest them for having sex. Both are paid for by California Taxpayers.

    In California, sex between minors of same age is illegal, a misdemeanor, unless they are married. Penal Code 261.5. (a)(b).
    Yet, public schools are re-imbursed by the State of California for "Identifying and referring adolescents who may be in need of Medi-Cal family planning services." (Per reimbusement Code 4 of the Medi-Cal Administrative Activities Time Survey).

    In my community a 17 year old young man who had sex with his same age girlfriend was arrested and per the law, guilty of a misdemeanor PC 261.5 (a) (b). He has to "take classes" and when he turns 18 can apply to "have his record sealed". The girl was not arrested.

    These teens (a few months shy of age 18) were responsible. They both talked with their parents beforehand. No one knew it was "illegal". Both sets of parents were shocked and dismayed by the legal consequences.

    Law enforcement became involved because someone bound by the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) thought that they were required to report the suspected abuse to authorities. The federal law leaves it up to the states to specify the forms of "maltreatment that are criminally punishable." So in California it was a misdemeanor and therefore, by definition, "maltreatment".

    The minimum age to join the military (with parental consent) is 17, but your parents can't consent for you to have sex? Neither can adolescents themselves consent to have sex.

    How many times has a crime, committed by a minor led to them being "tried" as adults? On the one hand, society sends the message that adolescents are incapable of making appropriate judgments and on the other hand, we hold them responsible for their actions and declare they "knew what they were doing".

    Even if you have an interest in discouraging sexual activity among teens, it is a disservice to arrest teenagers solely because they are sexually active. This could possibly lead to a permanent criminal record or possibly the requirement to register as a sex offender. (That could happen if one was 17 and the other 18) . There are better ways to encourage abstinence.

    It is irrational to both fund public schools to provide "family planning" information and simultaneously require them, as mandated reporters, to give names of anyone they may discover is applying the guidance to prevent pregnancy or engage in safe sex.

    Legislators need to be made aware of these contradictions and change the laws. These concerns must be turned back to families and community. It is in kids' best interest to receive guidance from counselors, doctors, teachers etc. not handcuffs.

    April 9, 2010 at 5:47 am |
  9. Shirleen

    Ignorance is, as always, the main problem with issues like this. What people like this prosecutor fail to understand is that our society is trying to stop nature. When humans, like all animals, reach sexual maturity their bodies tell them to have sex. The teen years are naturally structure to "leave the nest" and reproduce. Most of the issues parents face with teens are rebellion and sex. Teenagers ARE going to have sex. They always have and they always will. We need to stop trying to mess with mother nature and prepare them for sexual maturity by giving them acurate information about their bodies. I would say that it's child abuse not to teach sexual ed.

    April 9, 2010 at 5:33 am |
  10. Norah

    Did I hear you right that Southworth adopted a kid from Iraq? I can only wonder what kind of a dad he might make, very controlling.

    What about all the stats that teen pregnancy/abortion were up under leaders (like W. Bush) who pushed abstinence only?

    Safety is job one (safe sex and not allowing yourself to be abused by a boyfriend/girlfriend) in sex ed, but it is also about communicating what teens need to know to make decisions about when they and their partners are ready to have sex. And, yes, part of that is about teaching abstinence, but that should be a piece of it.

    Southworth and others like him to more damage to our kids by trying to subject others to their morals. No, I don't like the idea of young teens having sex, but it's a reality, so let's give them the knowledge they need to be safe and wait until it is right.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:51 am |
  11. Jake Bennett

    "Morality" in excess, and without reason and thought, does nothing but harm true human drive, feeling and emotion.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:37 am |
  12. Melissa, CA

    When are people going to realize that humans are sexual beings? I have been truthful with my children from the beginning. Now that they are teenagers I am happy to say they are well informed and making decisions that I am very proud of.

    And we wonder why there is so much infidelity and sex addiction in our country?? Maybe if we started educating every child from the begining about their sexuality this sort of stuff would not be so prevalent.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:29 am |
  13. Michelle Z

    This DA is an outrageous and clearly confused about the content of the law. This letter sounds like a threat from someone who does not understand that FACTUAL KNOWLEDGE is power and that the young people of Wisconsin deserve the opportunity to be armed with it.

    Furthermore, Bristol Palin's ad on abstinence is a ridiculous. She does nothing to educate young people on their choices. And this is the reason we need comprehensive sexual health education. Telling kids to "Pause" is not power. Arming them with information on their options prior to deciding to have sex is far more effective.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:17 am |
  14. Eva Marie Woywod

    I am a reporter for a local paper in Juneau County-The Messenger of Juneau County. Today I had the opportunity to interview our District Attorney, Scott Southworth – On Anderson's show tonight, Lisa Bloom hit the nail on the head when she spoke about Southworth's thought process and how a parent teaching their child about sex, and contraception would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor – as that is the exact question I asked Scott today while sitting in his office... and in doing so I used my sons as the example.....I asked if, I, as a parent decided that my sons should learn safe sex practices and taught them how to properly use a condom wouldn't that be the same as if a teacher doing it in a comprehensive sex ed class, and wouldn't i be subject to the same liability as he claims teachers may now face.....and he said that I would be "crossing the line"..............I also asked him that since parents can choose to for their child to opt out of the sex ed classes and if a parent doesn't wouldn't that make them neglectful in their duties if as he believes it would be setting their child up for being taught how to have underage sex...he said the parent can claim not to know what the course teaches ..

    Please also know that I've been covering some recent child sexual assault cases here in Juneau County where one accused male has been allowed to sign a "100k signature bond" rather than a cash bond...for alleged crimes against 2 minor victims that have spanned many years....and then has also been allowed to not only leave the country while awaiting trial but to live and work in the Grand Cayman Islands.

    The Messenger of Juneau County has a facebook fan page where we are reporting locally as this sex education story unfolds and so far the local community has been outraged in their comments.....

    April 9, 2010 at 2:16 am |
  15. 6 Comment Veronica Stark

    I am a Secondary Teacher in Australia – Victoria and although I do not know the Sex-Ed course being taught, its comprehensiveness and detail should take into account the age group being instructed. My own daughter was only in her 5th year of schooling – age 8-9 years and the newly mandanted sex education had explicit graphic information that we taught to our 15-16 year old at my school. My daughter never played with her little toys ever again and I did not do anything about it. How could I do anything again a Government Mandanted Course? Parents need to be given Sex-Ed Course Outlines.

    Another vital factor along with making sure parents are fully aware of the content is to seek their consent as mention in the article. At my school I was forced to show 'Stand By Me' to 12 years olds during English lessons- WITHOUT parental consent.. So I was certainly coerced into "contributing to the delinquency of minors" , for their essays even had to quote the swear words used in the movie as supporting evidence!

    Let's save our children and their innocence!
    Have Programmes Age Appropriate and make sure parents are 1. Aware of the content and 2. Concent to the content. Then everyone should be happy.

    April 9, 2010 at 1:44 am |
  16. Timothy P

    As far as sex education goes, if it teaches the consequences of having sex before marriage, and the failure rate of contraception, then I am all for it. I don't know about Wisconsin Law, but in Texas it is totally illegal for anyone to have sex with someone under 14. It does not matter if the offender, which the boy is almost always the one charged, is the same age, 1 year older/younger, or 2 years older/younger. If a parent of a child under 14 fails to report the aggravated sexual assault, they can be charged with a crime.

    April 9, 2010 at 1:36 am |
  17. MrEz

    What they said..agree totally. Ive never seen more than a yawn or a few giggles come out of any student who went through a sex-ed class..definately not one ever seemed enlightened or inspired to act out anything. I think it was stated earlier..knowlege is key. Remove it and you will repeat the historic ignorances of the past.

    April 9, 2010 at 12:55 am |
  18. emily

    i hate to say it but this story reminds me of a similar debate...
    the scopes trial. if you remember, it used to be illegal to teach children other ideas and beliefs other than the "biblical way."
    is this just another scopes trial media frenzy?
    the bible teaches us abstinence,
    but should the teaching of other beliefs other than a "moral christian one" be illegal?
    i think that the wisconsin act 134 creates education that gives the student a choice whether or not they want to participate.
    if they believe in abstinence...they can choose NOT to take the class.
    if they want to become more informed about safe and healthy ways to do what they would be doing anyways...they can choose to take the class.
    overall, i feel that the decision should lie within the individual, just like religious rights or political rights, no matter the age.

    April 9, 2010 at 12:42 am |
  19. Melanie

    I think the fact that it's illegal for minors to have sex is rediculous in and of itself, let alone the DAs insistence that teachers can be punished for teaching sex education. Whether conservatives like to admit it or not, adolescents have sex. So, rather than ignoring it, teaching sex education seems the only logical way to reduce the harm associated with adolescent sexual participation. The real crime here is not teaching sex education, but depriving young adults of information which they are entitled to.

    April 9, 2010 at 12:41 am |
  20. Karmen

    What's wrong about this is that they want to teach children how to put on a condom ... that is taking it too far. We should be teaching our children the "science of sex" and the importance of abstinence?? BUT when it comes to more personal things, they don't need to learn about condom application in a school setting where they are led to believe that "everyone is doing it" - it is wrong that I have to pay for that as a taxpayer!

    April 8, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  21. Robert E. Naser

    I belive the DA is doing the right thing.According to Bloom it is OK for 16 and 17 year olds to have sex. I am 84 years old and I can tell you and Bloom that we never had teenagers walking around pregant in our high schools. Maybe she grew up in that atmosphere.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  22. carla

    i just heard the comments on you show about this sex education...I have a son my middle child and he is fifteen years old will be 16 soon...anyway i don't want my son to be having sex at that age it is not necessary....when iwas that age i valued my body i even as a child did not want numerous boys to see me naked.....now days they take pictures and put it on the internet....not realizing that is forver.....i want it hard for kids to have sex if it is the law the kids have to follow it....they can wait...it's better if they wait.....no pressure.....yeah wisconsin

    April 8, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  23. Lee

    I worked in a prenatal clinic and an OB unit in a hospital, I can't tell you how hard it was to wonder where the parents and supervisoion was when I was faced with multiple 15 yr old moms and 17 year old dads having to deal with highly compromised infants. We need sex ed, but someone also needs to be minding the store...when is it not ok for our kids to be consenting to sexual contact? 12, 11, 10? I remember my own 12 yr old daughter being barely able to get all the tangles out of her own hair while I am seeing a 12 year old trying to understand discharge instructions for her 2 pound infant...Parents need to check up with their kids...don't worry about being popular with your kids, and to set limits on behaviors...

    April 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  24. Stacy

    I feel that giving children education on sex is better then them going out and getting the information from someone who doesn't know what their talking about. As a college student I feel as if my high school education class really didn't effect me. They teach all about not having sex, but being honest kids are going to have sex no matter if it's legal or not. Giving these children the information they need will help stop the spread of sexual transmitted disesase's and lower the child birthing rate. If we tell children they can't do something it temps them just to do it, but we can help them by talking about it and not trying to hide it or even sue it. I'm wondering if this attorney even has children?

    April 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  25. Easter

    Not teaching kids about some of this stuff soon enough is actually child endangerment. It is that ignorance that sex predators depend on. Let us empower our children to keep them safe.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  26. melissa

    The "opting out" option does no good!!! if i dont want my child to participate in sex ed and i pull her out of the class, what do you think all the kids are going to be talking about when my child returns. i do agree that its the same as teaching them how to mix drinks and saying that kids need facts about life is a cop out! Kids do not need to know everything all the time there is a correct time and a correct place for them to be told certain things. i do not think that sex ed should be offered to kids under the age of 15, yet they are introducing it to kids as young as 12 and sometimes younger! its appauling!! and once its taught then all the kids will tell any children whos parents didnt allow them to participate so its of no use to keep them out.... i don think that it should be tought i think that parents should not shirk their reasponsibilites onto onther person to teach their kids important issues!!! come on people and then we wounder why our kids are so out of control!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  27. Sue

    @Susan, Thank you. I agree with you completely.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  28. Akin Irish

    Does this district attorney not see the long term ramifications...these kids will rebel!!!! What will happen to the children that slip through the crack and get pregnant??? Will they be prosecuted after the fact for engaging in sexual activities??? This guy is definitely oblivious to the bigger picture....

    April 8, 2010 at 11:10 pm |

    100% TO LISA BLOOM!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  30. Kevin - Virginia

    Teens can find out more graphic information about sex in 30 seconds on the internet than they ever could in a Sex Ed class. They are going to find our about sex some way, some how. At least if they have a Sex Ed class they will know how to keep sex clean and lower the risk for both pregnancy and STD's. We are not talking about Kama Sutra education here...

    April 8, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  31. Susan D

    As a health education teacher & nurse I can say that comprehensive health education is of upmost importance to our children. Knowledge is power. If our children are not taught the information, they will not be able to make an informed decision. "Hopefully health education will teach our children not to die of embarrassment."

    April 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  32. Theresa Almeda

    I have always talked with my children about sex. Parents tend to forget how they were as teens. Pre-teens know more about sex then adults think they do. Lets get real people.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  33. kroshka

    But what about the fact that condoms are only 99.9% effective??! And what happens to the ones that do fall under that .01% and do get pregnant??!
    I kind of agree with Southworth that some parts of the Sex Ed. promote sexual activities among teenagers or at least send them out on "exploration". ..
    And I TOTALLY disagree that in this time and age we (adults) should allow (with our "ok") our 16-year old have consensual sex while still in high school. To me, it is simply standing aside and allowing our kids to be deprived of the opportunities that our world has to offer. If they are indeed serious about their relationship and do want to start early parenthood, waiting a year or two will only do good for them. I think we are being too hard on Southworth and missing a point he is trying to send out. Let me just add that I'm 34 with 2 kids, and I have a sister who is in her twenties but got pregnant while 15 and still in high school.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  34. LaTonya Pressley

    He sounds as if they want these kids to remain ignorant of the real life issues concerning their bodies. Without educating them they are more apt to make mistakes, contract diseases and have unplanned pregnancies.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  35. Jenny Stewart

    This makes me think about the drug education that I had in 6th grade in the 1970's our teacher was the ONLY one at our school who told us the truth about drugs. I learned what the street names were as well as the real names and how they would affect my body. As I result I never used ANY drugs. Knowledge is NEVER a bad thing, it's how you use it.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  36. icantbelieveit

    The lady (Lisa) who had an opposing opinion against Southworth(?) ought to have her head examined. I agree with Southworth! Republican or Democrat is not the issue! Illegal or legal is not the issue! How about a little morality. It would be for the good of our society. Teenage pregnancies, abortions, and to many abandoned kids already flood our society. Teens ought not to be having sex unless they are married. They need to focus on things that are constructive for their lives. And who did God put in charge of raising their children anyway. Answer: Surprisingly it is the parent!!

    April 8, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  37. TC from KY

    the fact thats its illegal to have sex as a minor is the most appalling detail in this situation in my opinion. What right do they have to criminalize sex. Not only do I think it's a ludicrous misuse of religion, but it also defies logic. Outlaw something that the masses do not want to outlaw and what usually happens? People dont stop doing it, they just find ways keep from getting caught. i.e. alcohol and prohibition... It does seem to be a return to the dark ages just like the religious zealots want. Keep people in the dark and the man with "the light" can lead em aynywhere he pleases

    April 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  38. anne

    This district attorney is just crazy!! With all the unwed mothers and children having children we as parents should welcome any kind of help. AIDS people!!!! My 14 year old was sitting here with me as this story was being aired and she thought is was crazy. Her exact words were "we need all the information that we can get" (out of the mouthes of babes).

    April 8, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  39. Melinda

    It is the job of the parents not the school system to teach their children about sex ed. For those not fortunate enough to have parental involevement then go to the public health department or bus em over. I do not want an educator teaching my 14 year old daughter how to apply a condom to a banana. That is exactly what is happening in our school system now and we have opted out of that class for our child. I will teach her these things...not someone else!!!! Why not teach abstinence? That is safest for everyone. I am behind the Wis. DA completely. I wished someone here had enough *&%$ to do the same!

    April 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  40. june.c

    Oh, God, here in Canada, sex education is a +for our teens, what is the problem, come on people wake up.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  41. Bill Skains

    Just one word, and there is no reason to explain what it means–Baloney.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  42. megan

    Thank you Lisa! This guy is off his rocker. Maybe if he stepped outside of his little box into reality he would understand youth are going to have sex no matter what....isn't it best that if they do, we teach them how to protect themselves and avoid pregnancy. I feel bad for his kid. Come on Wisconsin...get him out of there!!

    April 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  43. Chris

    I just hope you read this blog. I think that the problem with the attorney general and in fact many republicans is that they continue to live in denial. That is a very sad thing for this country. They twist the truth just to score political points.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  44. Terri

    I always thought that 'sex education' involved educating appropriate-aged children about the science of conception and birth. I don't know what is controversial about this. It sounds like someone is afraid that we are teaching kids how to go out and 'get it on' behind the school. As far as the issue with teaching contraception use, if someone is opposed to it then they can opt out of it; but these are PUBLIC schools that must reflect the values of more than just the conservative viewpoint.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
  45. John Hickey

    @andersoncooper That's Ridiculous, they want their teens to learn about Safe sex, yet Its illegal for minors to have sex, while they still complain their teens aren't fully aware of safe/protected sex but they wont teach it? What the hell?

    April 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  46. Dave H

    My God it's an honest to goodness return tot he Dark Ages!!! I weep for our future, with ludicrous ideas like this being discussed. If ever there were a subject which needs more and clearer instruction – and yes, it's too bad parents don't do their job so the schools don't have to.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
  47. Scott M. Wright

    I was born in Wisconsin but as you can see not all lawyers in Wisconsin operate on a full deck. With that theory, math should be stopped because if you teach them math, they could use that to figure out how much to pay your hookers or teaching math to future Bernard Madoff's. Maybe science should be stopped because they might figure out how to create bombs or biological weapons. Perhaps don't teach political science because they could end up like former president Nixon or become corrupt lawyers. Maybe sports should stop because kids can become so competitive that they would want to juice up with steroids. Maybe not teach computers because they could be the next Nigerian scammer that steals your money and id theft. In conclusion, an education is a terrible thing to waste. Knowledge is key. If you don't learn from history you are domed to make the same mistakes.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
  48. Annie Kate

    I remember when I was a young teen my mother telling me the "facts of life" – at least the parts she was not too uncomfortable talking about, which turned out to be very little. Since sex was not an everyday conversation back then I learned little more until I married. When mother told me about sex, I did not feel like she was advocating for me to become sexually active; it was just something it was time to find out about. I think the school program is a good one – everyone learns the same thing and learns about all the parts – contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. – and the students don't learn about it through hands on experience.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm |