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VIEWPOINT: ABCUSD STARTING SEX EDUCATION IN THE 6TH GRADE IS A GOOD THING

Courtesy Woolabs

 

BY MATTHEW SCAMMAHORN

During this time of year, schools across the nation begin to teach their students sex education. This includes the ABC Unified School district, which teaches sex education beginning in 6th grade.

In reaction to this, many ABCUSD parents have voiced their concerns regarding sex education, questioning whether or not it is “excessive” even though data shows sex education works, and works well. 

As a former ABC School District student and current college freshman, I would like to offer my perspective on ABC’s sex education curriculum.

I attended Leal Elementary School, Tetzlaff Middle School, and Cerritos High School. At all levels, my classmates and I learned about sexual anatomy and issues related to puberty in the 6th grade, with STD prevention and safe sex practices covered in later grades. 

I have younger siblings in 6th and 10th grade, they tell me that the present curriculum maintains these themes.

Now a group called the “Informed Parents of California” has been spreading inaccurate information on social media regarding sex education, using startling images and text in an effort to raise parent’s concerns. 

Informed Parents claim that these images and texts are used in our classrooms when in reality they are not. 

In addition, members of Informed Parents are encouraging other parents to pull their children out of schools on days of sex education, supporting truancy when parents don’t agree with the curriculum.

The ABC District website lists specific teaching topics listed for all grades where sex education takes place. The ABC Board makes sure to prioritize transparency by planning information nights for parents to further learn about the district’s sex education curriculum.

In looking at the curriculum on the district website, it is clear that Informed Parents is spreading misinformation among the state’s schools. 

Even though it is evident that the ABC School District goes to great lengths to provide information transparency, some parents still dismiss this and simply wish to retain “parental rights.” 

Looking at data, it is clear that sex education has had positive results. According to the Future of Sex Education Initiative (FoSE), “teens who received comprehensive sex education were 50 percent less likely to experience pregnancy than those who received abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.” 

In general, states which teach comprehensive sex education have the lowest pregnancy rates, regardless of income and education level. 

Parents also may be concerned that their children are learning about “body image, gender, [and] sexual orientation,” as listed on the district website. 

Data has shown that 82% of LGBT students suffer harassment due to their sexual orientation, and 38% are victims of physical violence. 

According to the Human Rights Campaign, “fewer than five percent of students had health classes that included positive representations of LGBT-related topics.” The teaching of tolerance toward LGBT students is designed to create understanding which uses knowledge as a tool to counter this harassment and violence.

The need for sex education in today’s world is apparent, especially with STD rates continuing to increase. During this time of year, when schools teach sex education units, there should, in fact, be more interest in attendance because of just how important sex education is for students. 

If students are not given the proper tools to meet the ever-increasing demands of today’s world, then everything related to student sex will continue to rise in tomorrow’s world.

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