Republican Utah state Sen. Stuart Reid is sponsoring a bill that would require the state school board to develop a sex education program for parents, so that they might feel better equipped to teach their children about sex in the privacy of their own homes.
The proposal comes one year after Republican Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed a controversial sex education bill that would have banned Utah public schools from teaching about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases. Reid’s legislation would not alter the sex ed curriculum currently in schools, but would offer an alternate setting for such discussions that is both free and voluntary.
According to the Deseret News, the Republican senator’s motivation behind the bill stems from a belief that children should learn about sex from their parents, not their teachers, and that those conversations should take place in the home versus in schools. Still, a number of parents are uncertain about how to go about broaching the subject with their kids.
"Many parents don't feel entirely comfortable," Reid told the Deseret News. "There's reluctance to do that and what's happened is we've turned it over to educators to take that responsibility on what is the most intimate topic in the lives of our children."
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Reid said he envisions the State Office of Education holding training sessions across the state once or twice a year, during which parents would be given codes to access an online program. That way, parents would have the option of learning in a face-to-face environment, or in their own homes.
KSL reports that the State Board of Education would be responsible for developing a curriculum for parents with information on health and human sexuality that is consistent with the sex education program already in place in Utah public schools.
“For a lot of us teaching these kinds of things is a very sacred thing and when you try to teach it in a group setting or a classroom it doesn’t work very well,” she said.