A Salt Lake City teacher with over 30 years experience under her belt, is currently on paid administrative leave and may be fired, or even charged with a crime, for answering students’ questions. That’s because the questions asked were about oral sex, masturbation and homosexuality.
After hearing about the incident, a number of parents were up in arms. "We want her fired. We want her never to teach ever again," said one. Another proclaimed, "These are our children, and we’re not going to breach the firewall of innocence." Apparently, to folks in this state, silence is golden and educators are just supposed to stare blankly when confronted with inquires about sex.
In response to this outcry, conservative Republican politician Carl Wimmer announced his intention to introduce legislation specifically making it a crime for a teacher to stray from state guidelines on sex education. Additionally, his law would prohibit, "promoting or encouraging sexual behavior. The bill also would create a registry to record the names of teachers who violate the law."
A registry! I wonder if it will be like the one they have for convicted sex offenders? Would the registry mean that like sex crime offenders, sex education offenders would be banned from having contact with children or from living within the vicinity of a church or school? Could your open-minded ninth grade health teacher find herself forced to move into a motel along a desolate highway (right next door to the pedophiles already relegated there) because she told you what the word cunnilingus meant?
Maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but as someone who teaches sex ed, situations like this send chills down my spine. I can’t imagine not being able to answer a kid’s question. Or having to self-censor to such a degree. I can, on the on the other hand, picture life on the sex education registry, and what I see sure isn’t pretty.
What do you think of this? Do any of you live in Utah? What’s sex education like for you?
Photo provided by gotplaid?