Snow (sweptawaybayou) wrote,

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The state of Sexual Education in Kansas and Missouri

I don't have a problem with permission slips. Really. Think of how many things you have to sign for your kids in school; field trips, movies, etc. But what I do have a problem with? Is someone else deciding to force thier religious views on my children, or on yours.

Under the bill, sex-education courses would have to promote “lifelong monogamous marriage between a man and a woman” and declare that “at conception an unborn child’s life begins.”

The bill also contains language aimed at barring Planned Parenthood, or other abortion providers, from offering sex-education courses in public schools.

And if my son came home from school and told me that in sex-ed he learned how to put on a condom? I would be happy. Because, yeah, I have a feeling that is something he's going to have to need to know how to do at least (crosses fingers and toes) a few times in his life.

JEFFERSON CITY — Students would have to get a permission slip from their parents before taking sex-education courses under a bill that received initial approval Tuesday in the Missouri House.

The measure, which got first-round approval on a 92-61 vote, would reverse current Missouri law, which requires all students to take sex education courses unless their parents say otherwise. The legislation comes after the Kansas Board of Education approved a similar parental permission requirement for sex-education classes.

Rep. Cynthia Davis, an O’Fallon Republican who sponsored the Missouri bill, said she was inspired to offer the measure after her son came home and said he learned in school how to put on a condom.

Davis rejected arguments by opponents that children need sex education because they often don’t get enough guidance on sexuality at home.

“Parents are not the problem. They are the solution,” she said. “The best way to increase parental involvement is to keep them in the loop.”

Rep. Beth Low, a Kansas City Democrat, said teen pregnancies had fallen by 20 percent in Missouri since the state adopted sex-education requirements in 1987.

“Ignorance is not a form of birth control,” Low said. “By creating an opt-in standard we are going to prevent many students from getting the sex ed they are not getting at home.”

The bill originally eliminated the directive that school districts with sex-education classes include information about sexually transmitted diseases and all forms of contraception, including the success or failure rates of each method. Instead, the bill required schools to inform students that such information was available from their doctors.

Rep. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, offered an amendment that put the requirement to teach about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases back into the bill. The change mollified several Republicans who had balked at supporting the bill.

Rep. Kathlyn Fares, a St. Louis County Republican and a former teacher, said the bill had been improved but urged fellow lawmakers to vote against it.

She was one of a handful of Republicans to vote against the bill, a group that included Rep. Bob Johnson, a Lee’s Summit Republican.

Under the bill, sex-education courses would have to promote “lifelong monogamous marriage between a man and a woman” and declare that “at conception an unborn child’s life begins.”

The bill also contains language aimed at barring Planned Parenthood, or other abortion providers, from offering sex-education courses in public schools.

Traci Gleason, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and mid-Missouri, said the bill was shortsighted.

The House must approve the bill once more before it can move to the Senate.

Also Tuesday, the House approved a Senate bill that would require 15-year-old drivers with learner’s permits to undergo 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training before getting an intermediate license at age 16. Current law requires only 20 hours of training.

The bill also would prohibit drivers with intermediate licenses from carrying more than one passenger under the age of 19 who is not a family member for the first six months after getting the intermediate license.

The bill now must go back to the Senate.

Sex-ed Bill Wins Early Approval

In Kansas and Missouri, elected officials are pondering students and sex.

■ In Kansas the State Board of Education is discussing how abstinence is to be defined.

■ Legislators in both states are concerned with how sex ed ought to be taught in public schools and just how much.

■ And both are acting on legislattio to require students to have their parents’ permission to listen to classroom teaching about sex.

While the board ponders, one group not being consulted is students themselves.

To hear what high school students think about those subjects, TeenStar reporters from both Missouri and Kansas asked more than a dozen of their peers.

Here are some of the responses:


“Abstinence means waiting for the person you want to marry.” Sara Felts, senior, Leavenworth High.

“To me, abstinence is not engaging in any sort of sexual activity — nothing sexual. To me, making out is where the line of abstinence is drawn. Anything further than that is not abstinence.” Libbie Adams, sophomore, Blue Valley North.

“I suppose there are two different ways to look at it. There’s the more physical sense of abstinence, which I would consider strictly intercourse, and there’s the more spiritual sense of abstinence, which I would consider refraining from all sexual contact.” Cory Beisser, junior, Rockhurst High School.

“Abstinence technically means no sexual relations, but I define it as no sex, not including oral sex or touching and stuff like that. You could be abstinent from other things (oral sex, etc.), but I think abstinence as a whole is just no sex.” Cara Hennahane, sophomore, Blue Valley North.

“I think abstinence is not engaging in any sexual activity like sexual intercourse, oral sex and anal sex.” Ashton Smith, junior, Oak Grove High School.

“I think abstinence means no kind of sexual contact at all. People try to make loopholes and say what they’re doing isn’t sex, but if there’s sexual contact, that’s not abstinence.” Nooreen Baig, sophomore, Blue Valley North.

“I think abstinence is refraining from vaginal intercourse but everything else is foreplay.” Olivia Baxter, senior, Leavenworth High. Thank you, Mr. Clinton. *headdesk*

“I think abstinence is not doing anything where you could get STDs, aside from kissing or making out. I don’t think any kind of sexual contact is abstinence.” Channing Miller, sophomore, Blue Valley North.

“My definition of abstinence is a personal vow not to have sex.” Robert Windom, senior, Leavenworth High.

Sex ed and teaching abstinence

“I don’t think they should just teach abstinence in school because if kids get into that situation where they might be having sex, they have to know how to protect themselves. Not everyone has the same viewpoints, so some kids will have sex. I think sex ed at school should be abstinence-based, but they should also teach us how to use contraceptives.” Cara Hennahane, sophomore, Blue Valley North.

Sex ed is “the best way to keep high school kids from getting pregnant, STDs or other problems.” Sara Felts, senior, Leavenworth High.

“Lots of kids won’t always listen to just talk about abstinence, so we should at least mention contraceptives. ... Kids need to be smart enough to use protective gear.” Libbie Adams, sophomore, Blue Valley North.

“I think it depends on which sense you take it in. I don’t believe that public schools have the right to impose the spiritual essence of abstinence on their students, but I do believe that abstinence in the sense of strictly refraining from intercourse should be supported as the best way of preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, but not the only way.” Cory Beisser, junior, Rockhurst High.

“I think you should teach abstinence, but you can’t only teach abstinence. Schools need to teach other options, too, because if you just teach abstinence, you’re not preparing kids for what they should do if they decide to have sex.” Ashton Smith, junior, Oak Grove High.

“I don’t think abstinence-only education would be beneficial because if they choose to do that stuff (have sex), then they have to know how to be safe. If we only teach abstinence, then they might not know how to protect themselves against STDs and pregnancy.” Nooreen Baig, sophomore, Blue Valley North

Parental permission

“I think that this rule is not the wisest. Students need to understand the risks of sexual activity as well as the facts of life. … Some parents feel embarrassed to tell their children about sex or are unable to tell their children about it. Children/students who are prevented from learning about sex education may make unwise choices without understanding the consequences.” Ruth McMillin, junior, Leavenworth High.

“I think that sex ed is a very important part of education. Students (especially high-schoolers) need to have the information to make a smart choice, no matter how their parents feel about that information. Is Mom or Dad going to follow them around and protect them from the ‘big bad s-word’ their whole life?” Jake McDaniel, freshman, Leavenworth High.

“I think this new rule is stupid. Sex is a subject that needs to be addressed inside as well as outside the home, and especially by adults other than a child’s parent. Sex education helps to reveal the truths about sex, something some parents can’t or won’t give.” Elizabeth Reese, sophomore, Leavenworth High.

Locked Out


Good Morning!!

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