I am writing in regard to the health enhancement curriculum proposed by the Helena School District. According to the Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Survey in 2009, one in three Montana freshmen have had sex, and one in four high school seniors have had sex with four or more persons, an increase from 2007. Kids today are bombarded with distorted information about sex from the media and ill-informed peers. They deserve timely and medically accurate information about sex. Research funded by the Centers for Disease Control proves that sex education programs do not increase sexual activity; conversely some programs actually decrease activity and increase teens’ use of protection. Studies find if education starts before children begin puberty, as their patterns of behavior are developing, the program is more effective.
The district is not taking away a parent’s right to educate their children about sex, but rather providing children with facts. It will reinforce what accurately informed children are learning at home and correct misinformed children. Teachers will encourage kids to talk to their parents, so family-based values can be maintained. They will not be taught what is right or wrong or what accepted behavior is, but rather what is fact. The rest will be left up to you, parents.