Freedom of education? Not on my tax dollar, bub.
The province of Alberta, here in Canada, has opted to make matters of sex, sexual orientation,* and religion OPTIONAL for their students. Parents can yank their kids out of school when they disagree with the premise at hand. [Story here.]
Religion? Okay. Fine. I’ll give you that. Make that optional. I not only understand having strong beliefs on faith, I respect it. I do not, however, understand refusing to listen to other views, not having faith in your children to be intelligent enough to hear more than one viewpoint, or shutting down education when it seems fit, because I feel that teaches children that the teachers and education itself are not credible.
But on matters of sex? Sex education?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Seriously! Are you?
Because I’m of the understanding that I pay ridiculous taxes on EVERYTHING in my life, as well as absorb considerably more expensive cost of living, all so I can enjoy the privilege of being Canadian… and have access to a universal healthcare system.**
Whether it’s cancer caused by HPV during sexual contact, infection of AIDS or HIV, unwanted pregnancies, or even the murder of doctors because they administer abortions for those who’ve “accidentally” gotten pregnant — all these things can only improve with a more educated populace that understands how the causes are spread and what they can do to prevent it through safe practices.
Allowing people the choice of remaining ignorant when it’s MY tax dollars cleaning up after their messes? Not cool. Nuh-uh.
Worse, though, is that these things — sexually-transmitted diseases or unwanted preganacies — are big contributors to social ills of many kinds.
The cycle of poverty perpetuates through ignorance and young, inexperienced parents who are often undereducated before they give birth, and who struggle just to get by, often having to make compromises that other parents may never face. Our already overtaxed medical system bleeds with the stresses placed upon it through demand and limited resources. Unpreventable diseases work our system to death. We’re going to ignore the prevention of easily-preventable ones now?
Education is THERE to do the job many parents fail to do at home. It’s there to ensure children learn to read and how to socialize, that they have broad horizons and perhaps more opportunity than their inheritance might allow. It’s there to ensure children have access to all that society offers, and not just some hand-picked universe that keeps the “other guy’s beliefs” outside so as to preserve some naive homogeneous old-school delusion of what society ought to be.
Children should be forced to learn about sexual contact. They should be made to understand the consequences of their actions, and not in just a fire-and-brimstone rhetoric kind of way.
Let’s teach sexual education to all. It’s important. It’s not whimsy. STDs and unwanted pregnancies don’t just affect lives, they change our society. Teach kids that. Show them how it usually turns out when 15-year-olds give birth, or what AIDS looks like in late stages. Give them realistic consequences and show them the destruction that can be wrought from badly chosen encounters.
Let’s not romanticize sex, at all. In education, let’s tear it down and make it science, psychology, and sociology. Let’s be brutal. Let’s be real. Let’s take the delusion of “sex only happens when you’re in love” out of the equation and realize it also happens when you’re drunk — so maybe getting schooled might be wise.
Let’s not be optional.
Skirting these issues hasn’t been working out for us. STDs are on the rise across the board after having education shaped by moralistic do-gooders who think “abstinence” is any real kind of solution under a New World Order sought by George Bush — and don’t kid yourself, it’s not just in the US, but around the world via the US policy to not give funds to most organizations that refused to teach abstinence-only. Ignorant asses like that still believe in the rhythm method.
Educate the kids, but don’t skirt the issues. Don’t just dally with the information, shine a million-watt floodlight on it so there’s absolutely no misunderstanding: Casual sex is a dangerous game, and sex should never be considered something to do for kicks just ‘cos cable sucks and Pammy’s party got cancelled.
As adults, we choose and we live with our choices. But the presumption is that we know what we’re choosing. And we all know what a fallacy that is.
Most adults could use sex education. Kids are there, ripe for the knowledge.
And here we go, failing them again. Well done, Alberta. You’re continuing your legacy of horrific social governance. Let’s not even mention eugenics, shall we?
*It’s too big a topic to throw on top of this one, but sexual orientation — as long as kids are still committing suicide and hate crimes continue, opting out of discussion on sexual orientation should NOT be legal.
**Before someone wants to get their asshatty combative panties in a twist and turn this into a debate about universal medicare, don’t even fucking bother. I will OWN you. I both feel that the Canadian Medical System is partly responsible for my mother’s death while being grateful she died in this country. I fully recognize and understand all the flaws of this system, I feel it needs improvement, and I would take it HANDS DOWN, seven days a week and twice on Sundays, over the United States. Enough said.