Regular readers know that for some time I have been working as an advocate for comprehensive sex education. Going all the way back to my time as a news reporter at Las Vegas CityLife, I have been watching the issue unfold in our community. It is some kind of wicked joke on us that there is no comprehensive sex education in Nevada — the only state in America where prostitution is legal in any way.
Over the years I have partnered with different groups who have worked toward that cause. But one group has remained vigilant, pouring time and resources into what has been until now a losing battle. That organization is Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada. They have worked tirelessly to lobby for uniform sex education — rather than the ad hoc, and often abstinence-only based curriculum peddled around the state.
It’s time for a change. And the time to strike is now.
If you care about the youth of Nevada becoming informed about their bodies, healthy relationships, and ways to protect themselves from diseases and unplanned pregnancies, then I encourage you to get down to the Grant Sawyer Building on at (approx.) 2:30 pm on April 1 for the legislative hearing on AB230, the comprehensive sex education bill.
You can also help by adding your comments to the opinion section of the bill on the Legislature website. These comments are public record. And make no mistake, the opposition is not hesitating in voicing their loud disapproval.
There’s a lot of misinformation about what is and isn’t in AB230. No, it’s not going teach our kids how to have sex. (I’m pretty sure no one has to be taught that.) But it will cover topics like what a healthy relationship looks like and how to spot the warning signs of intimate partner violence; how to set boundaries and what consent really means; rape; sexually transmitted disease prevention; and more.
Now that the third largest school district in the country — in Chicago — has updated their sex education curriculum to include age-appropriate lessons starting in kindergarten, one has to wonder how much longer we have to wait. Nevada is ranked fourth in the nation in teen pregnancies, something that has been shown to correlate with a higher dropout rate (our graduation rate is a dismal 56%!), and a lower lifetime income.
Want to learn more about what is on the bill? Check out this recent interview with PPSN’s Annette Magnus and AB230 sponsor Assemblyman David Bobzien. (And while you’re at it, why not add some pro-sex education comments to the KNPR archives.)
And get your butt to the April 1 hearing!
We need to pack the room with parents and community members who want to give our kids a real education, and prepare them for the world that waits for them, not just some more useless pillow talk.