“The future of sex ed has arrived,” declared the headline of an article I recently read. The author went on to discuss changes that have been made to public school curriculums affecting students as young as 11. The article is four years old.
Fast forward to today. The future is here, and it’s not good. My local board of education adopted a comprehensive sex ed curriculum, Teen Talk. It was touted as a big step forward in educating our public school children. Upon review, I learned the curriculum normalizes questionable sexual ethics, including teen abortion, same-sex intercourse, gender fluidity, and more. This issue isn’t limited to my neck of the woods either. Thirty-nine states mandate sex education. Nine of them mandate that “discussion of LGBTQ identities and relationships be inclusive and affirming.”
There are two main issues here. The first has to do with what’s being taught. The second is the role government schools play in raising your children. Let’s first look at what these new sex ed curriculums teach.
What’s Being Taught to Your Children?
There is some helpful information taught — for instance, discussions about mental health, teen suicide, and self-harm are profitable. However, anything beneficial is undone almost immediately. For example, some teach masturbation and sex as two activities to help distract your student from things like stress and anxiety. This kind of teaching doesn’t help your student deal with the pressures of life. Sex is not a drug or a solution to problems. It is not therapy, and in many cases it only complicates life. Even worse, when we view sex this way, people become a commodity, a means to an end, a temporary relief from pain, objects to be used for a quick fix. Not human beings. Not persons of infinite value and worth.
There’s more. This isn’t simply about teaching your students to have a healthy view of their bodies and sex. It’s about teaching your students to view the world in a specific way. This is a worldview issue. Teen Talk plainly says the curriculum’s foundational operating principles include core values “like pro-choice, feminist, sex positive, 2STLGBQ+ positive and using an anti-oppression, decolonizing lens.”
This shouldn’t surprise us. Naturalism is the prominent view taught in our public schools. Naturalism says human beings are just products of the blind physical forces of evolution. Consequently, our bodies carry with them no value or purpose other than what we arbitrarily give to them. Having relativized our bodies, they also relativize sexual ethics. But our bodies have a purpose and so does sex. That purpose is deeper than personal pleasure or a solution to a problem, and it’s rooted in our identity as image bearers.
Our Public School Systems Have Become Tools of Government Indoctrination
So, this is some of what’s being taught. What of our second question? What’s the role of public schools? More specifically, why are government schools teaching our children about sex and sexuality in the first place?
The purpose of public education has changed over the last 200 years in this country, but, fundamentally, the public school system was meant to come alongside parents and teach young citizens to think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, express creativity, and pursue truth — all with the ultimate purpose of helping to create well-rounded citizens who could participate in civic life.
This is not what’s happening today. Instead, many public schools have settled for teaching your students what to think, not how to think. In the process, the pursuit of truth is abandoned for an ideology, and any speech against that ideology is stifled.
It is not the public school’s responsibility to teach our children about sex and sexuality. That’s the parents’ responsibility. However, as we’ve handed the education of our kids over to the state, we’re seeing the results. Indoctrination is the right word here. Our public school system has become a way for the government to indoctrinate your children according to a highly divisive view of sex and sexuality. And it is not right.
Take Responsibility and Take a Stand
So, how do we respond? First, if you have a child in the public school system, review these kinds of curriculums yourself. Don’t rely on other people’s assessment of what your student is being taught in school. Take responsibility for being informed about what’s happening in your child’s classroom. Visit the classroom. Spend time there. That might mean sacrificing vacation days from work or taking unpaid days off. It’s worth it, though.
Next, speak up. Take the information you’ve learned and speak up about the issues in a way that’s winsome and effective. Ask the teachers and administration hard questions about what they’re teaching and why. I’ve found that most of the time my kids’ teachers like that I take an interest in their schooling. They encourage it. Even when I’m asking difficult questions or pressing back against something being presented to the students, the teachers are happy to engage.
Finally, vote with your feet (or your students’ feet). Exercise your option to have your child excused from these sex ed curriculums. You have the right to opt your student out of part or all of them. The more people pull their kids, the more seriously school administrations and boards take the complaints. Here’s the rub, though: The schools aren’t necessarily required to seek your consent before presenting the material to your student. That’s why the first two tips are important.
Raising kids is hard, and our public schools aren’t making it any easier, which is why it’s important for us to stand together for the truth.
Jonathan Noyes has worked as a speaker with Stand to Reason since 2019. He earned a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola University.
Originally published at Stand to Reason. Reprinted with permission.