High school students respond to veto of sex ed bill; online course could be compromise

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SOUTH JORDAN -- Governor Herbert's veto of that controversial abstinence-only sex education bill may not be the last word on the subject. There's been talk of a veto override session, while one Utah lawmaker is looking for compromise with an online sex education course.

The course would allow parents to opt in to having their student to learn more about contraception and STD prevention.

Several Bingham High School students who spoke with KSL agreed with the governor's decision to veto the bill.

"I feel like teaching abstinence only is not teaching anything at all," said Bingham High senior Paden May. "It's like a math class that teaches without the number 7. It's not teaching anything fully."

Another senior, Parker green expressed concern that kids in Utah, his peers, would not be getting the education they needed from their parent, whom he said "don't necessarily teach their kids sex ed in the home."

I feel like teaching abstinence only is not teaching anything at all. It's like a math class that teaches without the number 7. It's not teaching anything fully.

–said Bingham High senior Paden May.

"People getting it in schools is better than hearing about it from their friends only," Green said.

Several students were also concerned that ignorance of sex could lead to more teen pregnancies in Utah.

"I feel like teen pregnancies are happening because not many people even know about anything," said Lexie Kener, a senior at Bingham.

"I think what we have right now is perfectly fine and I don't think there's any reason to change," said sophomore Tyler Brown.

One lawmaker said he believes a possible solution lies in allowing schools to teach abstinence-only sex ed in schools, while parents can opt in to a health- and science-based curriculum their student can access online.

" I will always know that when it comes to public education, my child is going to receive an abstinence-only education in the classroom," said Groups on both sides of the debate have fought over what would make comprehensive sex education most effective, something these students, on the brink of leaving high school, and say they too have a strong interest in. "I think it's something that you just got to know. Too many people shy away from it," Justin Sanders, Bingham High School Senior. "I think it's valuable knowledge to have in your life."

Osmond said he expects to discuss his idea for this online curriculum with other lawmakers, with an eye to coming up with a new proposal by next year's legislative session.


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John Daley


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