Sex Education Changes in Las Vegas Rile Parents

Parents of the Clark County School District in Nevada are angry over a possible change to the sex education program which would include teaching children as young as five about topics such as masturbation.

The new program has parents up in arms over teaching Kindergarteners that pleasuring oneself is ok and providing sixth graders graphic details about sex.  Other parents do not like the section that teaches children that abortions are acceptable.

“Words can not even begin to describe my shock when I read what is being suggested to be taught to my daughter at age 5 [or 6],” said one parent.

The new proposals were taken from the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, which were published by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

“‘Masturbation should be done in a private place.’ That’s kindergarten through third grade. You’ve got to be kidding me. There’s no need to know that at that age,” parent Ronald Withaeger said.

The over 100-page document outlining the changes was first introduced during an invitation-only meeting with community members last week.

CCSD high school student Chloe Davis said, “I think I went through about 20 pages and I couldn’t continue with it because some of the stuff was just too disturbing to me at the age that I am and I’m 17-years-old.”

According to Clark County School Board Trustee Deanna Wright, not everything within the document will be used in the new curriculum.  The document is merely a guideline for districts to “pick and choose from.”

Previously, the program taught abstinence to its students beginning in the fifth grade.  The entire course is three hours long, with the second and third sessions coming as six-hour classes in eighth and ninth grade.  The new proposals would find the district, the 5th largest in the nation, offering a “comprehensive” sexuality model in place of the conservative approach of past models.

“I was sexually assaulted and I didn’t get a chance to learn what that meant, they don’t teach you consent and that’s a big deal, said Schantilly Tuazon, a former CCSD student.

The current program in the district is opt-in, so parents must give their consent for their child to participate.  The new proposal would make the course a requirement for all students.

CCSD is defending the new proposals.  According to Sara Lemma from the CCSD Sex Education Advisory Committee:

“We currently have the 7th highest teen pregnancy rate in the country and our current curriculum is failing our students.”

Within a few weeks, parents will be receiving surveys in the mail concerning the new changes, giving them the opportunity to voice their opinions.  The results of the survey will be evaluated by the school board prior to voting on the new program.

Parents will also continue to have the opportunity to discuss the proposals at upcoming advisory meetings.  In order to become effective, they would need to be adopted by state lawmakers in the 2015 Legislative session.  If that happens, the proposals could be adopted as early as July 2015.