As a parent of a teenager, I am stunned and outraged that the Assembly voted last week to end comprehensive sex education in Wisconsin.
As a parent, I know how important education is to my daughter, including sex education. My daughter, Kira, deserves to have good, evidence-based, comprehensive education on all topics in school so she can grow up to be a responsible adult who makes informed decisions.
My wife Linda passed away four years ago when Kira was thirteen. That loss was devastating to our family. In addition to becoming a single father, I became Kira’s primary sex education teacher. And despite our strong relationship and good communication, I was not foolish enough to think I could do this alone. Over the last four years I have reached out to Kira’s physician, her school teachers, guidance counselors, and Planned Parenthood. The help I have received is invaluable.
As a parent, I know my daughter has questions about her body and yes, about sex. Ending comprehensive sex education from schools will, despite my best efforts, leave some of those questions unanswered. I find it particularly concerning that Republican legislators went so far as to ban doctors from providing this information in the classroom and removed the requirement that a school must inform me of what they do, or do not, teach Kira. How will I, and parents like me, know what sex education is taking place in my daughter’s classroom? And if doctors are no longer allowed to provide this instruction and the curriculum no longer needs to be ‘medically accurate’ just what kind of information will Kira receive?
Why is taking away education on critical topics from Wisconsin teens, like my daughter, the priority of our state legislators? I ask you to join me in contacting Governor Walker and urging him to veto SB 237, and to keep comprehensive sex education in Wisconsin.
Paul Crumb, Monona