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Sex Education in Public Schools: Why Don't I Know This?

By, Kathy Six

February 26, 2023

Are You Aware?

If you don’t know SEAB, school code 380.1507 or MiPHY, you’re not alone. Only a tiny portion of the populace are aware of important information that can save their community from the onslaught of woke ideology on sex education. So what exactly is this important information you should know?

What is SEAB & Why is it Important?

SEAB is the Sex Education Advisory Board that every district in the state of Michigan is required by law to have, however, every district does not. How then is sex education decided by a district? That’s a good question. Without a functioning SEAB, there are a myriad of ways districts decide and just as many that determine how the decision made will be presented to the board. Unfortunately, without a board, parents never hear or see what is discussed or decided upon.

How do I Find a SEAB Board Meeting?

Even with a SEAB board, parents are generally not privy to the board’s meetings or decisions made there. SEAB boards might argue that they make their meetings public, however, you’d be hard pressed to find out where that information is made public without being highly purposeful in searching for it. As a matter of fact, I sought out this information in my own building and located a notice on a cabinet in the teacher's work room that was so obscure, I only caught sight of it because that was specifically what I was looking for. It was mixed in with other posters that had become a part of the background over time. You know these posters. You have them at work too.

Can Parents Opt Their Children Out of Sex Ed?

School code 380.1507 addresses what the district must teach or not teach. Unfortunately, the verbiage is just vague enough to allow schools a variety of ways to approach teaching the requirements. What it does spell out clearly though, is the requirement to let parents know in advance of a course that contains sex education or in the case of elementary level students, lessons or activities that will be taught or presented. It also states clearly that parents have the right to opt their child out. This means such courses are not required for graduation and students are not required to be present for any puberty or sex education lessons no matter the age or grade.

Meaningful vs. Questionable

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every parent should have an auto opt out response for all lessons at all grade levels. As a fourth grade teacher of 29 years, the puberty lessons we cover each year have been very beneficial. Although I’ve never taught the boys’ class, the girls always got meaningful information on puberty and menstruation. There’s a difference though, between teaching pubescent biological changes and sex.

Useful Data Collection or Sly Wokeness?

MiPHY (Michigan Health Survey System) is an online student health survey which gathers and collects data on school age children and teens regarding topics such as drug usage, violence, parental interaction, weight, nutrition, risk factors and sexual behaviors. In April, 2021, one of these surveys was sent out to Whitehall, MI highschool students pertaining to questions on experience with oral sex, same sex desires, etc., without parental consent. This led to hundreds of parents storming the Whitehall school board meetings and demanding answers and an apology to no avail. Unfortunately, it is incredibly difficult to get current data or see the surveys and I find this personally pestilential. Data such as this ought to be readily available, easily accessible and transparent for parent review, and every county should be required to release the information in an easily obtainable format that is highly advertised. Such data would help the public and parents address and respond to the challenges they face in their community along with catching what could be deemed as inappropriate surveys before reaching the students.

Breaking Down the Walls

It’s time to start breaking down the walls on this lack of knowledge that has become the norm of American society. To do that, we have to be willing to ask questions, but more importantly to act on the answers or lack thereof.

A good place to start is with the local school district’s board members and/or superintendent. Find out if your district has a functioning SEAB. If they do not, remind them that they are not in compliance with state law. Tell them you will check back in thirty days to see what progress they’ve made in creating this required board. Feel free to read the state law requirements for who should be sitting on the SEAB board. Then actually check back in 30 days. Also, spread the word by informing friends & family and have them check with their local schools.

Can I View My Schools Curriculum?

If your district has a functioning board, request the curriculum that has been approved by the School Board. There should be an approved curriculum beginning in fourth grade for every grade through graduation. If they tell you they need time to get such a large request together, give them 30 days. And in 30 days, follow through. If the curriculum isn’t provided to you, remind them of the law. No district wants the state finding them in noncompliance with the law and sacrifice their state funding.

Do Schools Teach Abstinence?

Another avenue to explore is the district’s stance on teaching abstinence within the sex education curriculum. There is a difference between SRR (Sexual Risk Reduction) and SRA (Sexual Risk Avoidance). If the school chooses SRR, they function on the assumption that sex in teens is unavoidable and therefore, risks should be reduced. SRA presumes that sex is not inevitable and avoidance is an option. Both present concepts regarding contraception, however, SRA provides information about the fallibility of contraception reminding students abstinence is the only guarantee.

Kids are not Fools

Those of us who’ve raised children beyond teen years are not naive or foolish enough to believe that Christian teaching, SRA and even excellence in parenting are enough to stave off sexual activities in our teenage children. However, the approach of presuming sex is an automatic sets up our teens who are wise enough to read the tea leaves to see that we have no confidence in their decision making. If we lack that confidence, they would merely live up to our low expectations.

Who Exactly is Responsible?

Where does that leave you as a member of a community and one who lives in a school district whether you have children in this district or not? It leaves you responsible for your community and the children who attend that district, related or not. The schools of choice law has fractured much of the community spirit that once reigned but it has not eliminated our responsibility for all children within it. “It takes a village…” has lost its momentum but not the reality under which it was derived. It is still true today and, therefore, requires us to take back the reins.

You have now been educated and have no excuse to evade the responsibility of your community's children because, unfortunately, you might be one of only a few that are now educated enough to act.


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