2013 Bills

The Birds, the Bees, and Big Government

Senator Stuart Reid has sponsored SB39, titled “Parental Responsibility for Sex Education Training,” which requires the state of Utah to develop and promote materials for parents to teach their kids the “birds and the bees.” If this isn’t a prime example of big government doing what it shouldn’t, we don’t know what is.

It’s common sense that, as the bill’s title says, parents have the responsibility to teach their children about what sex is. That hardly offers any justification for the government to force taxpayers to cough up money to fund the development and promotion of sex education materials. If some parents are perceived to be failing in this responsibility, then private organizations—churches, non-profit groups, parental support institutions—should be encouraged to help provide materials.

SB39 states that the State Board of Education “shall develop a parent health education training program for parents of minors, including training curricula and instructional materials, to instruct parents how to educate their children on… human sexuality.”

And if simply offering these materials wasn’t enough, the bill requires pushing them onto parents. “At least twice each school year,” the bill reads, “a school district or charter school shall provide notice to parents within the school district or charter school that the home instructional materials… are available to parents online and, upon request, at the school district office.”

According to one recent news report, Senator Reid believes that his bill “would give parents the tools they need” to teach their children about sex. We reject the notion that the government should be the author and source of such tools; a government limited to defending life, liberty, and property does not engage in promoting sex education materials.