I believe education is supposed to help us make better decisions. Sometimes the subject of education is one that makes us uncomfortable.

In the case of sex education I would love to live in a world where I as a parent was the sole provider or information on the subject for my children. That kind of world does not exist.

No matter how much you wish it did, it just doesn't. Your kids are going to learn about sex. Most likely they are going to learn about sex from someone other that you.

Since misinformation about sexual behavior often leads to unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases it's probably a good thing that sexually active young people have access to good information. In order to find out what our kids need to learn we have to find out what they know and don't know.

That's why the House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that would allow Louisiana public high school students permission to participate in national sex surveys. I would imagine most of us would feel that the discussion of sex is a parents responsibility but as Representative Patricia Smith of Baton Rouge told the Louisiana Radio Network,

If parents were doing this, then we wouldn’t have the cases that we do have, and so I just feel that we need to do something to get the information to be able to direct policy.

I realize this is a very personal subject for many parents so there is a provision in the bill that would allow any student who did not want to participate to opt out. Whether that opt out is the student's decision or the decision of the parent, that should be their right to do so. This bill grants that right. The information that is gathered in these kinds of surveys is always kept anonymous so privacy rights are respected.

The legislation was passed by a 53-40 vote and will now move over to the Senate for debate and discussion in that chamber.

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