Matthew Jelalian 01

Matthew Jelalian poses for a portrait in the Daily Herald studio on Friday, March 6, 2015. SAMMY JO HESTER, Daily Herald

Multiple local news outlets reported that the Utah Eagle Forum, a conservative group that bills itself as pro-family and anti-abortion, recently addressed the Utah State Board of Education about the new teacher guide for sex education.

According to the forum members, the new education guide is inappropriate and explicit.

KSL reported that this new guide is the first update to Utah’s sexual education curriculum since 1997, meaning that the old guide possibly would have a child by now if it was a Utah resident.

The guide is about eight pages long. The first page is a cover, the next two pages and change are general guidelines to abide by and the rest of it contains questions that students may have about sex and maturation as well as answers. I read over the guide and I’ve decided that I agree with the Eagle Forum. I’m not a huge fan of these questions and answers.

To explain why, I figured I’d select specific questions and explain why I found them inappropriate.

If you’re reading this at home, please make sure your kids are out of sight, or else they might catch a case of the deviancy.

“Why is there bleeding when a girl is on her period,” asks the guideline. “Menstruation is the shedding of the uterus lining through the vaginal opening.”

This question reminds me of when my stepdad first started chemo. After the first round of treatment, he came home, went to the bathroom and found that his urine was red. Thinking that he was dying at an even faster rate than any of us expected, he called the doctor in a panic and asked what was wrong.

The doctor said that it happens to lots of chemo patients. It’s just a side effect of the medication and nothing was wrong. No one thought to tell him that beforehand.

It might have been panic-inducing at the time, but it was a funny story to share years later after he died.

Why tell our daughters about a natural, bodily process they’ll experience when we could all just laugh as they break down in tears the first time it happens instead?

“Can I get an STD or STI from kissing?” asks the guideline. “In open-mouth kissing it is possible, but not probable. If your partner’s mouth is infected with an STD or STI, he or she may be able to pass the infection to your mouth if you have an open sore.”

Why are we telling our kids the truth about kissing? Shouldn’t we be telling them that if they kiss anyone before marriage that a giant meteor will strike them dead on the spot? That seems to be a reasonable, white lie.

“How do you put on a condom?” asks the guideline. “This is a technique, or how to, question and I am not permitted answer. Please refer to the package instructions.”

One thing I noticed when reading the new material is that teachers are not allowed to answer any technique or how-to questions.

But I think an exception should be made here. I’m not saying that we should teach kids how to use condoms, but I’m saying we should show kids how to put on old-school chastity belts with the giant iron locks. Their homework should be giving the key to those belts to their parents who will then promptly lose the keys in the family junk drawer.

“Is it possible to get an STD or STI from a toilet seat in a public restroom?” asks the guideline. “This is highly unlikely, as most STDs and STIs are spread through fluid exchange or by the use of contaminated needles.”

Remember how you were told to drape a public toilet in toilet paper when you were a kid? The minute you shifted even slightly, all of the paper would fall to the ground and you just knew you were going to die. My kids need to grow up with that same fear of toilet death. It’s just not fair that they get to know things I didn’t.

“What is a dental dam?” asks the guideline. “A dental dam is a piece of latex used for dental procedures. Some people also use it as an STD/STI preventative with oral sex.”

I find this question offensive because I believe these devices should be referred to as dental darns. I’m willing to accept “dental dang,” but that’s as far as I’m willing to go.

“Will I be a better lover if I have more partners?” asks the guideline. “No, the more partners you have the more you are putting yourself and your partners at risk.”

This is frankly, bigoted. Polygamy ended in the 1890s for my church. You’d think that a state government, whose members and constituents are also part of that religion, wouldn’t allow such a gross mischaracterization of our faith community to stand.

All jokes aside, I saw nothing wrong with the new sex education program. Anything we can do to help minimize the chances of one dumb teenager knocking up another dumb teenager or giving them chlamydia is a positive in my book.

And if you don’t like the fact that the new program references butts and mouths, then I wonder if you let your kids read the Bible? It’s way raunchier than this new program.

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