Comprehensive, inclusive, and affirming sex education is a basic human right. I’m so grateful that the Santa Barbara Unified School District board recognizes this fact and recently voted to adopt the Teen Talk curriculum for our community. Not only will this bring our school district in compliance with state mandates, it will also ensure that our children have the tools they need to be healthy and safe.
As a parent, a sexuality researcher, a member of the queer community, and a member of a faith community, I believe that we have a responsibility to tell the truth to our kids about sex so that they are prepared, not scared. While it’s important for kids to understand the reality and risk around STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and unintended pregnancy, the truth is that sex leads to pleasure more often than it leads to STIs or pregnancy. Withholding relevant, accurate, and comprehensive information about sexuality from our kids is negligent and harmful.
I’m proud of the fact that the young people in our community will be receiving holistic sex education in our local schools that will empower them in the way that only education can. I know that the school board faces a lot of pressure from many different stakeholders, and there were some particularly vocal opponents to the adoption of this curriculum. I’m grateful for local leaders that can hear all sides and ultimately make choices that are the best for our community. I look forward to voting for such candidates in the upcoming election who hold similar values and priorities as my own.