Fear The Bees

The most dreaded conversation between a kid and their parent, or among a classroom full of students, is probably one of the most important ones to have: the one about the birds and the bees.

Mollie Wagner

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Consent: permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.

The bees actually sting, the birds don’t chirp—they scream. Never imprinting in young heads that stop really means stop, panicking when knees are bruised and heads are pushed further and further. What lectures are flowing through the minds of naive, impressionable teens then? Not knowing whose blue curtains hang from unfamiliar windows when their eyes open after going out on what was a Friday night with the girls—now a Saturday of throwing up and not knowing why. Feeling itchy all over. Begging for teachers to give more answers, rather than just the simple, “no means no.”

“I was taught that sex was between a man and a woman,” junior Marissa Milone said. “We briefly discussed learning about pregnancy—but specifically how to prevent pregnancy. I wanted to know more about sex because I was interested in it, but my teachers were too uncomfortable to talk about it.”

For teenagers, not only are they taught that sex is wrong and should be avoided—it’s what they are not taught. Teachers dim the spotlight of sex when it comes to LGBT+ youth and their questions on sex. As people age, they dwell on teenagers always going to their phones or the internet for everything, when really, it has been a great tool for helping younger people feel more comfortable.

“I had to find everything out about non heteronormative relationships and sex through the internet and social media,” sophomore Brandon Reynolds said. “Us teenagers— we learn everything from the internet. I think it had an impact because not everyone likes to openly talk about sex, or takes it too far. Sometimes people say a little bit too much.”

“I had to learn through the internet by itself,” Milone said. “I think that being able to understand all of the angles outside of straight sex will not only keep children safer, but there will be an increase in public knowledge and citizens will be more understanding of something that they’re not particularly a part of.”

Other pure intentions turn into dirty secrets—what is kept hidden in the cracks of teaching sex education. Whether this be with a parent or a teacher, sex education is not expressed or discussed in the amount of time depth it needs to be.

Parents usually leave this job up to the teacher. As the sexual education curriculum is polished and changing with each lesson, parents don’t really have a starting point or initial target when bringing up this stomach twisting topic. The health teachers will tell them everything they need to know, right?

“The actual education piece can be done by a teacher,” gym teacher Jamie Walton said. “When a child should start having sex is definitely a conversation for the parent and child. I don’t believe a teacher should push their views of when someone is “ready” on their students. Also, as a teacher we explain how a variety of contraceptives work. I believe that when someone is trying to choose one, a parent or doctor should be advised, not a teacher.”

Sex is silenced, but it shouldn’t be. Everyone being educated on sex whether that be by parents, teachers, friends or the internet is important because sex is something that is natural, intriguing and captivating. Society is keeping sex ed on the back burner and only addressing the consequences. Welcome to 2018: sex still isn’t normal, the internet is a child’s best friend and sex education in schools needs more attention for the sake of young and inexperienced generations.