ROCHESTER, Minn- It can be a tough topic to talk about with your kids at any age sex education. A group of local parents is concerned about a bill that would mandate sex education in the classroom.
House representative Peggy Bennett is concerned about a comprehensive sex education bill that could be introduced during this legislative session. The bill would mandate sex education to begin as early as kindergarten.
“I look at it as the early sexualization of kids," Bennett said.
Bennett, a former teacher, believes sex education is important but doesn't like the curriculum this bill could allow. Bennett calls books now in use in other states too graphic. She also thinks sex education shouldn't start too early. Mother of three April Jeppson remembers sex education starting in junior high. she thinks children need to learn the facts of life at an appropriate age.
“I'm fine with sex ed in the classroom at a certain age,” Jeppson said. “I think taking it from an anatomy scientific point of view I think its perfectly appropriate.”
Like Bennett, she thinks the proposed curriculum needs modification.
“After I reviewed a potential book that might be used I felt very much like taking these things in my household that is not considered normal and normalizing them making them total socially acceptable,” Jeppson said.
Bennett says currently school districts are given flexibility in how they sex education and when they teach it.
"This belongs in the hands of local school board members teachers, and parents who know their children best,” Bennett said. “My biggest message in this is that I think parents should be empowered at the local level to direct schools on what kind of education they want for their children. "