I agree that the bill ought to be called the non-sex education bill. I am a
parent that teaches both sex education and moraloity in the home. But, I would
like the school to teach the scientific facts of life. I am not worried about
my children going out and having sex because they heard about contraceptives or
gays in a biology or health class. There are other factors that lead kids to
have sex. Ignorance is one of those things. Lack of parental involvement is
another factor. Getting carried away by mistake also happens. The bill that
was passed won't correct any of those factors. What is of more concern to me is
the propensity of our legislators to pass laws that don't reflect the majority
opinion. When 90% of the parents opt in to the current sex ed, I don't know why
we want to change it. I think we ought to change the elected officials. Thank
you Govenor Herbert for listening to all of the feedback, mine included, and
making a good decision!
Fred44,I apologize. I didn't want to clarify to single anyone out-
but I was not directing my comment to you. Another person made remarks I feel
are inappropriate.I understand your point and I agree with it
completely. I should state that "as long as democracy is satisfied/served
then no imposing has taken place".Democracy is satisfied when we
vote and willingly live by the outcome. A bill of rights, governors powers, and
every other part of our government doesn't satisfy justice because they exist-
but because we ordained them democratically. We not only agreed to vote, but we
agreed to the terms and conditions of the vote (a bill of rights). So as long as
we have agreed to live by the law, justice is served.There's
obviously still disagreement on whether things are constitutional or not- but I
believe I've sufficiently made my point in a way we can find at least some
common ground.---FYI: My dislike of people crying
"imposing" is that it is often based on the prejudice that 'the other
opinions' about the constitution are automatically unjustifiable and that this
prejudicial argument is exempt from examination. All opinions/sources deserve
The system worked, this time. That is the benefit of having the legislative,
executive and the court process. The Legislature could still work to do their
override, but a lot of them are up for reelection in November and want to get
through the conventions and primary, if needed. Some Senator may not be up for
reelection but every House member is and it is their Bill. Utah county and
Eagle Forum may get by but not everyone. Maybe the Republicans that have bought
into everything the Forum does are not really Republican Party members. All
squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. Thank you,
Governor, and the timing appears to have been convenient to impress the caucus
Voice of Reason,You said: "First, if forging my parents
signature made me dishonest- one would certainly have to look in the social
mirror before making that claim. Nearly all children have lied to their parents
or a teacher about something." I didn't say anything about you, I used the
name Johnny in my example, but I would say that attempting to justify lying
because others have done it, even if they are children does not make forgery or
lying acceptable.Second you also said: "I refuse to accept when
people say "imposing" when it was accomplished via our democracy."
Even in a democracy the majority can impose things on the minority in an
inappropriate way, which is part of the reason that we give Governors and the
President the power to veto such legislation.For all of you that say
the small unit within a health class that deals with sex education is an opt
out, you are incorrect, it is an opt in. Parents must sign a waiver allowing
students to participate. I would again reiterate that if students forge this or
any other school form that is a parent student problem, not a school problem.
I stated that a parents choice is the question at hand, and that a forgery would
circumvent this choice. This clearly reveals that 'permission slips' don't solve
the problem of voluntary participation according to the will of the parents.That was the only real point I was making, not that a youth was
justified in doing it or that the act of forging negated anyone's opinions about
this issue- only that it shows that parental choice is not preserved while this
can happen.---Furthermore, I will respectfully say that
someone questioning my being taught honesty and integrity in my upbringing is
inappropriate. Saying it to a complete stranger is without any amount of
credibility. In the end, God will judge my dealings, my integrity, my honesty.
God has the right, the authority, and the understanding to judge my life. Others
commenting online certainly have no proper place doing so.---On a side note: as much as many complaints, problems, abuses on here of
prompted revisions in the comment policy- I still believe that further revision
to build a more respectful environment would be beneficial and would represent
the higher standards we all know we should promote in all our discourse.
Great job, Governor!
I will be voting for Gen. Peter Cooke in November, I want to thank and
congratulate Gov. Herbert for making a thoughtful and reasonable decision
concerning HB363.Children do not learn about sex from their parents,
and very few parents can teach about sex in an accurate and objective manner. I
believe that what we all can agree on is that, as parents, it is our obligation
to teach our children what our hopes and desires are for them; and that we have
equipped them with the ability to make good choices and act responsibly. If
not, then we have truly failed.It is also our obligation to assist
our children when or if they do get into any kind of sexually-related or other
kind of trouble, and not kick them to the sidewalk. That is a much bigger sin
than pre-marital sex, getting an STD or homosexuality. And pray for they
children who are not safe in their own homes!It is time for a few
who believe they own our Legislature to be stopped. We all know what is right
and wrong - for ourselves and our families - individually.
Thank you Mr. Governor. Your services are no longer required. We elected
representatives to do our will. They did that. Your job is to enforce the laws
they pass. You failed. Goodby and good luck at your next job.
If parents don't "opt-in", how will their children receive instruction
about anatomy? It doesn't seem like those parents who want biology taught,
including the reproductive system, but not sexuality, have much of a choice.
I'm curious - have teen pregnancy rates and STD rates gone up or down since we
started sex education in schools? In bigger cities where condoms are handed out,
does that stop teen pregnancy or STD's? Not at all - the only thing that's
different is that abortions are on the rise. Let's be real. Sex education in our
schools does one thing and one thing only. It allows people to feel good about
themselves when their kids get pregnant or get STD's. It lets them say, I have
no idea what happened because they were educated!Sex education
belongs in one place and one place only - the home. This is cowardice and
failure on the shoulders of the parents (I am also a parent, and include myself
in this group). We need to communicate with our children. Teach them your
values. Be honest with them and show them the realities of what happens when
teenagers engage in sexual activity. Don't leave it up to some stranger reading
from some state-mandated manual. That's just irresponsible!
Studies have shown that kids who receive sex education are more likely to
postpone sexual activity than kids who don't. Abstinence can and should be
emphasized at every age, with more comprehensive education (prevention of
pregnancy and STDs) according to age appropriateness.
Well, he will be getting my future vote. Thank goodness somebody in this state
has some sense.
Outside of the state, e think the headline would be better written as
"Governor Gary Herbert vetoes controversial sex NON-education bill
HB363"Ignorance is ignorance. Kids that have already gotten the
honest truth from parents already now. Kids that get some made up story from
home, the street or the playground get corrections. The big problem
seems to be that a teacher might mention heresies like gays pretty much like
everyone else except in ne, not terribly important, aspect or that women brought
up to a different set of beliefs may choose differently than you would. That's
Thank Godness he did the right thing. We the people need to tell Ruzicka that
she is not Running this State and we will make our ow choices.
"The bill drew condemnation from thousands who voiced their opinions through
social media and in calls to the governor's office, fearing the bill could keep
potentially life-saving information from students who might not receive it
otherwise"These above kinds of concerns are addressed (likely)
in health education class especially when it covers STDs. That has no conflict
with parents regarding no mention of contraception or sex and/or teaching
abstinence before marriage. Hooray for Governor Herbert. Vetoe on!
Hooray for your governer!!!!! As a teacher, I would like to go on record as
saying that the school is NOT the place to teach sex. Math, Grammar, Science
(including body parts and what they do, but no discussion on whether it is right
or wrong, no discussion on homosexuality.) I know there are those who want to
pick a fight about, "Well, some parents won't teach their children."
While that is true, I still say the school is not the place to pass judgment on
the morality of things. SEX EDUCATION BELONGS AT HOME. If you don't expect
parents to take on a difficult subject with their own children, they will
continually skirt it. If they know the schools will, yet again, take over their
jobs, they will also continually allow that to happen. Thanks for having a back
Herbert has to go. Sex education, in the classroom, embarrasses children.
Children have an innate God-given modesty. This is something parents should
speak of in the privacy of their own home. They're perverting children. In the
1960's, when this started a group in California said: "If you start
teaching sex-ed in the classroom ~ in thirty years you'll be handing out
I cannot believe we passed this bill in the first place. Have parents teach
their kids? Gosh, in this 'individualistic' society you show me a teenagers who
actually listens to their parents? Very few. They seem to pay more attention in
classrooms among their peers.Thank you Governor Herbert!
The coarse, vulgar, and uncivil behavior manifested by the majority of people in
society today is the result of parents opting to turn their responsibilities to
their children over to the rabid progressives in academia today.
I think the fear of students forging a parent's signature to opt into a sex ed
discussion is not as big of a concern as many here are making it out to be.
Teachers are communicating with parents in so many ways other than just sending
home a slip of paper. Teachers have websites, emails, text messages, and other
social media they use to communicate with parents. Believe it or not, involved
parents use the available technologies to keep up with what their children are
doing in school. If you don't want your child to participate in a class
activity, lesson unit, or book discussion, get involved. If you fear your child
will forge your signature, it's time to reevaluate your parenting skills and
figure what you can do to trust your own children to do the right thing.
Well done Governor! I can't believe there are those that feel that if we don't
talk about sex, the problems will go away. Good to see someone is thinking
about the children instead of just letting them be woefully unprepared. Kudos
Gary!Now just be respectful in your tone to the Federal Government
on the land issue instead of spouting inflammatory rhetoric, and you are
starting to look like a respectable civil servant. It's good to see civility
and common sense making a comeback, impressive sir!
@Henderson: maybe you could teach sex ed in your home?? Just a thought. As of yet, I have not heard any reason why the state should be involved
in sex education. Frankly, it's pathetic that people shove all their
duties and responsibilities on the government. But since the argument is that
kids are going to have sex anyway so let's teach them how not to get STD's, HIV
or pregnant let's also make sure that we have a class that teaches them how to
drink and do drugs properly. They also need to know how to smoke marijuana too.
After all, they are going to do it anyway, right?
Congratulations to the Deseret News for writing an accurate story about HB363.
There has been so much misinformation surrounding this bill. This is the first
story that told the truth about how the bill got started, and how unnecessary
the bill was in the first place.
Gov. Herbert made the right decision here. We already had system in place to
allow parents to opt their children out of sex education. This bill was just
another attempt by a socially conservative group that is well "right" of
the general population of this state to try and turn the clock back to the
1800's. Furthermore, abstinence only education is a complete failure. Facts
are stubborn things and the facts are that studies show that AO education does
not curb sexual activity amongst our youth. When it comes to sex education
ignorance is not bliss, and most parents are reluctant to broach the subject
with their children. Sex education should teach that abstinence IS the best the
best method of avoiding pregnancy and social diseases. There are lots of
reasons why some youth are sexually active, but learning about contraceptives in
school isn't one of them. Why not explain the consequences of engaging in risky
sexual behavior and how to best mitigate those risks? Ignoring the issues has
only lead to more teenage pregnancies and teenagers engaging in other even more
risky behavior. Covering our ears and closing our eyes wont make it go away!
It seems that those who supported this bill and that now oppose the veto, never
even read the bill in the first place. This bill was designed to limit the
choice of parents and educators It was designed to limit the available options
for education on sexual matters. It was designed for a small minority to force
their will upon the rest of society. It had nothing to do with encouraging
promiscuity or any immoral behavior, yet that is what Gayle Ruzicka and the
fascists in the eagle forum now claim.I appreciate a governor who
supports free agency, and I question the motives of those who are so opposed to
it. Gayle Ruzicka and her group support ideas that run contrary to LDS values
and the values of most non-LDS people in Utah.
The legislators talk about preventing our kids from being exposed to sexual
topics. But they going to be exposed to these topics on the Internet and video,
and the sources will not mention the risk, diseases, and emotional problems
associated with those activities.We have to give our kids accurate
information. I am a parent and I know I do a very amateur job in this area,
when I get around to doing it at all. I appreciate those who are
prepared and teach these topics with care and accuracy.
@Iron Rod, Salt Lake City, UTWe're not afraid of Ms. Ruzicka; we're
sick of her! And we're sick of the legislators who bow down to her like she's
some kind of god!
@joeyslaptop, sex ed in Utah is already an opt-in program. Much ado about
Thank God we have 1 sane republican
The concept of "Free Agency" prevails again.Remember that one
folks?The Governor did, good on him.
Glad the governor knows the difference between education and religious
Gayle Ruzicka, President of the Utah Eagle Forum, said she was disappointed with
the governor's decision. The veto, she said, gives students "a stamp of
approval" to engage in sexual activities."We had 64 legislators
vote in favor of that bill," she said. "And one Republican who spends a
couple days looking at it caves in to the pressure." ~ article============= Perfect example of our ÂOut-of-TouchÂ
extremest legislature.64 of a Republican legislation clearly does not
truly Represent us in our Republic.The fact is, thousands and
thousands have once again had to call the Governor to veto a bill that doesn't
even come close to reality.And BTW Â the veto gives students
Âa stamp of approvalÂ to engage in sexual activities?!!!The is
what I mean by extremeists and reality.Hardly.Good job
Why is everyone so frightened of the Eagle Forum?
I'm glad that parents continue to have a choice. My only negative comment is
that too many kids give themselves permission to be in the class by forging
their parents' signature. I have spoken with the teachers who actually teach the
class. They admit that they know some of the signatures are forged. They feel
that they are teachers, not signature inspectors. It's not their job to ensure
that the parental signatures are valid. Governor Herbert's decision was based on
parental permission, not student permission. I wish there were a process to
validate the parental signatures.
A Voice of Reason,Maybe your parents should have taught you a little about
honesty and integrity and you wouldn't have forged their signature. Maybe even a
little about responsibility.Just saying
The man did the right thing. See, Utah does not have to try to be more crazy
than anyone else.
Quite a few comments here talk about teens knowing more than their parents or
knowing enough to 'teach the class.' That's the kind of exaggeration which
leads to ignorant ideas about removing sex-ed from the schools in the first
place. Knowing what sex is and having access to sex being depicted in
pornography is a far cry from knowing the consequences of having sex or the
prevention of diseases which punish an unfortunate indiscretion for the rest of
a person's life.Sex ed courses are not, nor have they ever been
about teaching students 'how' to have sex. Parents should teach their
moral/theological viewpoint on sex, but also provide their children the
opportunity to receive the latest and most accurate information about the
realities of sex in order to dis-spell the rumor mill which exists among teens.
Teens are still developing their cognitive abilities, and the more facts they
hear, the better their chance is of avoiding problems, even as they begin long
lasting, committed relationships.
Dr Groovey, I agree with your premise. Gayle Ruzika and a lot of their cronies
are home schoolers, they do not have a horse in the race, but when its time to
talk about what is taught to your kids in the public school, they want total
As a registered independent Governor Herbert ....you will get my vote in
Nivember and if you don't get out of the convention run as an independent.
Thank you Governor Herbert for standing up to this troubling piece of
legislation. Doing so in the face of pressure from your own part and the Eagle
Forum took great courage. I think that the more moderate part of our State's
population have are waking up to the dangers of extreme rightist politics. The
overall population does not seem to be represented by the more extremes
legislators who have worked their way into the legislature by virtue of easy
The governor has some common sense but think of all the legislators that brought
that bill to fruition. Replace them all.
Current law on Sex Education in school "gives a license" for
inappropriate sexual activity? Get serious! Some have so little faith in the
rising generation it makes my stomach turn. Knowledge is power. Proper sex
education at its core makes it more certain that young people understand the
dangers and consequences of premature and or unprotected sexual activity.Sex education does not induce moral lapse as some have stated, whether
taught by parents or by other responsible institutions, but sexual ignorance
often leads to activities that ruin young lives. Herbert did the right thing.
I glad to know there is at least one wise Republican in this state.
Fred,First, if forging my parents signature made me dishonest- one
would certainly have to look in the social mirror before making that claim.
Nearly all children have lied to their parents or a teacher about something. My
argument was only that 'permission slips' don't address this issue adequately-
but our focus should be on the principle of whether we should teach this in
school or if the government shouldn't be involved.One of your
claims:"pick and choose which social issues we should teach and
which we shouldn't" equates to "imposing a specific set of morals on
everyone."You are right. This is the same as our laws that
govern us. We impose that Murder is morally wrong and illegal. We don't impose
anything about being rude to everyone, even though it isn't morally right in
most people's opinion.Everything we legislate has a moral impact in
one way or another. There is no amount of unfairness or wrongness by legislating
issues requiring attention and leaving others alone. Bullying is a social
problem. Sex is very much an individual one. On a side note: I
refuse to accept when people say "imposing" when it was accomplished via
Just another effort to take away the responsibility of the parents and put into
the feeble hands of the state. Not a proud moment for our governor.
Sex ed should be an opt-in program! Give parents more freedom. If parents
don't feel equipped to teach their children about human development, bodies,
reproductive systems, and "alternative" lifestyles on their own, then
they could borrow a video from the school or library that would help them. If
children are demonstrating that they're already becoming sexually active before
adulthood, then they could be required by the school to attend a "sex
education" class before returning (like the "drug awareness" class
required for kids caught with drugs at school).Sex education is not
something to be taught in classrooms or assemblies - all at the same age in a
one-size-fits-all manner. It's something very private, intimate, and special
that you teach your children in private within the walls of your own home - on
your terms when they're ready for it.
If you read the current law first,and then compare it to the bill, I
believe you will find that the intent of the current law remains, with added
parental input and an option for the local school not to teach the class if they
don't want to follow the law.The bill allows a local school to
provide the class if they follow the law. Currently we have schools in Utah that
are required to provide the class and the claim is that some schools are not
following the current law. Some have even questioned if the State School Board
was following the current law.If that is the case, either the law
needs to be clarified, or we add teeth to the law, or both. HB 363 clarifies the
law assuming the schools will follow the law if it is clear.If you
look at lines 135 to 140, you will notice the opt in was not removed for
parents.The movement to shift the content of the class from current
law significantly either way didn't pass. Many that are upset at HB 363 do not
like the current law and wanted to change it to have fewer restrictions.
Parents should not have to "opt out"! It should not be a part of the
curriculum of elementary and jr. high schools. Governor Herbert is an idiot
that needs to be thrown out of office. Using language like "parents know
better than the state" to really say "the state will force it down
everybody's throats unless jumping through hoops to opt out" is the trickery
of evil people.
Congratulations. Too bad we don't have this kind of sanity in Arizona.
Bravo Governor Herbert! It's important for everyone to remember that
politically this was a veto that will cause him to lose support from the
uber-conservative wing of the base. Hopefully, the majority of us will remember
the courage this veto required. I'm glad that he showed that courage for
betterment of the state!
This bill was not discussed for even 15 minutes on the senate floor, and its
floor sponsor, Margaret Dayton, refused to field questions. Ironic. If we can't
get our legislatures to talk about sex education in the context of the
legislative process, why would we -- or they -- think the average parent would
at home? Parents approved of the existing law, and only a small percentage opted
out. Herein lies the utter waste of energy and political will that was this
bill! Nothing needed fixing! And the public made this clear via a statewide
petition with 40,000 signatures, sharp criticism from respected education
groups, rallies and general public outcry. I am pleased -- and frankly surprised
-- that Herbert had the guts to stand up to a legislature. He's tougher and
smarter than I thought. Now... can we let this die and start to focus on some
of the real issues we're confronting in Utah, like the import of toxic nuclear
@fitness freakif the governor was as political as you claim he would have
bowed to the eagle forum knowing that they are the iron fist of the republican
party. Its nice to see at least someone in the republican party has a backbone.
Simply amazing. This veto decision puts Governor Herbert among the Utah
Governors to remember in Utah history, especially going against a majority of
his own party on a political issue that is so controversial, unlike education
and health care and even the environment or taxes. By stepping into the
socially hot-button topic of sex education with all its moral implications,
Governor Herbert put himself unnecessarily into the middle of a storm, an action
usually only reserved for an authentic political leader of any state or nation.
Hopefully, state legislators and the public will take this opportunity to really
begin to discuss the fundamental moral issues regarding a woman's right and a
living entity's right to life together instead of yelling around each other.
Smart move for the governor. It is too bad our legislature likes to live in a
perverbial bubble. I guess they feel that Utah is Pleasantville where everyone
comes from perfect homes and has perfect parental involvement. The
Governor was correct, law as written is fine, giving parents who want to put
their head in the sand the option to opt out. As a parent of six, I am the one
to teach my children sex ed. By the time they reach high school, it is review.
Unfortunatly, not all parents are comfortable with "the talk" or
teaching their own children sexual matters. We need a cusion in place for those
kids to get information that could be a life or death matter. After all, Utah
does have one of the highest STD rates in the country. .....BTW I am an active
The best thing Governor Herbert has ever done.If you believe these
topics should be taught in the home, then you can teach them at home. It would
be too irresponsible to not give information to our children in a safe
environment where they can get answers to the questions they may have. Not
addressing these topics does not make them go away.Well done Gary.
I have a new found respect for Governor Herbert. Perhaps the fascist wing of
the republican party is not as strong as it often appears to be. Gale Ruzika
and others may bring down their wrath upon the governor because of this veto,
but he will be remembered for making the right choice. Write another chapter in
Profiles in Courage for the governor.
Thanks Governor....correct decision.
The whole issue has been quite superfluous in the first place. Kids themselves
know enough to TEACH the sex-ed class by the time they're 13. I work with kids
all day. If parents haven't had "the talk" by the time the kids are 12,
its too late, believe me!What I find interesting is that the Guv.
chooses late at night at the beginning of a weekend to "announce" his
veto.He's obviously been testing the "political pushback"
and has his fingers crossed that his party won't hold him responsible, and,
hopefully forget about the issue by Monday morning.Why not elect a
NEW Guv?This guy is quite lacking when it comes to anything
resembling LEADERSHIP ABILITIES!The Guv. is VERY POLITICAL!!
A Voice of Reason,If Johnny forges his parents signature it sounds
like Johnny's parents should be having a talk with him not only about sex but
about honesty. I have no problem eliminated sex ed because "parents should
be teaching that". But then can we please eliminate all the other things
from the curriculum that parents should be teaching? The legislature added
suicide and bullying training to the list of growing social issues that teachers
must teach students about. Lets either take on social problems in schools or
lets not take them on. Don't pick and choose which social issues we should
teach and which we shouldn't, because by doing so you are imposing a specific
set of morals on everyone.
Henderson,I was a forgetful in High School. I rarely did my homework
even. So when I forged my signature in High School saying I could participate
(cause I forgot to take the slip home)... that certainly gave my parents a 'say'
in the matter, right?It's not a matter of whether the policy
supports choice 'on paper' but whether 1) parents actually have their choices
preserved and 2) whether the government should be teaching our children these
things in the first place.This issue is one that may have very
serious moral implications. Whether it's getting pregnant, abortion, splitting
up families, etc- there can be serious consequences involved which will directly
affect families. Such things should be taught in the home. If they are not
taught at home, one hardly needs to be taught by a teacher. In an online world,
children know far FAR more than their parents would expect anyway. What's really
being taught is the morality behind certain actions, their consequences, and so
on. These answers belong to parents, not teachers.For some reason,
children who weren't taught still manage to procreate. If schools do, it should
be abstinence only. Otherwise it's the parent's responsibility anyway.Cheers.
Wonderful. It's nice to live in Utah and have a good Governor with common sense.
One way or another, our children and teenagers will eventually become sexually
active. We hope they will become active in marriage; but still they should learn
about available technological options. I have monitored the attitudes of my
politically active neighbors for over 35 years: frankly I have often wondered
how many of them actually know enough on the subject of sexuality to teach it to
Finally, some common sense!Don't want sex ed in public education?
THEN ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO OPT OUT!it really is THAT simple.
Some sanity left in this state.
Whoo hoo! Thank you Governor Herbert!