Herbert says veto of sex-ed bill hinges on whether it's good or bad policy

Educators praise collaborative effort of 2012 session

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  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 12, 2012 1:08 p.m.

    In 2009, for every 1000 girls between the ages of 15 - 19, 35.5 of them got pregnant. This represents an abstinence failure of at least 3.55% - at least because chances are that not every girl who had sex got pregnant and even those that did probably did not get pregnant the first and/or only time they had sex.

    Abstinence is only effective if it is practiced effectively.

    Sarah Palin taught her children abstinence only. This was reaffirmed at school and at church. This method failed for two of her children - her other children are still young enough this has not been an issue yet.

    Would teaching comprehensive sex education have prevented her children from having sex - probably not. But it may have prevented the resulting pregnancies.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    March 11, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    Governor Herbert should veto this "sex education" bill.

    I find it interesting that so many that feel this bill is good and claim sex education should be a family responsibility are so worried that the school will hurt their family education process.

    As I see it, if a family really does take its responsibility seriously, they shouldn't have to worry about what the school does. In other words I believe families have a lot more influence in a child's life then schools do. Here is where the bad policy of this bill comes in. If all families were responsible in how they raised their children, we wouldn't have to worry but not all families are responsible in all matters particularly when it comes to sex education.

    The old law this bill is replacing allowed parents to opt out if they wanted. Now teachers can't even teach which will hurt many children who live in families where hopefully they are loved but where they may not get adequate information about sex from their parents. If they don't get this information at school, where will they get it?

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    March 10, 2012 7:34 p.m.


    What does a Temple Recommend question have to do with educating children, many of whom are not LDS?

  • metisophia Ogden, UT
    March 10, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    "My school makes it simple by bringing someone in from outside the school who has a medical background."

    Not even that may be allowed in this ridiculous law. No one will be able to mention contraception. No one will be able to answer a student's question. No one will be able to discuss STDs.

    It was a foolish law, one that will surely result in greater injury to teens who already have limited information.

    Does anyone actually think that when a student asks a question to which the teacher must say "I am not allowed to answer that. Go ask your parent." s/he will really do so?

    You would trust the internet before you would trust a qualified teacher or nurse?

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    March 10, 2012 8:02 a.m.


    Driver's ed has been very close at times to being removed from the State curriculum, but never the requirement that a course had to be taken to obtain a license. I would not be opposed to requiring a sex-ed course be required before obtaining a marriage license so long as it actually covers what really needs to be taught. The CURRENT law does not allow accurate information to be given even if the student requests it.

    I am sure you know your daughter best and have done a fine job keeping her safe. Keep talking to her about everything as she grows up voicing your concerns and it won't matter what education or lack there of the guy she dates has so long as she respects herself and her family to make the best choices.

  • NoCoolName_Tom Orem, UT
    March 9, 2012 11:52 p.m.

    For all those who are saying that it's your responsibility as to how you will raise your kids and not the government's: I totally agree.

    Until your kid is having sex with my kid.

    It's a possibility no matter how hard I try to raise my daughter with the goal of abstaining until marriage. And frankly, if your kid receives as much information from you guys as I got from my own parents before I was married, then we probably won't be too surprised to find we're all grandparents now. I don't just *want* your kid to have quality sex education, including contraceptives, I *need* your kid to have quality sex education. My daughters will get that information from their parents when they get older, but why does the safety of your kid depend upon what I plan on teaching my daughters. Society as a whole benefits when safe sex practices are taught. We could just as easily take driver's ed out of schools and depend upon families to teach their own kids to drive. WE don't because that would be a safety nightmare. It's the same story with sex education.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    March 9, 2012 10:58 p.m.


    There are loads of scary things out there. Drugs, sex, Barney the Dinosaur, porn, violent games, the news, politics and other things can be pretty scary for even adults to navigate. Does the existence of scary things give us the right to use the government to tell other people how to raise their children? In most cases I say no. It is not the governments role. It is still the parents responsibility.

    Your logic is fairly simple regarding the success rate of abstinence. The problem is that real statistics don't ignore failures simply because something went wrong with the method. Like condoms, the pill or any method, each time it is not used correctly, the method fails and a pregnancy occurs. That is why Bristol Palin counts as a failure of abstinence.

  • Jason75 LAYTON, UT
    March 9, 2012 10:35 p.m.

    I noticed that there was a merit pay bill passed but it says that educators can be denied raises for poor performance. How about a raise or stipend for excellent performance? Also, there needs to be some sex education in schools because there are far to many parents too afraid or too stupid to teach their kids about sex. I wonder sometimes how we have so many kids in Utah because their are a lot of embarrassed, wall-flowered parents who won't even say the word "sex."

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:47 p.m.

    @Steven S Jarvis

    You said - "Abstinence has the highest failure rate of any birth control method."


    I think you meant to say "success rate" didn't you? I have yet to met a single person on earth who got pregnant because they didn't have sex.

    You also said - "Sex education is not a school responsibility. It is the parents."

    I'm sure you're a wonderful father to your kids, and you and your wife teach them regularly about being responsible, self-restrained people.

    Sadly though, today in 2012, in a world full of poverty, single-parent homes, alcohol and drug abuse, the Internet and so many other problems, not all kids are as lucky as yours.

    Kids who don't have adequate parental or adult supervision are going to become sexually active, and if they don't have a full and realistic understanding of their actions, society in general will suffer.

    That's why Governor Hebert needs to veto this bill and tell the legislature, "Try again."

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:31 p.m.

    You can bet if Herbert vetoes this bill, the two or three Republicans running against him for governor will quickly jump on the Eagle Forum, right wing band wagon and talk about how Herbert is pro-teen sex, pro-feminist and anything else their propaganda machine can dream up.

    If Hebert vetoes this bill (which he should) it will show he's got true guts and that he isn't simply a puppet of the far right.

    More and more, we have politicians who are simply Yes Men to their fringe constituents. In politics, the word "courage" is no longer considered a virtue. Instead, it's considered a sign that you're a "radical" or "extremist."

    Governor Herbert, show the voters here in Utah that you have courage. Veto this bill.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:10 p.m.


    Abstinence has the highest failure rate of any birth control method. Teaching it solely is not an adequate or responsible approach. While I am not advocating this method be taught, I am advocating a simple message that seems to have been forgotten. Sex education is not a school responsibility. It is the parents.

    Teachers are not qualified medical professionals, so passing this responsibility onto us was never correct in the first place. We already face lawsuits whenever suggesting things regarding medications, so there is a great risk regarding teaching anything off script. My school makes it simple by bringing someone in from outside the school who has a medical background.

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    March 9, 2012 4:43 p.m.

    HB 363 addressing sex education when read in detail seems more like a "symbolic" bill that both sides and both parties can complain about. Additionally, The Deseret News article doesn't accurately describe the contents of the bill, using only what seems like dramatic, sensational and incomplete phrases from the bill that only add to the misconceptions about the impact on this bill on local school districts and students.

  • proeducation WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    March 9, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    I am laughing at each post that suggests teenagers go on the internet to research information regarding sex, STDs, and contraceptives. For those who think their teenagers will Google appropriate sites, let me translate: porn.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    March 9, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    If over 13,000 signed the petition with one of the most liberal and progressive movements in the United States from a state with mainly conservative views relating to this topic, there must be a sentiment out there that the Legislature sort of blew it like the voucher issue and GRAMA issue.

  • apartment15 salt lake city, UT
    March 9, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    I agree that it is the parents responsibility to teach their children about safe sex and avoiding STD's. The reality is that many parents are either incapable or improperly equipped to do so.

    As Utah law currently stands, parents have the choice to not allow their children to take a sexual education class in school if that is what they feel is the best way to raise their kids. All this bill does is possibly take away my choice to decide what is the best way educate my children. And takes away the opportunity to an education that many children wouldn't receive any other way.

    Please make the right choice Governor Herbert, and veto this bill.

  • rebagli Saint George, UT
    March 9, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    Gov. Herbert:


    I am a Conservative and a Tea Partyer and I am against another intrusion of government into the schools.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    "He said his decision would be based on what is "good policy for the state of Utah."

    He is openly admitting that he doesn't care what the residents of the state want. That is a great attitude for a public official to have. "

    Sometimes it is. Sometimes good policy is to do something very unpopular but unnecessary. The bailouts are one thing that comes to mind. If we're to balance the budget or even get close they will have to make very unpopular decisions on the tax and spending sides of it.

  • activ2004 Clearfield, UT
    March 9, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    Center for Disease Control and Prevention Website

    Non-Political yet extremely costly

    Teen Pregnancy

    ÂIn 2009, a total of 409,840 infants were born to [15]Â19 year olds, for a live birth rate of 39.1 per 1,000 women in this age groupÂ.

    Non-Political yet extremely costly

    Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    Too many to name

    Non-Political yet extremely costly

    Youth Suicide

    ÂSuicide (i.e., taking one's own life) is a serious public health problem that affects even young people. For youth between the ages of [10] and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. It results in approximately 4400 lives lost each year.Â

  • activ2004 Clearfield, UT
    March 9, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    The fiscal, patriotic statesmen/women who drafted, voted for and passed this legislation should have a plaque made and displayed in the Utah State Capitol in their honor.

    It would be a horrifying tragedy if Gov. Herbert succumbs to the morally destructive, socially progressive weeping and wailing and vetoes this most important legislation that is going to be prove to be the firm foundation which a [majority] of the children and young adults of this state are pleading for.

    "While we teach sex in schools and publicly portray the vilest of filth on the movie screen, we virtually make a criminal of a schoolteacher who would bring a Bible into the classroom or who might ask the students to recite the LordÂs Prayer. So far have we lost our sense of values?"

    Elder Mark E Peterson

    LDS General Conference June [1971]

    "Do you affiliate with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or do you sympathize with the precepts of any such group or individual?" LDS Temple Recommend Question #6

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 9, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    Herbert is afraid of gayle and the eagle form they run the legislature and he knows it.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    March 9, 2012 8:33 a.m.

    There merits of this bill will be judged by the Governor. However, the petition group is a very liberal and progressive organization that may have an ulterior motive in this process. However, the legislature does things like this type of activity on the last day. When you sign into the petition site, you will give them all your information for e-mailings.

  • ThatsSoUtah Fredericksburg, VA
    March 9, 2012 7:18 a.m.

    @Steven S Jarvis

    Your position is that parents should teach it, but most likely don't. That's okay though because kids can figure it out on their own or google it?

    I hardly think that "guess and check" is an appropriate method for sex education.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:54 a.m.

    It is bad policy.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:37 a.m.

    The veto will hinge on whether the bill is good policy or bad policy? This is kind of obvious, should it not be? Of course bad policy should be vetoed. And this bill is really bad policy.

  • 2cents_EM Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:34 a.m.

    I love how it says near the end that the legislature addressed the "top priorities" with the funding. Apparently creating yet another kind of test for students is a top priority but keeping teachers sane and happy? Nah. I'm thinking of moving to Wyoming. Their classes are capped at 16 and the starting base salary is more money than I make now after 10 years of teaching. I recognize that we have funding issues that other states may not have, but when more is expected each year and little support is offered (not even necessarily monetary support) it gets harder to be a happy teacher in Utah.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:25 a.m.

    "good policy for the state of Utah."


    The "sex ed" bill is bad policy for the state. Abstinence Only is not "sex education" it is, by default, hiding your head in the sand chanting nyah, nyah, nyah and refusing to face reality.

  • ThatsSoUtah Fredericksburg, VA
    March 9, 2012 6:20 a.m.

    Herbert said he would not be swayed by mass email efforts or other campaigns. He said his decision would be based on what is "good policy for the state of Utah."

    He is openly admitting that he doesn't care what the residents of the state want. That is a great attitude for a public official to have. Maybe his next approach will be to cover his ears and yell "LA LA LA LA LA LA, CAN'T HEAR YOU" until people leave him alone.

  • md Cache, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:12 a.m.

    Governor Herbert,
    Veto this stupid bill.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    I fully expect this bill to be signed because it precisely reflects Conservative Republican ideals. Doing so isn't as fatalistic as it would have been five years ago.

    Schools are not the best forum for sex education. It is the home. While I never received a lesson on the mechanics or even the talk, my parents taught me respect and patience. I knew about the existence of birth control because it is everywhere in the media. Any questions I had I could look up and figure out on my own.

    In the past I believe that without the schools the vital life-saving information was impossible to get. Fortunately, we live in a tech savvy age. Kids can get sex education on their cell phones if they can't get it from their parents.