ROLAND S. MARTIN: Sex Education Should Be Mandatory In All Schools

By Roland S. Martin

There are few things more ignorant and annoying than whiny parents complaining about a school district teaching their children about sex. How in the world do we say it’s okay for schools to teach our children about math, science, history and numerous other subjects yet then get all high and mighty with righteous indignation when biology is taken a step further to focus on sex?

Too many parents are in denial about their children having sex, and simply saying, “You’ll handle the tough stuff” is living in fantasyland.

New York City should be commended for not bowing to the blowhards and confronting the reality of sex in America by mandating a sex education curriculum beginning in 2012.

Whether it’s safer-sex practices or even abstinence, all of these issues must be dealt with in an education setting, because when we look at the teen pregnancy rates and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, as much education as possible only makes sense.

Death and taxes are considered two undeniable realities of life. I would say that sex is right behind those two.

I recall that as an elementary student, as well as in middle school and high school, I took classes that dealt with sex. Yes, elementary school. It was done properly and smartly, and it was needed. Did it prevent children from getting pregnant too soon? I can’t say for sure. But I can definitely say that knowing more about a topic, rather than less, is crucial.

Now let’s deal with the abstinence-only nuts who act as if anything else shouldn’t be taught. Yes, I’m talking directly to the NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition. These people are upset with videos demonstrating how to put on a condom, as well as other aspects of the sex education curriculum.

Folks, y’all are flat-out crazy if you want to encourage parents to opt their children out of sex education by saying that teaching only abstinence is enough.

Why can’t both options be taught? Abstinence is definitely the safest of all safer-sex measures, but there is also comes a point at which we have to accept reality.

Talk to school teachers and administrators and they will tell you that students as young as middle school are engaging in oral sex, and there’s a pervasive belief that oral sex really doesn’t count as sex. Yet anyone with half a brain knows that it counts.

If a kid is out there having oral sex, he sure as heck needs to know that doing so without protection can be life altering.

But parent groups like NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition prefer to stick their heads in the sand. They find such talk unseemly and think such frankness should be left between child and parent.

Not me. As a Jesus-lovin’ Christian, I’m about real talk, and if that means dealing with sex directly, let’s go for it.

Educators and city officials in New York should fully brace themselves for the onslaught. Right-thinking folks are tired of seeing young folks coming back HIV-positive or dealing with a pregnancy at 16.

I have nine nieces and four nephews, and I would be fully supportive of them being taught about sex in school. Forget shying away from a tough subject. If we’re going to equip our children for tomorrow, then sex needs to be dealt with in a smart, productive and educational setting by professionals.

It’s clear that parents aren’t as dependable on some matters as they like to delude themselves into believing.

Roland S. Martin is an award-winning CNN analyst and author of the book “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as Originally Reported by Roland S. Martin.” Please visit his website at To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


  • QuatroCash

    The bottom line Mr. Roland is that the family is ours to raise and teach not the governments.  It is my job as a parent to tell my kids what I want them to know about sex and having babies. If abstinence is what I believe in, it is not up to you or the government to over step how I raise my child. Should we include a class on how to not be on welfare as well? 

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