Should a new bill introduced in West Virginia forbidding the display and teaching of sexuality in schools pass?

A new bill, recently introduced on Feb. 10, would forbid the display and teaching of sexuality in public schools. House Bill 2157, introduced by Joe Jefferies, John Mandt and Dean Jeffries, would send us back in time.

This bill is an addition to the Code of West Virginia 1931. Section 18-2-7g states, “The state board shall prohibit persons from putting up displays relating to sexuality in public school facilities and shall forbid the teaching of sexuality in public schools.” This is a step backward in the progress of equality. This is not equal treatment. It’s just not fair for any student involved.

A parent of a WLU student and a West Virginia high school teacher, initials TJB, said, “As a teacher and a parent, I think it’s important for kids to learn about sexuality and how to properly stay safe when having sex no matter who your partner is. A lot of kids don’t have the support at home to help them understand what is happening with their bodies. As a middle school and high school student, I had to learn things for myself because my parents didn’t explain anything to me or give me “the talk”. That was as a straight teenager. We need to support all students and help their peers learn about different sexualities because we are not all the same but that doesn’t have to make us different. It shouldn’t be a big deal.”

We are dealing with the potential of an increase in bullying. However, Gen-Z is the most accepting generation yet, so we will fight back. According to a Gallup poll, one in six (15%) Gen-Z identify with something other than straight. That means there has been a 5.6% rise, and the numbers are still expected to increase. Also, according to the Pew Research Center only 15% of Gen Z, as well as millennials, think same-sex marriage is a bad thing.

No displays equal no more LGBT+ clubs. Having no safe space is scary. This is just a slap in the face, especially for small-town people. Going from experience, hiding is scary enough when around ignorant people. If we teach sexuality, LGBT+ education will be normalized in these towns. Health class is already insufficient enough. This bill would only make things worse.