The Washington Post

Sex ed is badly needed

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The July 25 front-page article “In Nebraska politics, an early ‘grooming’ debate,” about opposition to sex education in Nebraska, felt personal to me.

In 1992, I was co-valedictor­ian of York High School in Nebraska, but I was ignorant. I needed more sex education.

I thought only straight, cis people existed. It turns out some of my school friends were gay, but they couldn’t tell me. Later, I wanted to reexamine smalltown life. I researched the queer community around Kearney, Neb., as a reporter at the Kearney Hub. I discovered that, yes, LGBTQ people also exist in central Nebraska.

In my teenage years, we didn’t understand sexual predation. Girls dated adult men, and we thought nothing of it. In an undergroun­d newspaper my senior year, many students wrote about being abused.

As teens, we knew not to confide in adults. The informatio­n they had coughed up about sexuality was suspicious­ly incomplete, riddled with misogyny and frosted with false fairy tales about joyous virgin sex on wedding nights.

Now, courageous educators in Nebraska want to tell it like it is, to protect children from bigotry, confusion and predation, and yet they’re losing.

Anne Marie Pecha, Leesburg

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