Obama Clarifies Sex Ed Views at Benedictine
Krol, Eric, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Eric Krol Daily Herald Political Writer
Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Barack Obama, addressing college students Tuesday in Lisle, moved to clarify that he does not support teaching explicit sex education to children in kindergarten.
The sex-education question, from a student who identified herself as being part of an anti-abortion group at Benedictine University, mirrors a charge Republican candidate Alan Keyes has leveled at Obama.
The legislation in question was a state Senate measure last year that aimed to update Illinois' sex education standards with "medically accurate" information. At one point, the legislation included a provision to allow students from kindergarten through fifth grade to be added to the middle and high school students receiving sex education.
Obama was chairman of the Senate committee that voted along party lines to move along the measure, which ultimately went nowhere.
"Nobody's suggesting that kindergartners are going to be getting information about sex in the way that we think about it," Obama said. "If they ask a teacher 'where do babies come from,' that providing information that the fact is that it's not a stork is probably not an unhealthy thing. Although again, that's going to be determined on a case by case basis by local communities and local school boards."
Obama spoke to about 1,200 students at the university's Rice Center.
Benedictine officials estimated Obama drew about 300 more people than Keyes' speech on Monday.
Obama used one of his relatively rare suburban appearances to offer sort of a flip-side to Keyes' fire-and-brimstone-style speeches on the nation's morals. …