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The Public Pulse: Sex ed instruction needed; Elections, corruption; Hairstyles, fairness

The Public Pulse: Sex ed instruction needed; Elections, corruption; Hairstyles, fairness

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Sex ed instruction

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the proposed sexual education curriculum the Nebraska State Board of Education wants to implement. An Omaha TV station shared a live video of the public forum via Facebook, where people were able to voice their concerns. Not only was it alarming to see the amount of people who rejected the idea of having a standardized sexual education, but the blatant transphobia and homophobia that some spoke.

I heard many people say that “I support the lifestyle of LGBTQ+ folks, but I do not want my child to learn about it.” They implied that they were OK with queer people, but only if their child is not included in that community. This gives the impression that they are actually not supportive of queer people.

Sexual education is extremely important. Did you know how high our STI rates in Douglas County are? Omaha has significantly higher rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea than the U.S. average and than the rates in several large cities like Chicago and Kansas City.

This can be due to the fact that we lack the STI education in school. We only seem to teach abstinence-only education, which is extremely harmful. Many teens do not choose to live an abstinence-only lifestyle, which means they find the information they need on the internet. We both know that the internet is a dangerous place and frequently posts things that are not true. Learning about sex from internet porn is extremely toxic. We need to be educating kids on things beyond abstinence, like consent and how to have safe sex in addition to queer identities. I believe the proposed sexual education curriculum would be beneficial for our state.

We must keep trying to get this curriculum approved by the majority of the state!

Teddy Blaylock, Omaha

Hairstyles, fairness

Years ago I worked for a large corporation. They had very strict standards on appearance. I don’t know why they hired me. I am white, and many of our family members have thick, wavy or curly hair. Mine has always been unmanageable! I also still am not an expert on makeup, although I love shopping for all the choices.

Our company had a person in charge of grooming. Anything she advised us to buy and use was paid for. My hair “don’t” was a huge issue. We had to commit to doing everything she told us to do, even down to our self-chosen dress code. So, you see, hair discrimination has been around a while. I was so hurt, and I hurt for Black people who are discriminated against for their hairstyles. Hopefully the attention will end the discrimination.

Ronda Hamilton, Omaha

Elections, corruption

I found Preston Love Jr.’s April 7 column informative, but there are a couple of thoughts I have regarding voter suppression. I am not convinced, based on the articles I have read, that there is evidence of an intent of voter suppression.

One story that comes to my mind is the 1960 presidential race, in which the Daley machine was very active in Chicago. I had dinner several years ago with an acquaintance whose father was an alderman when Daley was in power. He said his father collected the ballots, then waited for the call. Did they want the ballots, or should he throw them in the river? He was absolutely certain the Chicago Democratic Party ran by Daley controlled who won in Chicago including the presidential elections in the 1960s.

I think the leaders of the Democratic Party want to control the votes going forward, and they do have a past history of playing politics for party gain. The president, by his comments, is part of the plan, and he needs to remember he represents all Americans, not just Democrats!

If he believes there is a problem, then he should ask both parties and independents to get involved and review voting laws and make sure we have laws that are fair and consistent. Please also keep in mind we do have courts that can review and make sure all laws are fairly enforced to the benefit of all voters!

I plan to boycott Major League Baseball this year and will absolutely not watch the All-Star Game in Denver. Interesting comment I picked up on: Denver has a very low minority population, whereas Atlanta is over 50% minority? So who is MLB punishing?

Randy Lenhoff, Omaha

Taking a stand

I love the Masters golf tournament. I won’t watch it this year as a protest against Georgia’s undemocratic voting laws. If our American soldiers can die for our right to vote, the least I can do is stand up in whatever way I can to stop this injustice.

Jim Krueger, Omaha

China’s abuses

I for one, plan to boycott the 2022 Olympics if they’re held in China. There’s no reason any country on this planet should participate as long as the human atrocity is being waged against the Uyghur people.

Barbara Borgeson, Omaha

Bonus really helped

Last year, Congress passed a $600 weekly unemployment insurance bonus. That bonus expired in July 2020. Since then, the UI bonus has fallen to $300 per week, which has now been extended to September. To go to the point, the $600 bonus was a great policy and, despite claims to the contrary, worked.

Research has found that the $600 bonus was highly effective at keeping folks out of poverty when the pandemic hit. And, contrary to false predictions from conservatives, it didn’t result in economic collapse. Indeed, as many studies have shown, the $600 bonus did not harm the economic recovery.

Republicans made all sorts of false predictions with the $600 bonus. Thank goodness they didn’t get their way. Otherwise, many more people would have suffered in poverty.

Matt Fowler, Omaha

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