Ohio schools need health education

Teaching our children how to enjoy healthy lifestyles, both in the positive sense of doing things like eating right and in the negative of avoiding hazards such as tobacco and illicit drugs, ought to be a priority in public schools.

But in Ohio, a peculiar approach — if it can be called that — to the task has been pointed out. Ohio is the only state that has no health education content standards for use by public schools, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Local control over schools is one thing, but leaving hundreds of districts on their own in teaching health classes is another. It makes no sense.

A legislator, state Rep. Beth Liston, D-Dublin, is sponsoring a bill (HB 165) that would require the Ohio Board of Education to develop health education content standards for schools throughout the state.

“We face so many challenges,” Liston told The Dispatch. “Some schools are doing an amazing job; others could use help.”

One objection some may have to that is education dealing with sex. Many Ohioans don’t like the idea of schools dealing with that very private matter. But surely some compromises and/or safeguards on local control can be built into the proposed standards. It also makes no sense to avoid teaching kids how to make healthy decisions because of skittishness on one topic.