Undoubtedly, every parent wants their child to grow up to be a well-rounded adult. Yet, it seems, less and less of them are willing to put the effort in. Parents are as responsible for ensuring their children have a foundation in sexual education as they are for making sure their children have manners and know how to properly act in society. The problem is, however, that parents just aren't doing that.
The education system has taken over many facets of child-rearing. Teachers used to be responsible for only the three R's: reading, "'riting", and "'rithmatic." They didn't have to single-handedly worry about whether children understood the importance of hygiene or if they knew they shouldn't hit others, because school was intended to supplement and further the learning they got at home. Teachers and parents worked together on issues, and parents took a fundamental role in the home that helped their children understand important facts outside of it.
Of course, some parents still take a primary role in their children's education, both socially and academically. Many however, do not, or do less than they should. The education system has had to pick up the slack. While parents should still be responsible for providing their children with sex education, schools unfortunately need to assume the responsibility because many of those parents won't.
Parents sometimes raise a stink about sex education in schools, but let's face it: if they're not going to do it, they should at least let someone else give the children the education they need. Parents who are smart will make sure they talk about sex with their children before someone else does - or before children go looking for information on their own. Having an opt-out option for parents who'd rather speak with their children in a family or religious context would be fine, but in the end, the school should, in some way, ensure that the children receive the knowledge they need to make smart, healthy decisions.
Parents should be responsible for making sure their children receive sex education. It is their responsibility to prepare their children for all aspects of life, even the ones that may require some awkward conversations. Sadly, too many parents are ignoring their responsibility. Sex education still needs to happen, even if the parents aren't willing to give it, which means schools need to fill in the gaps. More importantly, however, there should be a resurgence to connect parents and schools so that the work falls between them. Communication about what children should learn at home and what they should learn at school is vital for the education system to work. More interaction between parents and teachers would result in a richer experience for the students, in all areas, not just sex education. Few children are going to know how to find the information they want if they haven't had someone to talk to, and the only way to fix this is to open the channels of communication. Luckily, I've always been resourceful, and resources are becoming more plentiful with the internet, but that's still no substitute for face to face communication.