Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

There’s a summer camp in Eastern Kentucky that’s getting the nation’s attention. Usually, summer camps feature swimming, hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor activities for kids. But this one is making waves because the theme is sex education. It’s called Sexy Summer Camp, and it is open to all ages, according to Sexy Sex-Ed’s website.

The camp is receiving national attention because of controversial lessons it held last year on “gender exploration,” “being a sex worker,” “BDSM,” “self-managed abortions,” and “sexual activity while using licit and illicit drugs.” The camp is based out of Hazard and is for children in Kentucky’s rural mountains. The pretense is that kids need to understand their sexuality, but do minor children really need summer camp lessons that transgress public decency and break down moral barriers?

Tanya Turner, the leader of the camp, makes it more edgy and uncomfortable when she says in a Youtube promo video that “masturbation is really healthy and I recommend it to people of all ages. All ages. As soon as my nephews could talk, they were doing that.” Turner identifies as a “magical pleasure worker” and was raised by witches in a “coven-like mountain matriarchy”-not exactly the role model most parents would entrust their kids to.

Eastern Kentucky has seen its share of evil but the mainstreaming sexualization of children in a summer camp setting gives us a front-row seat to hell. So when has it been normal and healthy for child development to encourage toddlers, who might not even be potty trained, to pleasure themselves sexually? How is teaching bondage, sadomasochism, and being a sex worker good for healthy child development?

Eastern Kentucky isn’t the only place such summer camps are being held. LGBTQ activists in Indianapolis are hosting a “gender-inclusive sex-ed summer camp” for elementary school kids in 3rd-5th grade. Sexualizing young children has been pushed by influential groups like GLSEN (Gay Lesbian and Straight Educators Network) and Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). Their website moniker says: “SIECUS: Sex Ed For Social Change.” Is anyone asking whether this is the kind of social change that makes for healthier people and a better society?

LGBT activists have pushed the boundaries of healthy human sexuality to the degree that they will misrepresent and condemn those who stand for any moral boundaries. The most recent example comes from Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis just signed a bill into law that protects public school children from being instructed in gender ideology. The mainstream press has misrepresented and dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” because it is anti-LGBT youth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The bill is actually called the Parental Rights in Education Act and only addresses Kindergarten through 3rd grade. These are 5-9 year olds. Specifically, it forbids sexual orientation and gender identity indoctrination, which some school districts across the nation have pushed.

There are many dangers with controversial sex-ed summer camps that indoctrinate young grade-schoolers with free sex and gender ideology. It breaks down modesty barriers and makes kids vulnerable to predatory groomers. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has an office focused on sex trafficking right here in Kentucky. Just a few months ago, Hazard High School held an assembly in the school gym where several boys dressed in drag. One was caught on video simulating a lap dance with the principal. This kind of behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Neither does child trafficking.

When the most intimate and private aspect of one’s personhood becomes fodder for public musings in group settings, it breaks down healthy boundaries and makes children more vulnerable to sexual predators. A pillar of civilization is that sex is reserved for a man and woman within marriage. When husbands are monogamous and faithful to their wives, and when fathers devote their time and energy to raising their children, society does well. We are losing this foundational belief. If we wish to protect our children, and our overall well-being, adults need to draw the line and intercede. And it begins with the kind of things children are exposed to, including sex-ed summer camps.