Do you think sex education should come from the parents, the school, or a mix of both? Whoa! Talk about controversial. I think this has too many layers: relationships between parents, relationships with parents, with teachers, with schoolmates, attitudes, maturity, so on and so forth. Ideally? Kids should be comfortable enough with the parents they can talk about sex. They're certainly inundated with it from a very young age. Just walking around the mall is like navigating a minefield- young adults and teens who are way too sexualized for their own good, ads, billboards, posters, store mannequins. And all you were trying to do was grab a pretzel. Regardless of how sex is addressed, it does need to be addressed, if only to answer questions from a reputable source. If asking parents aren't an option, the next best thing might be to go to a teacher. I actually can't talk with any confidence about this because my school changed every four years. I didn't grow up with the same classmates or teachers, I didn't see them socially and I rarely made close relationships with them- so this whole business about trusting an adult that's not your parent is a LITTLE foreign to me. But from what I gather, teachers have the potential (and often times fill in) as parent-stand ins. So for a child to be taught about the ins and outs (haha- wrong crowd?) of sex by an adult they know and trust, this isn't such a big jump.
Personally? Sex education in school was awful. I wanted to know, but I was TERRIBLY shy. The students around me not only seemed to know more than I did but had no qualms about making jokes and using euphemisms I couldn't understand. This made it all way more mystifying and thus embarrassing for me to talk about. Children are notorious for exclusive behaviors and for such an intimate discussion, sex and sexuality is fiercely noticed, remarked on and ridiculed.
When I have kids I want them to know they can talk to me about it. If not me, hopefully they can go to any of their supportive family members (some of whom have been, in fact, health professionals). Ultimately I don't think that you can shelter your children from such stark conversations with their peers or the public. I would rather they experience these situations, but come away from them secure in their knowledge that any remaining concerns or feelings can always be brought home. Here's to living in a perfect world. And closing my eyes against the thought of my future children trying to wrestle bananas and condoms before they skip to the cafeteria to enjoy chicken nuggets and chocolate milk.