What Kind of Sex Education Works??
By Gold Lantern
This is a rewrite of a previous article because the writer made some assumptions that readers would agree with the point, but discovered that is not always the case. It is this writer’s opinion that graphic descriptions and illustrations used in today’s health classes to deter students from being sexually active and to scare them about STDs have not been effective. Rochester continues to have one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs in the state.
So parents, please consider the following:
Often a letter is sent home for you to give your permission for various lessons/activities, but it is usually very general.
As a non-health teacher who has become aware of much of what happens in the sex-ed portion of health, I would cringe to have my child in there.
To be fair to the teachers, they didn’t write the curriculum. It comes from the district and New York State guidelines. Also, they truly believe that by discussing EVERYTHING, they are moving a child towards abstinence. Statistics for the City School District show no improvement in students choosing abstinence, however.
Parents, I urge you to go to your child’s open house or make an appointment to visit a health teacher.
Ask to see the handouts students will receive, but also ask to see the teacher’s manual. Ask what movies or power points will be shown. Really look at these as they tend to be very explicit and could be controversial (example: masturbation).
Ask if there will be any guest speakers. Find out if they are from Planned Parenthood or from a group like GLSEN (gay, lesbian, straight education network). If so, ask where the abstinence speaker is. Ask what props will be used. This could be all forms of birth control which might be explained in great detail, complete with demonstrations on models of private parts or detailed pictures. (I am aware of a situation where an immature 9th grade girl grabbed the plastic penis and started going around poking her classmates. She was made to stop, but you can see what could happen.)
And please know that males and females of various stages of maturity are receiving these lessons together!
Here is an example of a solution. This is excerpted from one of the presentations before the school board back in January, on the issue of condom distribution in the schools:
“For three years (in the mid 1990′s) Michael Peace and James Heath went to what was then Frederick Douglass Middle School to present a character0based, youth user-friendly program called the Facts project. This was federally funded at first and then picked up by the state.
They worked in what was called the Red House, which had mostly at-risk students. They were given 31 of the most-at-risk of those students to meet for 1 hour and 15 minutes each week for 14 weeks. FACTS stands for Family, Accountability, Communication, and Sexuality. It was much more than a “Just-say-no” program. Students learned to respect themselves and others. Abstinence-only was included as part of their character development.
The success of the program was astounding. At the end of the first year and in subsequent years, the Red house was the only house in the school which had no reported STDs or pregnancies.
In addition to this, the single class that was in the program taught the other students in the Red House. The boys began treating the girls more respectfully and politely. A teacher noticed that their grades went up as well.
The success of the program was noted and documented by a local nurse practitioner and phd., Dr. Linda Carter-Jessup. She had Michael and James speak about it at the International Medical Conference in Jamaica. They were the only non- medical people there.
Yet, while the program was supposed to last five years, the state funding was pulled, and the district decided not to have it continue- even after a local church was willing to provide funding. Just think how many more students would have been helped if it had continued.”
The FACTS-project curriculum is still available, but the Planned Parenthood people in charge of the sex-ed program don’t want competition. Successful sex-ed programs that work to keep children abstinent mean less money for Planned Parenthood. And since Planned Parenthood makes money off of treating STDs and getting rid of unwanted unborn babies, if kids aren’t spreading STDs and occasionally getting pregnant, Planned Parenthood might have to find another way to make money. They might even have to throw a bake sale, but who wants to eat the cookies baked at an abortion mill? If only……
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