Dear President, October 28, 2016
Throughout my middle and high school experience, We’ve had to take a health class and part of the health class is sex education. In middle school we dreaded going to the class because it’s a weird class and you’re not even sure how it all works at the time and it’s not a topic that is talked about. It’s the same way in high school just more dreadful. In middle school girls and boys are separated for the yearly sex education class that’s only one or two days, the only thing that we learn in these classes is use protection and practice abstinence. In high school the boys and girls aren’t separated and we’re taught to use protection and practice abstinence. Enough of my rambling, my point in writing this letter is to bring attention to our sex education classes in our schools.
We’ve all started middle school like everyone else does, we get all dressed up for the first day, it’s so exciting we meet new people and see some of our elementary school friends that have grown since the last day of fifth grade. Towards the middle of my sixth grade year I started hearing the gossip of the school which was who was pregnant and who’s the dad. All I can think is “she’s only in middle school, how is she having kids at this age.” When I got to high school it was the same gossip but in high school there are more pregnancies. In high school there is more experimenting. You would think once you get into high school the sex education curriculum would change, but it didn’t the only thing that changed is we don’t separate the boys and girls.
Therefore, I’ve set out to show why we need to change the curriculum of sex education classes and we need to do a little more than telling the middle and high school kids to use protection and practice abstinence. According to TeenHelp.com in “Teen Pregnancy Statistics,” nearly 1,700 teens aged 15-17 give birth every week. This age range is around middle and high school. Some of these pregnancies could have been prevented if during sex education classes our schools handed out condoms. Most teens think they won’t get pregnant, they think condoms are too expensive, or they don’t want to ask for condoms. “In “STD statistics,” nearly half of 20 million Americans that get a new STD infection each year are teenagers and young adults aged 15 to 24.” Most teens get an STD from having unprotected sex.
We need to change our sex education classes, hand out condoms and teach the boys how to use them, show pictures of what happens when you get an STD, and teach the girls about birth control and other methods. I know I’m probably preaching to the choir, because our sex education curriculum “works so well” that we don’t have to change it. Teaching us to practice abstinence and to use protection. I get the practicing abstinence but that doesn’t stop teens at all. What I don’t get is you tell us to use protection but you don’t teach the boys how to use a condom or where to get condoms. For teens, many have unprotected sex for several reasons, They don’t know where to get condoms, or think they’re too expensive. You want us to use protection but we only know what’s implied some boys have never even seen a condom and you expect them to know how to use one.
Most teens cannot afford to take care of a baby on their own. Some have parents that will help and some have jobs that help them. The teens that can’t afford a baby have to go get help from the government. They’ll get WIC, food stamps, medicaid, and clothing vouchers. This assistance comes from taxes, $9.4 billion tax dollars were spent on teen pregnancy and childbirth in 2010. that’s only in 2010 we’ve had more childbirth in the last 6 years from this 2010 study. Most teen mothers can’t afford to pay all the expenses that come with a baby, according to Teenhelp.com, in Costs of Teen Pregnancy, 50% of teen mother’s go on welfare within the first year. Teenhelp.com has statistics about pregnancy, unprotected sex, STD’s, and expenses for teen pregnancies. If the government were to change the curriculum for sex education we could’ve prevented these numbers by just changing the curriculum.
According to teenhelp.com, in “Costs of Teen Pregnancy,” The daughters of teen mothers are 22 percent more likely than their peers to become teen mothers and Sons of teenage mothers have a 13 percent greater chance of ending up in prison as compared to their peers. These statistics are crazy but they’re real. Usually poverty plays a role in a kids behavior, I showed you statistics on the costs of teen pregnancy and it says that most teen mothers are on welfare by the first year, I know I keep repeating myself but we need to do something about teen pregnancy. If our schools would hand out condoms and tell boys where to get condoms and how to use a condom we would have a drop in teen pregnancy.
We also have an education problem with girls that are pregnant and the kids that get STDs miss school to go to the doctor. The schools are graded by student attendance, with the girls and boys missing school for doctor appointments, because they’re pregnant or they have an STD. To prevent the kids from missing because they have an STD or they’re pregnant we should teach kids what needs to be taught and stop letting parents control what the students learn, by doing this we would have a better sex education class which would help lower the rates of teen pregnancy and kids getting STD’s. My personal experience connects to the issue on a national level in the following manner, In my school we have a sex education class just for our ninth grade year and that’s it. They teach us a little on sexually transmitted diseases, but not much. According to NPR in an interview with, a sex education teacher, “She remembers her own elementary school education as less than stellar. ‘We had mostly the gym teachers teaching us sex ed," she smiles. "I definitely had spelling tests as a big part of my sex ed when I was in middle school: 'Spell gonorrhea. Spell gonococcus. Now you pass or don't pass health.' Literally, that was what was prioritized.’” I’m in the eleventh grade now and I can hardly tell you the difference between all of the different hepatitis’ or what AID’s does exactly to your body all I know is you can die from it. They teach us abstinence but they don’t teach us about condoms or birthcontrol. We’re on our own to figure the rest out.
The following things can be done in response to this issue, hand out condoms, change the sex education curriculum, teach about the consequences of having unprotected sex, show what happens when a kid is inside of you, and show them the expenses of having a kid. They should show kids what happens when you get a Sexually transmitted disease, what it can do to you, and show them actual people that have had the diseases or parents that have lost a child in a video from this year instead of one that was made in the 90s. Showing kids a video from the 90s makes us fall asleep and we make fun of the way they explain things. I know that sex education needs to be serious but we’re in the ninth grade you’ve got to make it more interesting so we listen but at the same time be serious and give us facts.
I take an agriculture class at my school and we learn more about animals reproductive organs and what the organs do, birth stages, STD’s an animal can get, and other processes like how to inseminate another cow and everything we learn all of this about an animal, but in a sex education class we learn a little about our reproductive organs and what they do, we don’t learn about birth stages, we learn little to nothing on STD’s, and we only learn to use protection and practice abstinence. It’s sad we can learn more about an animal’s body than we can our own. We don’t learn anything in a sex education classes because we let parents Censor our sex education classes, because they don’t want their kids to learn how to prevent teen pregnancy and to stay safe from an STD, but that doesn’t matter so we can’t learn anything in our sex education classes, because it’s all Censored.
In my letter I’ve tried to convince you to look at this topic more closely and do something to change our teen pregnancy rates and our STD rates. These topics are big in the drama pool in high schools. Let me leave you with one last thought. You as a president probably have a son or daughter that is, will, or has been in high school. Would you want your son or daughter to come home one day and say “Mom? Dad? I got a girl pregnant.” or “Mom? Dad? I’m pregnant.” “Mom? Dad? I have an STD.” You don’t want them coming home saying that would you? You as a president have a reputation to uphold and your son our daughter being pregnant or getting a girl pregnant or having an STD will not help you at all. I ask you this why is it you’ll do something when it’s your son our daughter but you don’t care about other people’s children having the same problem. You as a president promised to help us and take care of us as a nation. Yes this topic is out there but it’s still a problem we need to fix.
Felicia L. Works Cited
"Beyond The Birds And The Bees: Surviving Sex Ed Today." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
@TeenHelpcom. "STD Statistics - Teen Help." Teen Help. N.p., 01 Mar. 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
@TeenHelpcom. "Teen Pregnancy Statistics - Teen Help." Teen Help. N.p., 05 Feb. 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.