Before you put this letter down just know these two things
- I am a product of Public School’s Human Growth and Development program
- I follow the practice of abstinence
By teaching sex education in the format of Abstinence Based Education is neglecting the majority of the students in our district. By teaching Comprehensive Sex Education over Abstinence-Based Education we would be able to address sexual health for all genders and sexuality, raise the number of students using protection effectively, and lower the numbers of abusive relationships in the America.
in 2010 President Obama ends abstinence only policy, stating that comprehensive sex education would to be taught in public schools but it is not being enforced.
“Comprehensive sex education includes age-appropriate, medically accurate information on a broad set of topics related to sexuality including human development, relationships, decision making, abstinence, contraception, and disease prevention. They provide students with opportunities for developing skills as well as learning” (Sexual Information and Education Council of the United States). This model allows students to apply their feelings in a supported environment of their peers that is not judgmental or limited. It also makes it so students feel in control of their learning and apply it to their lives.
The guidelines for Sexual Health Information and Disease Prevention for Washington State include these goals:
- A plan for effective reproductive health and disease prevention regardless of gender.
- Encourage students to talk to an adult about sexual activities before they occur, including knowing their sexual limits, contraceptive use, and meaning in the relationship.
- The issue is that these are the goals used in your curriculum guide that you use to teach our children and yet they are still not being met. These are outdated guidelines from 2005 that are still not being addressed.
We still have no information about identifying sexuality and gender so that students who are questioning or identify as and outlying gender are able to know how to have a healthy relationship with a partner. Our School District has a very large population of students who identify by another gender that they were not born with. Coming out as your true gender is hard enough, and putting them into a class where you are actually telling them they do not fit can be some kids tipping points. By not letting them have this education you are also setting them up for unhealthy relationships with unprotected sex. Most people of these genders don’t partake in genital to genital sex, in their communities more oral and anal sex is taking place so when our schools don’t talk to them about how to protect themselves from STD's while partaking in these acts you are preparing them for unhealthy encounters.
Abstinence-Based Education has been the method how we teach sex education since 2005. In 2005, America was going through a teen pregnancy crisis. “The general fertility rate increased by 3 percent between 2005 and 2006, to 68.5 births per 1,000 women age 15–44 years of age, the highest level since 1991” (NVSS). At this time many kids were getting pregnant and getting STD's, so by encouraging abstinence it was easier to handle teen pregnancy instead of educating on safe sex. In 2010 “a big change from the Bush administration's Abstinence-Only Sex Education policy, the Obama administration has announced funding for comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention programs that focus on boosting academic achievement, extracurricular activities and smarter life decisions” (Timetoast.org). This change made it easier for students of all genders and sexuality to be informed on how to have safe protected sex and removed the shame of being sexually active.
This is all happening around us and yet here we sit in 2015 using models enforced 10 years ago that has been proven to be ineffective. So why are we continuing this? Is it because you are afraid of losing your wholesome values and the innocents of your students? Well answer this question for me. If they’re not talking to you about these questions, then where are they getting their answers? Second-hand information from friends, unrealistic relationships in pornography, or even just experimenting themselves. So do you want your students left questioning or do you want them to have the answers?
If you would like any of the resources used in this letter there is sources listed below and you would like to view what a Comprehensive Sex Education Course can talk to your local Planned Parenthood-funded Teen Council.