I realize that for most rational minded people this will come as no surprise, but if we, as a nation, really want to reduce the number of teen pregnancies and STDs, the research overwhelmingly shows us that we must prepare our youth with fact based sex education. And yet, for some inexplicable reason, there are still many places in this country where effective high school sex ed has been purposefully removed from the curriculum. One of those places is in the state of Texas.
In Texas, individual school districts can decide for themselves whether or not they offer sex education in their schools. But even if the district decides that they DO want to educate students about sex, state law dictates that the instruction must be focused on abstinence-only. Which means that the students are either being taught nothing at all about sex, safe or otherwise, or they are quite literally only being taught that if they really want to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, then they must abstain from sex until marriage.
Now I can only assume that places like Texas must have some kind of misguided ignorant belief that this approach will somehow protect kids from unwanted teen pregnancies and STDs. But as I’m sure you’ve already imagined, those beliefs have absolutely no connection to reality. And so, coming as a total shock to precisely NO ONE, a small school district in Texas is now experiencing a wide-spread STD problem.
The Texas independent school district of Crane, along with the state health department, have now confirmed that Crane High School is currently dealing with an outbreak of Chlamydia. And according to this year’s 2014-2015 Student Handbook, the district “does not offer a curriculum in human sexuality.”
And so yet again, we find ourselves left to clean up a disastrous mess created by Conservatives who either by design or by inept asininity are determined to allow their own extreme beliefs to take precedence over fact-based education. And this time it is the kids who are paying the price.