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Sex-Ed-itorial

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Picture a cafeteria full of seventh graders, mortified as they are shown photographs of STD ridden wombs, as they watch a speaker liken a girl’s virginity to a present for men, as they are made to sign a waver promising to abstain from sex until marriage. This is the form of sex education that Rockwall students receive (if it is even received at all), and it has to be replaced.

Since the state dropped the requirement for a health credit in order to graduate high school, many school districts (including Rockwall) stopped offering Sex Education. Instead, a guest speaker appears for one day at the middle schools, so if you missed that, you missed everything. At ages thirteen and fourteen, the students are far too immature to understand the gravity to what they’re hearing, or take it seriously at all. In fact,  how can you actually expect a thirteen year old boy to hear the word “sex” and not erupt in a fit of giggles? Not to underestimate the lovely middle schoolers that will one day walk these hallowed halls, but we’ve all been that age.

To understand the need for better sex education, one must first look into the sex education offered in our state. Schools choose whether to promote Abstinence Only, a program that teaches nothing about sex, but rather how to keep from having sex, or Abstience Plus, a program that teaches about sex, but still promotes abstaining. The amount of schools that teach a non-abstinence based sex ed is so nominal that it is not mentioned in graphics or statistics regarding our state.

An alarming 58.6% of sex education courses in Texas are abstinence only while the other 16.6% of schools that actually offer sex education are abstinence plus. A big improvement from the 94% of abstinence only in Texas vs the 3.6% of abstinence plus during the 2007-2008 school year. Still, Texas is one of the highest ranked states when it comes to teen pregnancy and teen births. And while most school districts have noticed this, a shocking 1 in 4 schools still do not offer any program at all.

According to the American Life League, sex education leads to the “deformation of a child’s conscience.” Institutions like ALL believe that informing students about sex, sexuality, and human anatomy “belittles” the intimate and monogamous nature of sex. However, this belief does nothing more than paint middle and high schoolers as sex fiends, and has no truth. Informing about the precautions that must be taken during sex is exactly what teenagers need to stay safe and informed while being sexual. State legislators should not kid themselves and believe that teaching all high schoolers that they must abstain from sex until marriage is the correct way to go about the situation, because statistics show that 70% of people have had sex by the age of 19.

Rockwall High School needs sex education. With a growing number of student pregnancies, a shocking lack of basic anatomical knowledge, and a saddening ignorance about sexually transmitted diseases, it’s time for our school district to stop keeping students in the dark. Common sense cannot be taught on Urban Dictionary, and not every student wants to go to Web MD for ways to stay safe. Keep the students’ best interests in mind, not your politicians’.

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