School districts across Texas are introducing a whole new sex ed. curriculum this school year, and guess what’s not on it? Abstinence only.
Turns out the state with one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the entire country has finally figured it out – their kids aren’t actually abstinent!
Shifted to the number two spot for the dubious honor of most pregnant teens this year (Mississippi moved into number one this year), Texas has traditionally been either number one or close to it for quite some time, even as the national rate has slowed.
Along with it is a policy at the majority of Texan schools to provide an abstinence-only education curriculum and keep birth control out of the districts. Backing it is a law signed by former governor (and former president) George W. Bush paving the way for parents to take kids out of sex education classes in the schools and requiring schools teach abstinence as the “preferred choice.”
So what happened?
School officials told the Austin-American Statesman the pregnancies happened, and along with them the sexually transmitted disease rates in Texas teens.
The exact words from Roy Knight, Lufkin Independent School District superintendent? “Our data says that what we’re doing isn’t working.”
Well knock us over with a feather. Texas is finally tuning in to what countless studies have told us: abstinence only education doesn’t keep kids from having sex. It makes them parents.
Austin is admittedly a more liberal part of the state, but the curriculum laid out there provides a look at what the rest of the state might benefit from – STD information, details on IUDs, condoms and more. With federal funding for abstinence-only education classes being slashed, it’s up to Texas school districts to decide: do they finally start educating kids or just keep on pretending?
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