If you're counting on high school health class to teach your kids about the birds and the bees, you'd better think twice.
A report released by the watchgroup group Texas Freedom Network highlights some disturbing finds about Texas sex education classes.
- 41% of the materials reviewed contained factual errors (most involved condoms and STDS).
- 81% of districts received no formal recommendations on sex ed from state-mandated local advisory councils.
- 94% of public schools use abstinence-only programs that pass moral judgments and downplay contraception and health screenings. Some classes weave in Biblical themes and verses.
And it gets even worse. One abstinence-only program used in 53 school districts states that women need "financial support," while men need "domestic support."
Excuse me? My taxpayer dollars are being spent to reinforce stereotypes that we've spent years trying to eradicate?
Using fear-mongering tactics to shame our kids is downright shameful. And it's not working. While Texas receives more federal dollars than any other state to fund abstinence-only programs, we have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation.
So what can we do?
- First of all, take responsibility for educating our kids. It's our job as parents to teach them the facts about sex. No, it's not easy. It's awkward and downright embarrassing. But isn't it better to hear the straight truth from us, who have a vested interest in their well-being? If you want to promote abstinence, fine. Frankly, I don't know any parents who WANT their teenagers to have sex. But you've got to arm your offspring with all the facts - not fiction.
- Secondly, contact your school district. Find out what your kids are being taught. If you have issues with it, speak up. Get other parents involved. (It should be noted that the Fort Worth school district was singled out in the report as one of the few schools doing a good job at sex ed.)
Come on, Texas. We owe it to our kids to do better.