School Boards, These Days. . .

After realizing that 13 percent of its female students were pregnant last year, an Ohio school board decides to reconsider using their out-dated (developed circa 1987!), abstinence-only sex “education” program. Apparently, the school was not fulfilling their duty by teaching that “bearing children out-of-wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child’s parents, and society” or emphasizing the “importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity” (points #6 and 8, respectively, out of the 8-Point Definition of Abstinence-Only Education defined by the federal government). From the local NBC affiliate:

An Ohio school board is expanding sex education following the revelation that 13 percent of one high school’s female students were pregnant last year.

There were 490 female students at Timken High School in 2005, and 65 were pregnant, WEWS-TV in Cleveland reported.

The new Canton school board program promotes abstinence but also will teach students who decide to have sex how to do so responsibly, bringing the city school district’s health curriculum in line with national standards.

According to the Canton Health Department, statistics through July 2005 showed that 104 of the 586 babies born to Canton residents in Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center had mothers between the ages of 11 and 19.

Thus far, research proving that these programs aren’t effective at preventing unintended teen pregnancy hasn’t been enough for the federal and state governments to stop pouring millions of tax dollars into abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. As the national standard, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have been implemented in schools across the country, the federal government spending over $1 billion to do so since 1996.

Pennsylvania received $6,731,542 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in the fiscal year 2005. I wonder how many pregnant teens we have in our schools???

For more information on this issue, visit Advocates for Youth and the ACLU’s section on abstinence-only programs.

Julie in Philly

8 thoughts on “School Boards, These Days. . .

  1. The kicker, of course, is that most of these youths are probably also part of families who won’t consider abortion.

    So we’ve got more pregnancies because of faulty sex education, and more babies born out of wedlock who will need to end up on the welfare rolls.

  2. And they’re more concerned with the fiction that illegal immigrants are on welfare, than the obvious results of their own abstinance only programs.

    Cheers, Neil.

  3. As stated on the linked page, but not directly in Julie’s post, “The fight against abstinence-only-until-marriage programs combines many issues on which the ACLU has traditionally taken a strong stance, including separation of church and state, LGBT rights, and reproductive freedom.” This is a civil liberties issue, not just one of good social policy or health education philosophy.

  4. I’m a volunteer escort at a Planned Parenthood clinic, so I get to meet lots of patients and, of course, the sidewalk anti-abortion/anti-birth contro/anti-comprehensive sex education protesters. Ironically, a couple of times a year we get a young woman who needs reproductive advice and care. Each arrives early, very early, and doesn’t want to risk being seen by the protesters. Why? Because some of them are related to her or know her. Sad, very sad.

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