the miscellany chronicle

bit of this, bit of that


too bad they didn't make self-esteem mandatory.

Well, what a surprise.

The Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday repealed sex education policies enacted last year, the latest move by the moderate majority to undo efforts by conservatives when they dominated the board.

One rescinded policy recommended that schools stress abstinence until marriage, while the other urged school districts to get parental permission before students could attend human sexuality classes.

On a 6-3 vote, the board replaced the policies with one that recommends "abstinence plus" sex education programs and leaves it up to the state's 296 school districts to decide whether to get parental permission.

The "abstinence plus" program stresses abstinence before marriage, while also urging schools to give students information about birth control and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

On the one hand, good that they finally got enough control to undo some of the damage their delusional predecessors had managed to do.

On the other-- how sad is it that "abstinence plus" is a step forward? And in the article, there are people bitching about how "abstinence plus" isn't what parents want. THE KIDS ARE STILL BEING ENCOURAGED TO PRACTICE ABSTINENCE, but people are still unhappy that they are ALSO being informed that sex happens, and that people having it can protect themselves.

I have vague memories of sex ed in elementary and middle school, but the session I remember most clearly happened when I was a junior in high school. My biology teacher had an array of prophylactics, and she looked each boy in the class in the eye one by one. "I am doing this because I do NOT want you getting girls pregnant," she said firmly.

In retrospect, I like the fact that she very clearly placed responsibility for contraception with the boys in that classroom, since that lot so overwhelmingly falls to women.

What really strikes me as important, however, was her borderline explicit message: teenagers (especially boys) are taught by our culture to be stupid about sex, and if calling them stupid and teaching them about condoms was the only way she could influence their choices, then that was what she was going to do. The idea that people in Kansas think their children are smart enough to make good decisions about sex BAFFLES me. Teenagers are not smart about ANYTHING, and if Kansas youth pastors can't persuade their young flocks to keep their legs crossed, then the schools certainly aren't going to either.


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