Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sex Education

In my March of Dimes capacity, I have the opportunity to work with the health department, hospital, social services, and local school system on the local FIMR board. We meet every month and review statistics, cases and deaths of infants and children in the county witht he primary goal of prevention. Unfortunately in this county, homelessness, lack of prenatal care, premature birth, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction and teen pregnancies is a growing problem affecting a healthy birth outcome. If all parents were responsible, diligent and had an open line of communication with their children where they could teach their children about sex, then their wouldn't be a need for it to be taught in the schools. Unfortunately, we do not live in that perfect world. We have students in our high schools that don't know how to tie their shoes or brush their teeth properly much less about hormones, sex, pregnancy, and STD's. We have girls starting their menses without a clue as to what is going on. With all that being said, the school system currently uses an opt-out method for sex education. Opt-out means the students will be in the class, which you might or might not get notice about, unless a parent sends a note saying they do not want them in the class. I support, would like to change, and tried to implement an Opt-In method. Opt-In means the students are not allowed in the class unless parents sign the permission slip. This keeps all parents fully informed, allows them to review the curriculum and those parents who have already discussed the issues with their children can make the decision for them to refrain from the class. When I brought this up I did not get a majority vote from my fellow members and the idea wasn't well received amongst staff. Let me know what you think.

9 comments:

Seemon Sim said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm worried that going to an "opt-in" method would leave already neglected children out of the loop.

If their parents aren't paying enough attention to teach them sex ed, they sure aren't going to take time to fill out opt-in forms.

I think it would damage the kids who most need the extra help of the school system.

Parents who are very...um...Victorian about sex will already be uptight about it and be sure to sign the opt-out forms.

You'd really have to convince me more on this one.

Heather Bartlett

doodydom said...

It is a real shame that children in our schools are not allowed to use the word masturbation, and that the schools no longer provide the definition. Censorship is a bad thing. We are raising children based on the opinion a few people who think their own morals are better, or more wholesome, than others. WHO ARE YOU TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS?

Jennifer Abell said...

Doodydom,
Once again you are misinformed. The Board doesn't write the curriculum, the school system does. We have never discussed the use of the word masturbation and have NOT censored it. I suggest you contact Ms. Darlene Kahl, Ms. Judy Estep, or Mr. Ron Cunnigham with complaints regarding the sex education curriculum. If what you state is true, I can bring up the matter at the next Board meeting, however I highly doubt it to be true. As for your other statement, "Who are you to make those decisions?" Quite plainly stated I am a Board Member and that's what gives me the right. My votes or not just based on my opinions but on the public's. I listen to parents, students, teachers and everyone else in the community. I am definitely not a person that believes my opinions or as you state it, my morals, are better than anyone else. You obviously don't know me!

doodydom said...

What is your opinion about allowing Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual and Transgender students to form after school clubs?

Jennifer Abell said...

Doodydom,
Once again, you are way off and obviously do not know me. Are you sitting down? If not, please do. My biological father was a homosexual. I say was, because I lost him this past June due to complications from AIDS and an accident he head involving head trauma about six years ago. As to answering your question...I believe they should be allowed to form clubs after school just like any other group;. Next question?

Anonymous said...

It's a disgrace that Doodydom thinks using the word masturbation in school is "constructive". That tells us a bit about Doodydum's character. Children have little or no reason to use that type of vocabulary in or out of school. Censorship is not always a bad thing...and because people like you think it is, that explains our world today!Stand firm on your beliefs Mrs. Abell! You can count on our votes...

Heather said...

That question that Doody asked - as you know Jennifer - is a question I sent out in one of my emails before primaries. A few of the candidates didn't know what the Gay-Straight Alliance was, but tried to supply me with an answer as to their leanings.

Now that I read that question from Doody, I am more curious about who Doody is and if we know Doody.

What made you ask that particular question?

Are you for or against the meeting of lifestyles type groups after school?

Anonymous said...

Doody sounds like a pervert fixated on his or her sexual orientation rather than anyone that gives a rat's behind for the best of our children.