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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:24 PM
Original message
Hold on to this one - my daughter came home with a permission slip
today for her to participate in
ABSTINENCE ONLY classes next week.

She's 16. I told her I want to know everything they teach her, and I told her that I expect them to teach her about birth control. (I of course already have). I just thought this was a little more than a * name for a class. And if any of you remember, I posted in August how the couselor for Sophmores had a Jeb2008 sticker posted in his office.
This is a very red part of Phoenix. Hmmmm. I waiting, and ready for this.

Now if she comes home with info on a class called Intellegent Design, I will really loose it.

Have any of you with teenagers come across this yet?
Back in the olden days, when I was I teen, it was called Sex Ed. We started with abstinence, but moved on to birth control, and oh yes, even ended with abortion.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. I remember having an abstinence only class in HS
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 10:56 PM by WildEyedLiberal
We learned about how sex can give you nasty diseases like AIDS and herpes and syphilis, and how even if you have had sex before, you can "recommit" to being a virgin - born-again virgin or some pseudo-religious shit like that. My high school graduating class had like 85 kids, and I knew 6 girls who got pregnant and a few guys who fathered kids. That abstinence education really worked out well :eyes:
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. My two oldest had classes very much like the one you had
One in the public school and one in private school. The one in private school had to carry a "baby" egg (yes, a real uncooked egg) around with her for I think 2 weeks. This was to show them how much responsibility was involved. (I hope my daughter will be a better mom to children she has than to her egg. She forgot and left it in the newspaper office overnight. She retrieved it before anyone noticed it! She used a tiny kid purse as its carrier.)

She actually was concerned that they almost made abortion seem the better option for an unplanned baby because they spent more time on the pain of giving up the baby and the difficulty of raising one. They did emphasize that it was better not to get pregnant and that it was better to wait till you were older and in a committed relationship before having sex.

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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. My two older kids
had to do that in junior high, only with a bag of flour.

Pretty hilarious, actually!

My blue town in my blue state teaches straight-out old fashioned sex ed. In fact, the class was taught by the junior high biology teacher, who was an out lesbian. The kids all loved her.
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Island Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. There is a class in the schools in the county I live in
that uses a real life-like baby doll with a computer embedded in it, and kids (the girls anyway) have to carry it around for several days. The baby cires when left unattended, cries when it needs to eat, etc. When the project is complete, the teacher checks the data to see if the "baby" was neglected or even abused in any way.

I don't know a whole lot about the program other than that because I don't have kids, I just remember my boss's daughter carried the baby around for a period of time when she was in high school a couple of years ago. (I've heard of junior high kids carrying the eggs around too.) I know that the dolls are very expensive, so a lot of school systems wouldn't be able to afford them. Our system only has a couple of them.

I don't think programs like this necessarily discourage kids from having sex though. (I don't think abstinence only programs do either). I'm just glad there are some parents like all of you guys who aren't afraid to talk to their kids!!
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Goldeneye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I had to take care of one of those stupid dolls.
Edited on Thu Oct-20-05 07:45 AM by Goldeneye
Everyone had to take one home for a night, including the boys. It was the stupidest thing ever. The doll didn't do anything at all so eventually I wanted to see if it was working....only thing I could do was pull it's head back, because that is supposed to make them cry. And it did cry. OMG, that thing was awful. At like midnight I had enough and put it in another room and went to bed. I don't know what happened, but the little recorder only recorded that I let it's head fall back. That baby didn't get it's diaper changed once, and the stupid reocorder didn't even report it. Dumbest assignment ever.

edit: Just in case anyone was wondering...no, I don't plan on having any kids. :P
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. Ah, Massachusetts!
My kids had 'health class,' which was teaching a range of health issues included traditional sex ed. Both my kids took this and had frank discussions of condoms, STDs and so forth. Abstinence is also taught, but as a choice in a range of choices. My daughter has her own doc at college and we discussed her payment and medical options for all her health needs, including pregnancy prevention. I didn't quiz her on it, that's her business, but I wanted her to know that she is covered when and if she wants it. It was a fairly easy conversation. I have the same conversation with my son about his options. My nephew recently became a daddy at the tender age of 18, and this was a far better lesson than anything coming from me for my kids. (Sigh! Yup, my Rethug brother's kid.)

MA has a somewhat controversial program that targets GLBT kids who are at-risk of having social problems and self-acceptance problems in High School and tries to intervene. (It's only controversial with our small fundie population.) I think this is also a worthy topic of discussion, but it probably won't travel to other states very well. (Yet.)
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. That makes sense to me, to have a program for GLBT kids.
They need to have a way to learn to accept that it is okay to be themselves, inspite of what society says. If they have a strong self confidence, they can achieve great things in their lives no matter what type of prejudices they have to endure. Can you imagine being gay in Kansas?

About your nephew, I experienced the same thing at work. The cutest little blonde 19 yr old girl, highly religious, suddenly quit work and moved back home with mom and dad. When we had a going away party for her, we noticed a tummy that wasn't there before. Hmmm. Yep, that absitence only education really works.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't teach anything other than
abstinence along with some misinformation on sex related health issues. I read a while back that a lot of these programs contain and promote inaccurate information.
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Firespirit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
5. The subject wasn't really taught at all when I was in high school.
I went through a Health and a Biology class without having much said on sex ed, even in the context of abstinence. The only mention of it that I remember was when the "True Love Waits" group, which I think has some association with the Southern Baptists, came to school and hosted their "promise sessions" or whatever they were. In my biology class we did have an assignment about the types of contraception available, but it was just a matter of finding and listing them. Probably just something to fulfill a state requirement, honestly.

You mentioned Intelligent Design classes. It might surprise you that even when Clinton was still president, the last year I was in high school (spring of 2000), I took an AP Biology class -- one that was supposed to cover the same content as a college-level class -- and at the end-of-year exam, a summary of the first chapter of Genesis would be counted as a correct answer to the question of how life on earth became so diverse, I guess in case it was a sin for a student to write about evolution.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. WTF
Was the Greek creation myth also acceptable? You know, like Gaia and Saturn and Uranus eating all his kids or whatever the fuck? I thought AP tests were nationally standardized.
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Firespirit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. It wasn't the official AP test
It was the end-of-year exam that the teacher wrote, which everyone in the class had to take. (We had a choice about whether we wanted to take the AP test, but everyone chose to take it.)
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
7. Unless it is a class on what we SHOULD be doing in Iraq
I'd be mighty peeved.
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Aimah Donating Member (598 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
8. Abstinence Only Class
We had sex education in health class when I was in Highschool. It was usually mandatory for Freshmen. We learned about all forms of birth control. This was around 1994. I wonder what my school district is teaching now.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 04:23 AM
Response to Original message
10. Just tell her condoms work
I was never more shocked than when my 18 year old son told me that condoms don't work against STD's anyway. That is really the worst things that they teach in these classes, I shudder at the number of kids who are going to turn up with AIDS and infertility diseases because of what they're telling these kids. Of course, with abstinence only, they may not tell her about condoms at all, which might be a good thing. At least you can tell her the truth. I had no idea they were teaching this nonsense in our high school, I live in a moderately liberal area of Oregon for chrissake. That's when I asked about Creationism and he said the teacher just said that she's supposed to tell them that some people believe in Creationism (or ID, don't know which for sure), but that she didn't feel knowledgeable enough on the subject to talk about it. End of discussion, completely. That's one way I guess.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. My kids are still little, but I am already planning to take them
to Planned Parenthood for sex education, as I noticed from one of their pamphlets that they offer this. Considering where I live, I assume it's some Pat Robertson approved curriculum which will be less than useless. Look, I'm all for abstinence, and not just "doing it" with anybody, but kids need to be armed with all the information, and make informed choices. In fact, I think I read that Holland has a very low pregnancy/abortion rate, so maybe we could get their curriculum translated and use that! But considering, I still have one in diapers, maybe by the time they go to school, the country will have shifted Left toward common sense (dare I dream?) . . .
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Planned Parenthood - huh? Great idea.
I will contact them to supplement her sex education that she is obviously not going to get at school. What is hysterical about all this, is this is part of Safety Ed...yes the class that teaches about driving.

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Goldeneye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
14. We talked about Abstinence Only classes
at college dems last week. We thought it would be interesting if all the enlightened people said "No, my kids not participating," and then gave their kids a real sex ed course themselves.



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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
18. LATimes story, kind of relevant
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na...

Sigh! We do have a few, even in the Progressive Capital of the World. (Boy is that ever an over-statement.)
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europegirl4jfk Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
19. Just reading this thread and...
... can I be honest? I don't want to offend anyone here but I'm TOTALLY SHOCKED about that kind of education you and your kids have to endure in American schools! Sexual education is necessary, of course, but the young people should just be made familiar with all the possibilities without any judgment by the teacher. That's my opinion.

I think religion at school in general is a controversial subject. As some of you know we have separation of State and Church here in France and they really mean it. At a public school in France they wouldn't even touch the religious aspects of Christmas with the kids. My daughter went to a Catholic private school for 4 years and they had one hour a week of a kind of religious education, but it was more learning about all the religion that exist in the world than pushing the kids to the Catholic faith. There were Muslims as well, and we for example are Protestants through my German background.

My daughter had a sexual education class in this school when she was 12 but they never mixed this with religion or talked about sexual abstinence as a moral value at all. They just explained all the risks and let the kids make up their own mind.
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kttmmom Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Not in NYC
That doesn't happen in all American schools. My kids go to school in deep blue NYC. My 11 year old had some pretty explicit lessons on reproduction in his public school bio class. My older one goes to Catholic school in NYC and even they don't teach abstinence only.
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europegirl4jfk Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. I'm glad to hear that, kttmmom
It's amazing how big a difference that seems to be depending on where you live in the US. My daughter went to a French-American school in California for one year and the whole experience was totally positive for her. She loved it there so much that I had to drag her home last summer. *g*
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. It really does depend on where you live
When I was a kid (and, as my kids say, dinorsaurs ruled the earth) we just had basic biology and covered sex ed, but in a very basic way. My daughter and son had much more explicit discussions. But we are in Blue MA. Like you both aid, it depends on where you are.
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Firespirit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. It does make a huge difference where you live, I'm sure.
Although it shouldn't -- especially in public schools. Private schools I guess can teach whatever they like, but not schools that are being paid for with Americans' money.

BTW, welcome to DU! :hi:
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
32. Believe it or not, Catholic school...
...was the first place I received classes in sex education. Mind you, we were in grade school and they didn't cover contraception.

In public school they did cover contraception, and pretty frankly, though the biology teacher did decide against one educational film after an initial viewing (I never got to find out just what was in that film... :blush:).

I'm an old baby boomer, though, and when I was growing up, there was some pretty frank talk about sex and contraception even in the local newspaper. By age 14 I knew that there was no such thing as a guarantee with all the various forms of birth control.

It kills me that the media in this country revels in titillation, innuendo, suggestion, using sex to sell products, etc., but that some have a knee-jerk reaction against dealing with sex in a level-headed, unromanticized way.

Ignorance is not innocence, and I wish the politicians would develop backbones and just admit that. There are a lot of ignorant people who are also sexually active, as the writer Eda LeShan pointed out when she wrote The Roots of Crime. She interviewed prostitutes who were completely clueless about the basic functions of the human body and how to prevent conception.
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
24. This past week was the week.
And it was ABSTINENCE ONLY.
Not one word about birth control.

Save yourself till marriage, don't drink or do drugs at parties because you'll have sex, no one is sorry that they waited to have sex but people are sorry that they didn't wait. If you've had sex, you can become a secondary virgin, and.... you can get herpes by touching someone's arm?
What???? They talked alot about std's, but not one word about condoms.

The thing is, teenage pregnancy won't go up around here. The kids are not having sex. They're all doing the Bill Clinton thing these days.
Hopefully the sex ed teacher warned about cold sores....

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Figures doesn't it. Secondary virgin huh, now thats a new one
on me.I wonder if we qualify?
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ray of light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
26. Where I live...
They teach birth control, sexual deceases (including graphic pictures), probably abstinence type things, and probably rape prevention type things.

I know they had a parent signature specifically to understand that they were showing graphic pictures of sexually transmitted deceases but they didn't give the rest of the curriculum. Also, they were told if they didn't go to that class they would have to do a science report on something else, because though the parents had the right to opt their child out, they made it so that the student would have a lot more work to do as a result.

I opted my daughters out as I've always done. This, to me, came under what I considered my responsibility and my chance to educate them in my 'values'. I spent 6 years homeschooling my children and even when they were in a public elementary school until 5th grade, I opted them out of the sex ed class. It simply goes with my philosophy for what is best for my family.

Before you assume I'm saying everyone should do this, I will tell you it's simply my own expectations of myself and everyone should do what they think is right for their family.
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Rape prevention - now that is a good one.
I have educated my daughter on my own as well on this topic.
I have openly discussed reality with her, such as if she got pregnant, what would she do. And talked about people that I know that had an abortion, and how they felt years later, and about people that I know that had the baby, and gave it up for adoption. There is no good outcome. Both choices change a woman's life for ever. I have also told her that boys will say anything to have sex, something my mom never told me, and my friends and I had to find out for ourselves.

I have also told her, that if she decides to have sex, and doesn't want to tell me, that she should contact Planned Parenthood, and that they would help her.

I worry about the parents that don't have these discussions with their child. And the information my daughter got, is the only info some of these teenagers know...plus what they have heard from their friends.

I will follow up with the school board, and thanks Ray - I will now include rape prevention.

Kudos to you for home schooling, I don't think I would have been good at it. I have seen kids that have been home schooled that are way above those in public ed.
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ray of light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Pirhanna,
Edited on Sun Nov-13-05 11:22 AM by ray of light
I remember rape prevention in our own high school courses. Though what I would prefer schools do is require self-defense daily as a requirement. Because honestly, the stuff they tell you is more 'common sense'. "Don't walk alone. Walk with a group...Cross the road. SCREAM!!! Don't carry too much in your arms."

BUT...every girl should have practiced FIGHTING in a self-defense course. And saying, "Kick em where it counts" isn't enough to really prepare someone to fight.

In fact, I highly recommend calling your local police, community ed, etc and enroll your daughters and her peers right away. (Ok..I know I'm stepping over the boundary on advice here, but I really feel girls need to be empowered so they can over-come the panic attack that arises in dangerous situations. Self defense courses can help prepare girls for the 'flight or fight' Adrenalin surge.)

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Fight where you stand
I agree completely that everybody should have physical self defense courses. And every girl should know to never ever go with a stranger. Gun, knife, doesn't matter. Fight where you stand. If they're hauling you away, it's because they're going to kill you. Attacks are horrible enough, but when I see these videos of girls going with these guys without putting up a fight at all, it just makes my blood boil. Nobody told them.
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ray of light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. sandnsea...there is innocent 'stupid' things too.
I can't find it in my email, but I had it a long time ago.

I'll try to retell it from memory.

There was a women at a mall who discovered her car tire was flat. A man in the parking lot helped her change her tire. Then he asked for a lift to his car. She was going to do it out of a sense of obligation.

So he put his briefcase in her trunk.

In the meantime, she realized she forgot something in the mall and she went back in really quickly to get it.

When she came back, the man was gone.

She forgot about his briefcase in the trunk.

When she got home, she started unloading the car and saw his briefcase. She opened it up to look for a name or phone number to give it back.

Inside the case was rope and other things.

She clearly had a narrow escape.

(Moral of the story...thank the person but NEVER let a stranger into your car.)
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. That was Ted Bundy's MO
Play on women's natural sympathies. Either pretend to be hurt or in need of some kind of help. Ick. Now I've got the chills. I'm going to have to remind my daughter to never let a stranger around her car.
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