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Shaunti Feldhahn: Schools undermining abstinence

Shaunti Feldhahn

Shaunti Feldhahn

King Middle School in Portland, Maine, has handed out condoms to 11-year-olds since 2000.
And the school board just decided to provide prescription contraceptives without parental approval.
So the school nurse can know a young girl is sexually active, privately put her on the pill so she can avoid pregnancy, and keep that knowledge from parents who want to teach their daughter about sexual choices.
If this isn’t encouraging students toward sex, I don’t know what is.
Last year, five of 134 students visiting the school nurse reported having sex. Such a problem needs to be addressed, but this is a terrible way to do it.
Does anyone really think fewer students will have sex once the pill is available?
Portland school committee member Rebecca Minnick defended her reasoning to the press saying, “If it saves one girl from getting pregnant too soon, it’s worth it.”
Really? At the cost of sending an incredibly damaging message to hundreds of other students and parents? How about helping the little girl with the self-destructive choices make better ones, for heaven’s sake?
This is an extreme example, but, unfortunately, many American schools are not helping children stay abstinent – the only real solution for emotional and physical health.
Instead, school actions often undermine abstinence with lip service and send the message that, really, everyone is doing it. Oh, like that helps!
Students have enough internal pressure toward sex; they need authority figures to help them fight it, not help them give in to it.
Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association emphasized in an interview that: “The Maine decision is a symptom of a bigger problem. Our children are saturated with a sexual culture. In all media and in conversations with classmates, they hear and see sex. In such a culture, schools should promote the best message.
“On other public health issues, like alcohol or drugs, the school message is always on the best health side. But with sex, the schools often compromise the message and put children at risk.”
A Zogby poll for Huber’s group found that once parents understand abstinence education, they prefer it over comprehensive sex ed by a 2-to-1 margin (61 percent to 30 percent).
Schools simply must stop undermining parents and help kids avoid sexual activity.

Shaunti Feldhahn (scfeldhahn@yahoo.com) is a conservative Christian author and speaker, and married mother of two.

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