Just Say No

I haven’t written much about my younger daughter.  H is thirteen and in eighth grade.  She finds herself in the throes of hormonal rage nearly daily.  It’s quite fun.  (Do I need to point out this is sarcasm?)

This morning I asked her if she was currently in PE or Health, as I know they periodically rotate.  She said she was in Health and they were learning about STDs.  Never one to shirk, even at breakfast, I asked her what she was learning.  She said not much, because the class is taught in the cafeteria, and there are too many students and she has to sit in the back.  The teacher uses an overhead projector with a slide.  The slide, she said, is in really small print and hard to read because it was not something the teacher wrote, but printed from a book.  “Ok, well, surely the teacher talks to you about the diseases, right? Which ones are you learning about?” I asked.

She replied, “I don’t know.  Just that some are curable and some are not.  And AIDS can kill you.” 

“Did the teacher tell you how to prevent them?”


“Oh, so you learned about condoms?”

“No, Mom.  She said abstinence is the only way to make sure you don’t die. That means don’t ever have sex.”

“Are you sure she didn’t tell you about condoms?” 

“Mom!  We’re in eighth grade.  All she’s allowed to tell us is that sex can kill us so we won’t do it.”

H doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in for a treat tomorrow.  She gets to watch this video (emphasis mine):

Just Thought You Oughta Know, The Medical Institute, 1998 (7 minutes)

Plans for the future are often derailed by unplanned pregnancy and STIs. There is a solution, but it requires character, not condoms. The path to a deeply satisfying sex life begins with a decision to delay sexual activity with an uninfected partner. Young people need parents, educators, and other adults involved in their lives to encourage them to commit to delaying sex. This video was created in a format of teens talking to teens about the medical facts, but it’s meant as a springboard for opening the lines of communication between teens and adults.

This is the county’s official policy:

Contraception: ******** County Public Schools do not condone students engaging in sexual intercourse before marriage because of the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases and pregnancy, potential psychological and emotional problems, and loss of self-esteem. However, students should be taught that contraception is one method of reducing the risk of pregnancy or contracting sexually-transmitted infections. Although methods of contraception may be appropriate for discussion, any teaching, discussion, or use of literature that involves techniques of applying contraceptive devices is prohibited. Due to the sensitive nature of this subject, students wishing additional information should be encouraged to discuss this topic with their parents or should be referred to the public library.

At that, ladies and gentlemen, is how our public school system teaches responsible sexual health: Don’t do it before marriage.  It might kill you.


About Brick Window

A mother and an atheist--Just trying to do the best I can in a suburb full of believers.
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14 Responses to Just Say No

  1. prosey says:


    Sorry. Had to get that out.

    I despise abstinence-only and abstinence-plus education. Grrrrr. Florida is one state that has begun to see the light. I feel bad for the educators, because they know the score…but in many cases in order to get funding, they have to follow the Title V guidelines. Only one good thing I can say about AOUM education is that it did return the topic of the importance of abstinence as *a* surefire way to prevent unplanned pregnancies and contracting STDs. Beyond that? It’s a religiously based teaching that enforces a very specific morality on kids unrealistically – only showing failure rates of condoms and contraception, and the potential negative outcomes – with the hopes of scaring kids into not having sex.

    The real problem is…kids are gonna have sex, whether parents approve or disapprove -except thanks to the education about failure rates (without contrasting success rates when used correctly), kids aren’t using protection. Hence, for the first time since 1984, teen pregnancy & STDs are on the rise again – and girls are particularly at risk for the silent illnesses, such as Chlamydia.

    I probably should point out, this is the topic of my doctoral dissertation…lol…it’s one that I’m admittedly extremely well-versed in. If you need any really excellent resources to balance out H’s education, let me know…I have a metric fuckton of books and journals on the subject. 🙂

    • Brick Window says:

      Yea. I’m hot, too. The problem with this type of system is it assumes marriage to be the goal of every individual. Until we have marriage equality, I must object. (I know you know that this in only ONE of my objections. lol)

      Traditional Christian marriage=BULLSHIT. I am no man’s property.

      Why can’t schools do what they are supposed to be teaching our children and think critically about this? Prosey, you can throw that metric fuckton on me, ’cause I might just have to RUN FOR THE FUCKING SCHOOL BOARD.

  2. prosey says:

    One REALLY great book, for instance (I may have already mentioned it) is “The Underground Guide to Teenage Sexuality” by Michael Basso – written in a Q&A format, directed at teenagers. Also…the Go Ask Alice website is a fantastic resource for teenagers and young adults.

    • Brick Window says:

      I’ll add the book to our collection. H did some of the OWL training I mentioned in another post, but she hates to talk about sex. It’s pretty strange, because she’s the outspoken one of my two. M is ok talking about it, even now that she’s become more experienced, and she tends to be more reserved.

      I do have to admit that I tend to not let too many opportunities to talk about sex slip by. Hence my discussing STDs at breakfast…

      • prosey says:

        *nod* My daughter is pretty open, but there are some areas that make her uncomfortable (understandably), which is why the book & the website are great resources for teens their age. (My daughter is 13, also.)

  3. Jay Walker says:

    I agree with everything prosey said. She says it much better and throughly than I can. I will say this: abstinence-only programs are exactly equal to putting your hands over your ears and singing “la! la! la! la!” as loud as you can.

    Oh and prosey? I have never had a metric fuckton of ANYTHING! How does the conversion between metric fucktons and imperial fucktons work? Now I want a metric fuckton of something! 🙂

    • Denise says:

      *laughing* ~ You know what I’m gonna do now? I’m going to take a few pictures for your benefit and post them to my blog…the handy dandy plethora of books all over the facking house…and what’s on shelves is not all that we have (just what we had room for……….

      The only reason I’m so well-versed on this particular topic, honestly, is because it is an intrinsic component of my research. *nod*

      (and I’ve never tried a conversion, so….heheh)

  4. fribnit says:

    life was so much simpler when I was a teen. Sex could only kill you if her father caught you.

    Now for some reason my generation and the generation right after me, tow of the three most sexually active generations, are teaching abstinence instead of safety. The human species does not understand abstinence. We are programed to have sex. The ONLY practical and logical answer is to teach safety.

    Why are schools run by idiots?

  5. Denise says:

    Oh Frib, I get that…I’m just pointing out how homo sapiens tries to elevate itself above the rest of the animal kingdom, is all….

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