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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 52: Condoms & Other Things You Learn in High School Health Class

So I'm sure it will come as no surprise to my readers that I am a huge supporter of sex education being taught in school, with further discussion by parents. Not talking about sex, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

I believe we have had enough cases in history to demonstrate that: 1) You can get pregnant the first time you have sex 2) You can get pregnant when you have sex on your period 3) The Birth Control pill does not prevent STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) 4) Teen pregnancies and transmitted diseases are significantly reduced when children are educated 5) Talking to your teens over and over about your family values, and the risks associated with being sexually active before your child is ready, is one of the strongest defenses to preventing pregnancies and disease and of course heartache over a life being turned upside down due to an unexpected pregnancy! But really what is unexpected about it if you didn't use birth control! But hey that might be another blog post!

Today's post is about how happy I am that my sons Harrison & Spencer, both in 9th grade, are receiving sex education in their Health class at Palisades High School. If you have not asked your 9th grader about this class or what is discussed, I recommend you do.

Last night at dinner the kid sister Jennifer, still in town from New York, and I were entertained by Spencer who shared with us what went on in his health class today. Ms. Ackerman, their teacher entered class with a giant condom hat on her head (need I say more!) and then she pulled out two bananas looking like penises (models) dressed in suits ... well at this point I was spitting my spicy tuna roll out! I mean really do the penises need to be dressed up for the occasion!?!

Spencer went on to share with us what is learned in his High School Health class. Yes, an uncomfortable topic - no matter how progressive of a parent you may be - to hear your 14 year old son share these things! But was I grateful that a teacher pulled out the penis with condom and demonstrated -- and I didn't have too-- hell yeah! My children have always been taught a healthy attitude about sex and when it is appropriate. We do not have a taboo family that says "sex won't happen till your married" because I don't believe in that, sex is natural, kids have hormones and if they have feelings for one another and are responsible, it's gonna happen. But that doesn't mean it's carte blanche either. There are clearly health risks to engaging in sex, but there are also emotional risks that can be very detrimental if your children are just not ready for sex.

My son went on to say what else was taught in class... probably too graphic for this blog, but you can imagine, you are all adults. Tough subject matter with some 35 plus 14 & 15 year old students with raging hormones... I applaud the teacher for being able to keep the students attention with out complete chaos breaking out! For those that preach no sex education in the class room they either 1) Don't have teenagers 2) Are just stupid 3) Need to get their head out of the sand 4) Believe it's ok for 15 & 16 year olds to be giving birth to children with no means of providing for them.

That's not the world I want to live in. I want my children educated, prepared and emotionally connected when they engage in sex and in order to make this happen they need to be educated. Kudos to Ms. Ackerman for teaching a subject matter that most parents either can't or won't!


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Thank you so much for your interest in my 49th year! I appreciate your support! -Robyn