Over the past year, the commission has been working to change the current abstinence based policy, but some Lubbock teens say that policy isn't working. The teens say Lubbock's high STD rates are proof.
You might call this a dress rehearsal for Shelby Knox, but in 13 days it is show time. "I want the majority of our LISD School Board to realize the youth are crying out for education they're crying out to be taught and it's really their responsibility to answer," Knox says. As a Lubbock Youth Commission member, Shelby says they want a more complete sex Ed program in the Lubbock Independent School District.
On January 23rd, the commission will ask theLISD to consider three things. "One is brining health professionals into health classes once a semester to do HIV presentations on a more regular basis. A second strong recommendation is to form an investigative committee to look at potentials for sex Ed curricula. Third, is to administer a national youth risk behavior survey every two years in LISD," says Eric Benson, Chairman of the Youth Commission Adult Advisory Board.
LISD Superintendent Jack Clemmons says he is looking forward to the presentation. "We think it's going to take this whole community to change the direction that we have been going and we're anxious as to what they say," he says.
As a city nurse, Ronda Cartwright knows the consequences sexually active teens could face. "They can walk around with HIV for 10 years and not even know they have it until something happens or they can have sex tonight and not be infected until 21 days." But with education, Shelby says situations like these can be avoided, and hopefully teens will make wiser choices. "Teens need to feel comfortable at school about this issue instead of feeling like it's not ok even to say the word sex," Shelby says.
Once again the Youth Commission will present their proposal to the LISD at the next school board meeting, January 23rd. Superintendent Clemmons says their abstinence based, sex Ed curriculum is set by the state of Texas. So the district has little flexibility as far as changes in the curriculum itself. But he says, they do encourage bringing in more speakers to talk to kids about sex education.