State Mandates Abstinence Be Taught First, STD's Still Discussed - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/10/06

State Mandates Abstinence Be Taught First, STD's Still Discussed

For the tenth straight year, statistics show Lubbock has the highest number of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections in the nation. That's according to the latest report of sexually transmitted diseases by the Lubbock Health Department.

The health department released the latest numbers from 2005 Friday; about 36% of the cases were from people 15 to 19 years-old. The youngest case reported came from a 10-year-old.

The health department says public schools aren't educating students on the consequences of sex, so NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire asked a Lubbock health teacher what the sex education curriculum involves.

The state mandates that abstinence be the first choice taught in sex education, but Monterey health teacher Roy Phelps says just because they have to teach abstinence, does not mean they don't talk about sex and STD's.

For many high school aged students, sex education can be a difficult subject matter, but Monterey High School health teacher Roy Phelps says students are interested and ask questions, so he's straight forward when talking about sex. "I'll bet we spend a lot of our curriculum, because that's what they want to talk about, that's what they're interested in and that's their biggest health concern right now," commented Phelps.

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This year LISD is using a brand new health textbook. Although the state mandates abstinence be taught first, it also mentions unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. An LISD spokesperson tells us 22 pages mention STD's.

Phelps says they teach abstinence first then move onto other options. He says they talk about sex because kids are having sex. "I've got one right now, boyfriend/ girlfriend, both sat in the same class, both made A's and she's pregnant. I asked her, I said, 'What's the deal?' This one girl she told me, she said 'You just get caught up in the moment, coach.' So we talk a lot about avoiding the moment," said Phelps.

They don't teach students how to use various birth control methods, but if a student asks a question the school district has given them the green light to answer honestly. "Somebody's got to be the adult and somebody has to give them the best information, not what's convenient or trendy."

Phelps says if you want to prevent your kids from asking someone else about sex you should talk to them.

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