When Muslims go nuts and do really crazy, detrimental things to others, we call them extremists.
When Christians do it, we call them the GOP.
In Tennessee, lawmakers have passed the Gateway Sexual Activity Law, banning sex education teachers from educating students on such behavior as hugging, kissing and safe sex.
Teachers that insist on talking about contraception will be punished. Educators will face fines totalling up to $500 for violating the state’s abstinence-only policies.
Somehow, legislators and supporters of the bill believe this will keep kids from having sex.
One cannot help but wish the powers-that-be would have taken the time to look at available data before wasting valuable resources on such nonsense. Studies have shown that abstinence-only education does not lower teen pregnancy rates, nor has it made children wait any longer before becoming sexually active. Once these kids do start having sex, they’re not doing so with any fewer partners either.
So what, exactly, is the point?
The key to safe children that are not having babies in their teens and are not contracting and spreading STDs lies in their own heads, their own hearts. Teenagers experiment- sexually and otherwise- and always have. We need to be arming our children with the proper tools, and we can only do that by having open, honest conversations with them. This includes talking about everything- from emotional needs and self-esteem, to masturbation, condoms, and safe sex.
Ideally, much of this education is provided inside the home, given by parents and caregivers, but realistically, that doesn’t always happen. By handicapping the schools, limiting the scope so drastically on what educators can and cannot discuss, we are ultimately harming those kids that need to hear it the most. If they aren’t getting good, solid facts from home, and are no longer getting it from their schools, where are they getting it?
Their friends, perhaps?
I once had a friend tell me that as long as you have sex standing up, you can’t get pregnant.
That’s not the kind of education I want my children to receive.
At the end of the day, it is our children, our women-in-training, our little girls that pay the heaviest price for the lack of education. Our daughters are getting pregnant at alarming rates, and it is these children, those that are least able to take care of themselves, that deserve the benefit of complete education, that are being forgotten about.
This is yet another policy, another example of a GOP agenda that for reasons unexplained, is out to punish women and little girls.