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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Get Schooled

If you haven't read Ken Picard's article entitled "Just Say Know" yet, it's an interesting read. Picard takes a look at the Unitarian Universalist Church's comprehensive sex education program for adolescents called "Our Whole Lives" (OWL). I don't profess to know much about sex education programs for youth, but from what I've read, most programs are either abstinence based to the extreme, or they're simply not comprehensive enough, leaving our kids with lots of unanswered questions. The OWL program, on the other hand, discusses nearly every topic, including "abortion, masturbation, sexual fantasies, incest, rape and gender-reassignment surgery" over 28 hour-and-a-half-long sessions. Wow. Now that's what I call an education.

Looks like the kids at King Middle School in Portland, Maine could use the OWL program. The school board voted this month to become the first middle school in Maine to make contraceptives available to its students (most range in age from 11 to 13). After Portland's three middle schools reported 17 pregnancies during the last four years, the school board took action. As you might imagine, some parents and school officials are up in arms, saying that this measure will only encourage kids to have sex. C'mon — clearly, they're already having sex and don't know how to do it safely.

What do you think? Did the King Middle School Board make the right call?

If you're interested in this topic, you might be interested to know that Planned Parenthood is hosting the Vermont premiere of a play called When Turtles Make Love: Real Talk Between Parents and Teens at Waterfront Theater in Burlington on Wednesday, November 14. You can get more info on the Planned Parenthood site.

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