(Written by guest blogger JustAnotherTeen.)
As many great teachers as my school may have, there is one that I absolutely cannot stand. I was supposed to take Health Education in my sophomore year and I really wish I had. Unfortunately it would not fit in my schedule till my junior year. The coach that left at the end of my sophomore was a relative legend with the students. Despite being 70 years old, he had great relationships with students and was a very good coach. His version of teaching sex education as part of his class, according to other students, included having a table full of different contraceptive options on display and he would teach about all of them. Purportedly he sprayed spermicide all over the room on accident one day, and this was a room with carpet! Our next coach was not so open. In fact, he was quite the opposite. When it came time for reproductive health, it was clear that he was not at all comfortable with the subject despite having taught the material before at another school. He misspelled and butchered no less than five anatomical words, created a new hormone called proestrogen (progesterone), thought cervix was spelled cervex, and thought boys had a vas difernes (vas deferens), just to name a few. In addition to not being able to even say or spell the terms correctly, he refused to teach anything about contraceptives, saying that state law didn’t allow him to even give statistics. This didn’t sit well with me and I looked it up and printed an article that actually said the state requires contraceptive statistics to be taught. He blew this off in our class but I noticed he had made a poster with statistics on it for the next term of classes. Although I personally know enough about contraceptives to not be too worried about his refusal to teach us, I do worry for the others in the class that may have needed to know this information. As much as I think schools should be responsible for educating young teens about contraceptives, we know that some will not and totally ignore the fact. Even if you are not comfortable with the subject, I suggest finding some good information online and printing it for your son or daughter. It may be awkward, but it is far less so that finding out you are going to be a grandparent in a few months!
It may be awkward, but it is far less so that finding out you are going to be a grandparent in a few months!
Truer words were never spoken!
Have you considered doing a student-led, student-run “underground” effort to teach your peers what they need to know about sexuality, contraception, etc., that the school didn’t teach? Either passing out pamphlets or having peer-led “classes” after school or perhaps doing small group peer “counseling”, teaching your fellow students what they need to know, a few people at a time? You obviously understand how important knowing this stuff is… have you thought about gathering others up and taking education in your own hands?
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