(Here’s the necessary background to the story that I am about to tell, a prologue, if you will: In addition to teaching my middle and high school classes, I also teach college courses on human sexuality through various psychology departments, both in person and online. My online classes are offered through the University of Maryland’s military division and so I have many soldiers as students.)
Last summer one of my online military students sent me a rather frantic e-mail saying he was about to go into the field and was unable to pack his book. He was concerned because he had an assignment coming up, but said there just wasn’t room in his pack for the book after he packed the required amount of ammunition. I reassured him that we would figure things out when he got back from downrange and not to miss his helicopter on account of his textbook. I got one last, short e-mail from him as he was racing off: “I got it to fit in!” If only every one of my students was as passionate about learning!
About a week later, my student returned. He said that while in the field, he had been under fire. One of the bullets had found its way to him – gone into his pack – and then gotten lodged halfway through his sex ed textbook! Without his textbook in his backpack, he would very likely have been killed. He offered to save the textbook for me and give it to me when he returned to Texas. He is back now, and we met yesterday for coffee. I am now the proud owner of solid proof that sex education can save your life.