Angie Vineyard, Research Fellow with the Beverly LaHaye Institute, implored the Arlington County school board to offer the newly approved sex education curriculum as an “opt into” rather than “out of” course. Offering the new sex curriculum as an “opt into” class gives parents an opportunity to first view the material and makes the decision to abstain from the class easier for the students.
The already approved course, ‘A Teen’s Guide to Sexuality,’ contains only six pages of information on abstinence, and it follows with 41 pages on birth control methods and graphic images. Vineyard pointed out that the curriculum sends a conflicting message to students giving them one standard for which to aim and then over a dozen ways to miss it.
“[It] is the equivalent of telling a teenage boy not to vandalize, but then teaching him 16 different ways to break into a building,” Vineyard told the board.
The messages sent to students about sex play a vital role in their health and safety. A study released this week by the Heritage Foundation found that teens who are sexually active are more likely to become depressed and attempt suicide than teens who practice abstinence. According to a Zogby poll recently released by the Coalition for Adolescent Sexual Health in which CWA and BLI are members, 73.5% of parents approve or strongly approve of abstinence-centered sex education. Parents need to know what their children are being taught in school and they need to be supported by the school in educating their children with their family values.