Abstinence Class For Sherman Teens Would Discuss Condom Failure - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Abstinence Class For Sherman Teens Would Discuss Condom Failure Rates

SHERMAN, TX -- The Sherman school board will vote next week on a proposed sex ed class for Piner Middle School students, but not everyone is in favor of the "abstinence only" curriculum.

Sex education is a touchy subject, and that's why, under state law, one local school got input from teachers and the community on a new class. Still, what they picked using a secret ballot is causing some division among school board members.

"Abstinence is the only 100-percent effective way for them to be assured of the future that's coming to them without the risk of an unplanned pregnancy, unwanted STDs and emotional scars," says "Saying Yes To Saying No" program teacher Christy Baca.

Baca is talking about her 3-hour program over 3 days that Sherman ISD's School Health Advisory Council picked for 7th graders for this fall after the Pregnancy Care Center -- now known as True Options -- dropped its program that was used last time.

"I discuss the failure rates of condoms," says Baca. "That is information that I take directly from the CDC to educate students on the risks they're taking in using condoms. I do not discuss the proper use of condoms or how to put a condom on. My whole goal is to create an educational system for these students that is sexual risk avoidance."

"I think we shouldn't be going the other way and not having any reference to contraception at all and talking about condoms as pretty much pointless because they're not," says school trustee Kate Whitfield.

The SHAC that picked Baca's program says a parent night will be held at Piner Middle School to give parents the opportunity to ask questions and that they can have their kids opt out if they so desire.

"I'd like to see a program that gives accurate information, is not proselytizing either that you should have sex or you should use contraception, but just here are facts, and they relate to your health," says Whitfield.

"I'm sure their parents tell them about the condoms, not the school," says Ryan Clay.

The school board still has to vote on the program Monday.

It would be offered during gym class to groups of seventh graders divided by gender.

"They should hand more condoms out where nobody will catch any type of disease and where people can stop having babies," says  Danbre Winfrey.

"You can't really pull them by their ear their whole life," says Kasey Havens. "They're gonna do what they want to do. Might as well be safe about it instead of just telling them not to have sex."

"No matter what they're gonna do it anyway," says Clay.

"I was only 21 when I had my son and it was hard, so I don't think children should have children," says Emerald Carter.

School trustee Kate Whitfield says she recently joined a health care policy group with Children's Medical Center in Dallas which produced the Beyond ABC report. The report says state statistics show there are about 90 teen pregnancies in Grayson County each year.

"When we save our sexual intimacy until marriage, we have a higher chance of staying married to the same person," says Baca.

"It's more of a scare tactic kind of thing like when I was young a thousand years ago, there was a book we were all given called 'Pot is Rot' and it had such awful things about drugs and it was so over the top, not believable," says Whitfield.

So what kind of information should 12-year-old children get at school?

"Kids should know about that stuff. It's good for them to know about it before they start doing it," says Jocelyn Clay.

"They need to be taught as they go. They need to be taught about the birds and the bees and you know, to learn in advance," says Jan Westbrook.

Baca won't say how much she'd be paid, but she taught the class in Durant last year and has been to Ector and Trenton.

She says she wound up in an adoptive home at age 1 after being rescued from her teenage birth mom who lived on the streets in Houston.