Health Department and Community Leader Talk About Sex EducationApr 23rd, 2013 | By Lynette | Category: Education, Front Page
Abstinence isn’t cool with students, community leader Merv Mattair, founder of Boyz 2 Kings, told the school board. It’s not exactly what most parents and school officials would like to hear, but it is mostly true.
Mattair, along with Pam Robinson of the Madison County Health Department, spoke to the Madison County School Board about a sex education curriculum that not only covers the science and biology, but also puts it into a context students can readily understand…how it can effect their lives.
The first unit of the program begins by asking the student to “get to know your dreams” and look closely at their hopes and plans for the future. What do they want to do, study or be? What kind of work and effort will it require to reach that goal?
However, the consequences of sexual activity, i.e., pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, are not consequences teenagers are well equipped to handle. Plans for college, vocational school, or even finishing high school become difficult, if not impossible. Time, energy and resources are diverted to dealing with childcare or medical expenses. Dreams are derailed, education suffers and earning power drops.
Even if a few students are fortunate and manage to escape the pitfalls of early sexual activity, it still has a negative impact on schoolwork.
“When students are sexually active, their mind is not on the FCAT,” said Mattair. “It’s on sex.”
There is also the problem of peer pressure, even for students who might not normally become sexually active. Abstinence is seen as the deviation, not the norm, and that is a challenge the proposed curriculum will meet by making abstinence the ultimate “cool.”
Using the slogan “Abstinence is my Swag,” Mattair and Robinson hope that by getting students to see that choosing not to engage in sexual activity while they’re still in school is not only cool, it is something positive, something that they do for themselves because they understand that their dreams are important.
The program is an eight-hour course that also includes such things as role-playing and developing negotiation skills that help students say “no.”
Students can opt out of particular chapters or the entire program if they or their parents wish; the course is not mandatory.
It is, however, something that would be suitable for churches to use with their youth groups, in getting young people to look more realistically at early sex and the effect it could have on their lives. With the backing of the Health Department, which “110 percent behind this,” Mattair hopes the message reaches the young people of Madison County, especially the ones who most need to hear it.