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Chlamydia outbreak hits a Texas HS that decided not to teach sex ed
Sex education can be super awk for everyone—there’s no denying that. But no matter how uncomfortable those lectures may be, there's def some serious and important info discussed in the course that every teen should be aware of. So when the teachers at Crane High School in Texas decided to nix the required sex ed class for students, they got some major backlash.
Parents were sent an email last week explaining that a chlamydia outbreak was taking place at the school—and the numbers were scary. Though the school's superintedent and the Texas Department of State Health Services have only confirmed three cases, other reports indicate that up to 20 out of 300 students were affected, which is roughly 7% of the school’s population (yikes!).
According to Planned Parenthood, chlamydia can affect both men and women, and those infected often show no symptoms, which makes it easy to transmit. Though it can easily be treated, undetected and unmedicated chlamydia can have long-lasting effects, especially for women. As far as prevention goes, the organization also points out that the use of condoms can stop the spread of the disease.
The school's sex ed policy is a little different, though. According to the student handbook, sex ed at CHS is an abstinence-only three day course taught in junior high, and Texas state law dictates that any sex ed class must stress abstinence over other preventative measures. And though it's true that abstaining from sexual activity is the best way to avoid STDs and STIs, it's also pretty clear in this case that an abstinence-based program didn't protect these kids.
Luckily, the high school is already working to address the issue, with the superintendent confirming that district officials have already met with the school's Health Advisory Committee to determine the sex ed curriculum going forward. Though by law they'll still focus on abstinence above all else, and parents will be able to opt their kids out of the program, introducing any discussion of other preventative measures like condom use will be a huge step forward.
Turns out a little uncomfortable sex talk might not be such a bad thing after all.
What's sex education like at your school? Share in the comments below.
Photo Credit: popdust.com