If schools aren’t talking to kids about safe sex, who should?
An excerpt from ThingProgress.org:
A small high school in Texas is currently grappling with an STD outbreak, as 20 cases of chlamydia have been confirmed among the student population. Since Crane High School only has about 300 students, that means about one in 15 kids there has been infected. School district officials sent out letters to the parents of high schoolers and middle schoolers to inform them of the “growing problem.”
The outbreak is putting the spotlight on the potential gaps in education in the Crane Independent School District. As Raw Story notes, the West Texas district does not currently offer a regular sex ed course that’s integrated into students’ health classes. High schoolers receive just three days of optional sexual health education during the fall semester, and those materials are centered on abstinence.
While this article brings attention to a problem that can arise when students are not educated about safe sex, perhaps it can serve as a reminder that parents need to be the first line of defense when it comes to educating children about sexual health, including safe sex.
I understand that talking to our children about sex is about as anxiety-inducing as a root canal but if we don’t have these types of conversations with our children, how can we expect the schools to do it?
Parents can help their kids by being approachable and open if their child has questions about sexual health, even if they might be embarrassed about discussing the topic or don’t immediately have the answers.
As far as coming up with topics to address with your kids, here is a great resource that walks you through sex education in a user friendly way: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/parents-sex-ed-center-home?task=view
If talking to your kids about sexual health is something you don’t want to tackle, you have the option of hiring a medical or sexual health professional that offers sex education to meet with your child, or you can contact your local county health department to see what sex education services they provide.