April 11, 2012

April 11, 2012
CDC: Sex Ed Not Expanding in U.S. Public Schools

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through the middle of another work week. I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. It has been another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me. Yesterday, we spoke to the students at Broward Community College in Davie, Florida.

Because I have spoken at colleges, highs schools and junior high schools around the country; I know how lack sex education on STDs are in our country. Not only are we doing a disservice to the students but it is to the extend we are endangering their lives because we are not giving them the information they need.

Public schools in the United States are making "little progress" in expanding instruction in how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, a new federal study concluded.

Between 2008 and 2010, the percentage of public schools teaching key topics on prevention did not increase in the 45 states surveyed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

In middle schools, 11 states saw declines during the two-year period and no state saw an increase, the CDC said. The level of instruction was stable in high schools.

"Little progress is how we're describing it," Laura Kann, one of the authors of the study, told Reuters.

The study did not explain why this type of instruction appears to be stagnating, Kann said. "The decision about what gets taught is a local decision," she said. "We asked schools what they are doing. We don't ask why."

Public school instruction can be effective in lowering rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, said Kann.

"We have evidence that teaching these topics can contribute to reduction in risk for HIV, STDs and pregnancy," she said.

The CDC survey found that the percentage of schools teaching all 11 of its suggested prevention topics in grades 6, 7, or 8 ranged from 12.6 percent in Arizona to 66.3 percent in New York.

Schools teaching eight of the suggested topics in grades 9-12 ranged from 45.3 percent in Alaska to 96.4 percent in New Jersey.

Suggested topics for both middle school and high school include the benefits of sexual abstinence.

The push for higher test scores in recent years could mean that schools are less likely to expand health education, Monica Rodriguez, president and chief executive of the nonprofit group, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, told Reuters.

Also, the question of how best to teach students about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases remains a divisive issue in many areas, Rodriguez said.

"For many teachers, it's often about fear, fear of controversy," she said.

Hopefully, the Department of Education will get the message and get on the ball soon. Until then, the bear and I will speak to students at as many locations as we can.

Hope you have a great Hump Day!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab