Target: Alabama Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard
Goal: Allow Alabama’s Department of Education to develop a comprehensive sex education program that does not promote homophobia
Patricia Todd, an Alabama state legislator, recently proposed a bill that would change the state’s sex education requirements so that schools would no longer be forced to teach an anti-gay and pro-abstinence curriculum. The state currently requires schools to teach students that abstinence is the only safe method of birth control and that homosexuality is not only socially unacceptable, but illegal. Representative Todd’s proposed bill would repeal the state’s current sex education policy developed by the state legislature, and instead leave the new curriculum in the hands of Alabama’s Department of Education.
The anti-gay aspects of the current sex education curriculum are based on the state’s archaic sodomy law that has not been removed by the state, even though it was abolished by the U.S. Supreme Court many years ago. A sex education program developed by experts on education would replace homophobia with lessons that would be more beneficial to all students, instead of enforcing intolerance and discrimination.
The states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy are also the states that either have no sex education requirements, or have abstinence-only programs. Conversely, the states with the lowest rates are those that require schools to teach sex education, and specify that the curriculum must be comprehensive and teach about the use of contraception. This type of comprehensive program has been shown to significantly reduce unintended teen pregnancies.
If Representative Todd’s bill passes, the new sex education curriculum would be based on expert research, ensuring that students receive the best possible education, instead of creating a program based on the beliefs and prejudices of legislators. Encourage Alabama representatives to support this bill so that students are given accurate information that does not enforce stereotypes or encourage discrimination.
Dear Representative Hubbard,
Representative Patricia Todd recently proposed a bill intended to remove the anti-gay and abstinence-only requirements from Alabama’s sex education curriculum. The state’s current policy erroneously and offensively teaches students that abstinence is the only safe method of birth control and that homosexuality is a socially unacceptable criminal offense.
In place of the state’s outdated sex education curriculum developed by legislators, the new bill would allow the Department of Education to create a program based on expert research that would give students a complete understanding of human sexuality and a less biased and discriminatory view of homosexuality.
Studies consistently show a connection between abstinence-only education and high rates of teen pregnancy, and the proposed bill would ensure that students are given enough information to make the best choices. Additionally, teaching homophobia only encourages anti-gay bullying and further alienates gay students. Please ensure that Representative Todd’s bill is approved so that students in Alabama are given an education that meets national standards.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: romana klee via Flickr