Provide Comprehensive Sexual Education in West Virginia High School

Woman confused about contraception

Target: Kanawha County of West Virginia, Board of Education President, William Thaw

Goal: Provide unbiased, comprehensive sexual education for public high school students.

Students at a public high school in West Virginia were recently required to attend an abstinence assembly titled, “God’s plan for sexual purity”. The speaker used false information, fear-mongering and biased arguments to scare students into abstinence. Please sign this petition and demand that the West Virginia high school stop pushing a religious agenda in a public school, and provide comprehensive sexual education for students.

George Washington High School in Charleston, West Virginia paid between $4,000 and $6,000 for Pam Stenzel to bully the students into abstinence. According to the Charleston Gazette, Stenzel’s in-you-face approach included extreme statements such as, “If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you,” and, “I could look at any one of you in the eyes right now and tell if you’re going to be promiscuous.” Stenzel labeled sexually active students as “impure” and condemned anyone who had engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage. The Huffington Post quotes Stenzel from a different school presentation telling students that “no one has ever had more than one [sexual] partner and not paid”, and that a girl taking birth control “could end up sterile or dead.”

Stenzel’s biased, faith-based and inaccurate remarks have no place in a public high school. George Washington High School must provide a comprehensive sexual education curriculum that includes contraceptive education. West Virginia has the ninth highest pregnancy rate in the U.S and this high school is taking a one-tract approach to the issue. The growing body of evidence proving abstinence-only education as far less effective then comprehensive sexual education at preventing young people from engaging in risky behaviors is overwhelming and conclusive. In order to address the issue, we must cover all the bases and include choices for young people.

Please sign this petition and demand that George Washington High School provide comprehensive sexual education and stop wasting money on ineffective, expensive, faith-based program that carry no merit. Sexual education curriculum must include family planning and contraceptive training as means of protection.

PETITIONL LETTER:

Dear Mr. Thaw,

George Washington High School in Kanawha County, West Virginia recently spent thousands of dollars for an abstinence assembly titled, “God’s plan for sexual purity.” Speaker, Pam Stenzel thwarted the students with inaccurate information, abstinence-only education, and fear-mongering as a way to influence their sexual decisions. Not only is her fee and faith-based message questionable at a public high school, but the false statements and berating of students counters any positive message that does come with abstinence-education. As president of the school board, you must demand that George Washington High School provide comprehensive sexual education using facts, rather than personal agenda.

According to the Charleston Gazette, Stenzel’s assembly included some outlandish claims, including, “If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you,” and, “I could look at any one of you in the eyes right now and tell if you’re going to be promiscuous.” While those loaded comments are one way to scare teens into abstinence, the false claims regarding sexual health should be scarier to members of the school board. Stenzel reportedly told the students that condoms aren’t safe and every sexual contact will lead to an STD or infertility. These statements are completely false and misleading to young people who are confused about sexuality and the consequences of sex.

It is crucial that an education system like a public high school provide students with a comprehensive sexual education void of falsities, fear-mongering and faith-based agendas. West Virginia has the ninth highest pregnancy rate in the United States, and there is widespread evidence proving abstinence-only education to be ineffective in preventing sexual behavior in teens. Inviting a speaker like Pam Stenzel to a public high school was not effective financially, and according to the statistics, was probably not effective in preventing sexual activity among the students.

Please provide the students of George Washington High School with a compressive sexual-education curriculum in an effort to educate students with facts, prepare them for the consequences, and arm them with the tools necessary to maintain their health regardless of when they have sex.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: pregnancyandbaby via Yahoo

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