Opinion

Commentary: Students right to demand better sex ed

This editorial appeared in The Anchorage Daily News.

Alaska student leaders have taken a stand that shows they are more willing to confront the reality of teenage sexual behavior than the adults in charge are. The Alaska Association of Student Governments, at a meeting of some 255 students in Sitka last month, overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for mandatory, comprehensive sex education for all high school students, according to a report by the Juneau Empire.

The students cited evidence that the abstinence-only approach used for federal programs during the Bush administration didn't work.

They noted Alaska ranks at the top in the country for per capita cases of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease.

They noted the complete absence of sex education standards at the state level.

"The more information you have, the better. ... It helps you make better choices," said resolution co-author and West High junior Makenzie Curtis-Johnson, as quoted by the Empire. "The choices are still there whether you have the information or not."

With teen pregnancies on the rise, with a report last year that one in four teenage girls are infected with at least one of the common sexually transmitted diseases, these student leaders are right: Adults are doing teens no favor by glossing over the facts of life.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.

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