Thursday, May 21, 2009

Illinois Schools Consider Children's Recommendation for Sex Instruction

Illinois statewide Student Advisory Council recommends a change to sex education from abstinence-only to "the real deal"

Video courtesy FOX 32 Chicago

-- From "Teens urge teaching sex ed" by Rosalind Rossi, Chicago Sun-Time Education Reporter 5/20/09

Under current Illinois law, public schools are not required to teach sex ed, but if they do, they must stress abstinence as the preferred option until marriage.

However, in a PowerPoint presentation titled "Sex Education: The Real Deal," a state-appointed teen panel cites one 2007 survey that found nearly half of Illinois high school students reported having had sexual intercourse.

Other state data show the rate of Illinois teen births and at least two sexually transmitted diseases have risen since 2005 -- just as federal funding for abstinence-only classes has been ballooning.

The Student Advisory Council concludes that "abstinence-only is not working, so Illinois needs to take a stand and help our youth." The group wants sex ed to be mandatory and cover sexually transmitted diseases and contraceptive options.

The group's recommendation . . . unveiled today before a State Board of Education committee, comes just as President Obama proposes canceling all federal spending -- $95 million nationwide last year -- for abstinence-only programs. Obama would instead pump $110 million into teen pregnancy prevention programs, which could include abstinence-only curriculums, a federal Office of Management and Budget spokesman said.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.