From 1996 through federal fiscal year 2007, Congress marked more than $1.4 billion dollars (through both federal and state matching funds) to abstinence-only programs. Zero dollars went to comprehensive sex education.
Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Christopher Shays (R-CT), have introduced the Responsible Education About Life (R.E.A.L.) Act into both the House & Senate (HR 1653/S 972).
The bill says:
(b) Requirements for Family Life Programs- For purposes of this Act, a program of family life education is a program that–
(1) is age-appropriate and medically accurate;
(2) does not teach or promote religion;
(3) teaches that abstinence is the only sure way to avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases;
(4) stresses the value of abstinence while not ignoring those young people who have had or are having sexual intercourse;
(5) provides information about the health benefits and side effects of all contraceptives and barrier methods as a means to prevent pregnancy;
(6) provides information about the health benefits and side effects of all contraceptives and barrier methods as a means to reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS;
(7) encourages family communication about sexuality between parent and child;
(8) teaches young people the skills to make responsible decisions about sexuality, including how to avoid unwanted verbal, physical, and sexual advances and how not to make unwanted verbal, physical, and sexual advances; and
(9) teaches young people how alcohol and drug use can effect responsible decisionmaking.
Also, in subsection (c), under “Additional Activities “where is says “In carrying out a program of family life education, a State may expend a grant under subsection (a) to carry out educational and motivational activities that help young people–“, there is this:
(4) develop healthy attitudes and values about adolescent growth and development, body image, gender roles, racial and ethnic diversity, sexual orientation, and other subjects;
Oh the wingnuts will be all a-twitter.
It’s not up for vote yet, as far as I can tell. But it certainly can’t hurt to contact your Reps/Senators to let them know of your support and that they should support it as well.
Yes, I know the title is very “after school special”. LOL