A western Texas high school is currently facing a major chlamydia outbreak, with 20 new cases reported in a letter to parents last week. According to its student handbook, the school "does not offer curriculum in human sexuality." Pretty ironic, right?
Actually, not really. This may be further proof that abstinence-only programs can be ineffective. In a study conducted in 2014, the states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy were New Mexico, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma; all states where abstinence-only curriculum is common.
Chlamydia is a very common yet serious infection that, when left untreated, can lead to infertility in both men and women. STDs like chlamydia can be prevented through the use of condoms, but students who don't receive proper sexual education in school might be missing the memo.
This week, officials with the Crane Independent School District are meeting to reevaluate their current sex education program, which could maybe use a re-boot. While the high school does offer three days of sex education in the fall semester to its 300 students, the course is optional and emphasizes abstinence. In 2012, Crane's School Health Advisory Committee recommended that if a sexual education curriculum were to be adopted, it should be Scott & White’s “Worth the Wait” Abstinence Plus curriculum.
In fact, Texas law mandates that any school sex ed course must emphasize abstinence over all other behaviors.
For information on STDs, teen pregnancy, and other ways to stay safe, visit It's Your Sex Life.