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Should Sex Education be Updated?

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Changing criteria in health classes may help students to make more educated decisions in their personal lives.

Photo+by+Clay+Vesser
Photo by Clay Vesser

Photo by Clay Vesser

Photo by Clay Vesser

Many schools across the country teach abstinence only health education. As the times change rapidly, many believe it is time for sex education to be changed as well.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a law that sex education will be required to inform students on different birth controls, contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases, not just abstinence. This law will be go into effect Jan. 1 and will not only prevent more unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STD’s, but will inform teens to make the right decision for themselves.

“Abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way, but the reality is that by the end of senior year in high school, two-thirds of our kids are saying that they’ve had sex,” said Illinois State Senator Heather Steans.

Schools in Illinois will either have the choice to update their sex education programs, or not teach it all together. Antioch Community High School’s physical education, health, and drivers ed department decided they will be updating their criteria.

ACHS physical education and health education teacher Robert Hafer said, “Teachers today realize that while some students will choose abstinence, some won’t. So how are we going to protect them? And that’s why we teach about contraception.”

If parents only want their children to learn abstinence based sex education, they can opt out of having their children take a health education class, although they would be “doing their child a disservice by not giving them the tools they need to be successful, but that is certainly up to the parents,” said Hafer.

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Should Sex Education be Updated?