My name is Ilka Sankari, and I’m a junior at South Eugene High School. Last week, the crisis pregnancy center Dove Medical taught abstinence-only education at my school. This is not an isolated incident; they’ve taught at 4J schools before. Their curriculum, “Stop and Think,” works to convince young people that abstaining from sex is the best choice.
This kind of education shames young people who are sexually active, want to be or have been sexually assaulted, by implying that those who’ve had sex are less valuable.
In addition, abstinence only education doesn’t work. Research shows that it correlates directly to higher teen pregnancy and STD rates.
Teens aren’t going to stop having sex; schools should be teaching us accurate information to manage the risks that come with sexual activity. Planned Parenthood is an excellent resource for educating students, and they do teach abstinence as an option for preventing pregnancies — just not the only option.
This kind of “education” should never have been allowed by the school board, which is why we need someone like Dr. Martina Shabram to fight for students. She’s running for a 4J board seat Position 5 this May, and as a student who cares about medically accurate sex ed, I support her.