Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Two Teenagers After My Own Heart

I can't remember the last time I heard teenagers speaking out about anything beyond how much school sucks, classes are "sooo boring" and how their parents are ruining their lives.

So I was delighted to find this article on Cleveland.com. It seems myself and the other interns here at FMF aren't the only ones who believe abstinence-only education is along the lines of sex un-education.

Here, we've got two actual teenager students, Daniel Sparks, 17, and Jelena Loncar, 16, who voiced their dissatisfaction with the abstinence-only education program at Parma High School. The two presented their views to the 150 adults who attended the school board meeting on the night of February 22.

Some of my favorite parts:

Jelena quoted the district's abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education program, Operation Keepsake:

"I personally don't view men as predators or protectors. And I certainly don't view myself as a treasure or a target. I found it insulting and undermining that Operation Keepsake reduced me to a social stereotype."

And the brave Daniel told his audience, "Operation Keepsake has made me question education as a whole, for while they scared us into understanding what could go wrong, they afforded us no information on how things could go right."

He then asked how he, as a homosexual, is supposed to uphold the abstinence until marriage standard if his home state does not even grant him the right to marry. A bit risky, and bringing up a whole different issue. But still bold and beautiful, I say.

Superintendent Sarah Zatik, along with several parents in attendance, congratulated the students after their presentation. Ms. Zatik announced she would be resigning in July, but not before she forms a committee to "start the conversation" for comprehensive sex education.

These teens are truly ahead of the curve. Time to get the rest of their generation on board.

photo credit: msugovdocs at flickr

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