Superintendent Shocked--Shocked!--by Teen Pregnancy in Schools

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Cross-posted from How to Have Sex in Texas with permission from the author.

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Apparently fair little Midland, the "tall city" in the middle of nowhere from which George W. Bush (sort of) hails, has found itself between a rock and a big, throbbing, hard place. Just 4 months after a weekend swinger's convention was cancelled, fully 120 girls in the district, including one as young as twelve (!), are in the family way so far this school year. And more shocking, of those who were in "pregnancy services" in 2009, 90% tested positive for an STI. Which kind of makes sense since Midland has higher rates of Chlamydia and teen birth than the state of Texas overall.

Considering that Texas is widely known as a contender in the teen pregnancy national championship every year, this is bad news for Midland. While 120 pales in comparison to Austin ISD's 375 pregnant girls in 2009-2010, Midland only has 21,374 students enrolled in its school district as compared to Austin's 84,676. But in 2009 Midland was rated "academically unacceptable" by the Texas Education Agency, so something bad is going down up in oil town.

The Superintendent, Ryder Warren, promises action, and is working with a local crisis prengnacy trap, The Life Center, to "educate students on abstinence and safe sex as a stop-gap measure." Wait...a "stop-gap" measure? What have they been doing all along? Oh, this: "Health advisory council member Mike Mills said research conducted by the council revealed only two days were devoted to sex education." It sounds like Midland may join the other two lonely Texas districts who plan to dump abstinence education for OBVIOUSLY NOT WORKING.

Just in case you're wondering, here's what the Life Center's website says it offers for its MPACT Character-based Sexual Integrity Program for grade 6, the goal of which is "to equip sixth graders to abstain from premarital sex and other risk-taking behaviors through education":

Defining sexual integrity [abstain or you're a slut, confusingly demonstrated by a piece of tape]
Consequences of Sex before marriage vs. Benefits of Boundaries [hmm, wonder how this "compare and contrast" turns out]
Basic Sexual Anatomy (gender specific) [penises and vaginas, folks]
Self Worth and Personal Character Values [if you have sex you don't have these]
Choosing friends based on your values [sluts make bad friends so it's ok to be mean to them]
The Media Message: Fantasy vs. Reality [OMG PORN IS ADDICTIVE SRSLY]
Healthy Affection vs. Inappropriate Behavior [if he wants to have sex with you there's no way he loves you]
Making a Commitment [straight people only, please]
Goal setting [rinse and repeat: don't have sex]

Warren said the district is evaluating a curriculum recommended by both the district Student Health Advisory Committee and the Life Center, but no word on which one it is. Maybe Big Decisions? Whatever program they choose, it won't go into effect before next fall. But Midland's motto is "The Sky's the Limit," so I'm confident with a lot of long, hot, hard work they can get up to Austin numbers before prom.

But then again, it could be like this.

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