By Andrea Lopez
I have never had a class in which a teacher devoted time to help students understand the importance of safe sex. It seems that the education system is afraid of informing students about safe sex, as if that condones it as an action. However, teen sexuality is a reality. Not only will being safe prevent the chances of catching a sexually transmitted disease (STD), but it will also diminish teen pregnancy. Therefore learning about safe sex practices is invaluable. The education system also does not provide support to teen mothers that can no longer continue in school.
According the National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 34 percent of young women become pregnant at least once before the age of 20. Instead of preaching abstinence, school systems should be realistic and accept that teens will have sex whether they are being safe or not. In order to reduce the numbers of teen moms, schools should play a large role in providing this information. It would be easier for this information to be disseminated by schools than by parents who might also be uniformed, which may make for an awkward conversation.
Teenagers have their entire lives ahead of them and having a child can halt their potential to become who it is they are meant to be. When they have to put their education on hold in order to raise a child, teen parents often feel there is no point in returning back to school and instead work at often dead-end jobs just to be able to provide for the child.
With more of an emphasis on practicing safe sex with things such as condoms and birth control, the need for teens to drop out of school will ultimately decrease.
Schools, as well as parents, often have a negative view of girls who are on birth control as this leads to often bad assumptions about their morality. In reality, those girls are being smart. Schools can help change this bad image of birth control if only they would give out the proper information on it.
The best way to prevent girls from unwanted pregnancies is to teach them from an early age about the different forms of birth control and how to obtain condoms. You can get free condoms from sites like teensource.org and go to a local planned parenthood to be informed about forms of birth controls.
A generation with this sort of information would be more likely to have less teen parents and it would show the benefits of knowing about safe sex. Our school does offer some education on safe sex through our nurses in the health office and through the “What Goes Around Assembly” held every year, but we need more.