Posted by: Dave Wilson | October 31, 2008

Another Alternative for Clarendon Schools

Clarendon School District 3’s new superintendent, Connie Dennis, has ended her district’s sex education curriculum partnership with neighboring Clarendon District 2… this just a few weeks after a coarsely-worded sex-ed survey shocked District 2 middle school students and parents.

USC Professor Robert Skip Valois, PhD

USC Professor Robert "Skip" Valois, PhD

The questionable survey was provided by USC Professor Robert “Skip” Valois, PhD, an ardent supporter of “safer sex” ideology. His 17-page survey asked students about sexual behaviors and attitudes that would make even the average parent, much less the average pre-teen, a bit uncomfortable.

Here are just a few of the questions from the survey. Be forewarned, some of these questions are highly graphic in nature…

  • Have you ever put your mouth on your partner’s penis or vagina or has your partner ever put their mouth on your penis or vagina (some people call this “giving or receiving oral sex”).
  • During the past 3 months, how many different people did you receive oral sex from?
  • Have you ever had sexual intercourse (male penis in female vagina)?
  • How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?
  • When you had sexual intercourse for the first time, how old was your partner?
  • During your life, with how many people have you had sexual intercourse?
  • During the past 3 months, with how many people did you have sexual intercourse?
  • When was the last time you had sexual intercourse?
  • Did you drink alcohol or use drugs before you had sexual intercourse the last time?
  • The last time you had sexual intercourse, did you or your partner use a condom?
  • During the past 12 months, how many times did you try to get pregnant or try to make someone pregnant?

After outraged parents called her office about the survey, District 3’s Dennis said, “I work with my community.” She said the groundswell of opposition has confirmed her desire to look for an alternative program for her schools.

State law requires that sex education programs in public schools include a strong emphasize on abstinence education, and there are a number of programs in South Carolina proving themselves with impressive results.

While the state average for 16 year-olds abstaining from sexual activity is 48%, over a five-year period, 82% of the 16 year-old students enrolled in Heritage Community ServicesHeritage Keepers program reported abstaining from sexual activity the year prior. At the same time, program students also initiated sex at half the rate of students not involved in the program.

“We’ve been providing result-oriented authentic abstinence education services in South Carolina public schools for more than 10 years now. We know our program works because independent evaluations tell us that we are having a positive effect on student behavior,” said Heritage Community Services founder Anne Badgley.

Heritage Keepers’ students are surveyed using questions developed by nationally renowned abstinence education researcher Stan Weed, PhD. “Unlike some evaluation tools, Dr. Weed’s surveys are age-appropriate and measure the immediate influence of our program as well as its impact on behavior a year later,” Badgley added.

In recent testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Dr. Weed stated, “Taken together, a pattern of scientific evidence is emerging that indicates abstinence-centered sex education programs, if properly designed and implemented, can cut rates of teen sexual activity by as much as half for significant periods of time without reducing condom use by the sexually active.”

Heritage has approached Clarendon School District 3 with an alternate sex education plan for this school year. Hopefully administrators and parents will get behind an effective program like the one Heritage offers and create a win-win option for parents, schools and students.

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