Limited sex education at White Station results from public policy

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With approximately 2,500 students at White Station High School, it is not surprising that problems arise at a school with such an abundance of students and such limited resources. Problems like no heat in classrooms, no toilet paper and no paper towels are ongoing challenges at White Station. These are not new obstacles that students have to face, but White Station has corrected these issues, or at least tried to correct them.

However, the finite discussion of sex education at White Station is a recurring problem that no one seems to want to speak on publicly.

Sex education is a mandatory subject–unless parents choose to opt out–during Lifetime Wellness for students at White Station. However, many do not receive the same instruction and knowledge on the topic. It ultimately depends on the teacher you receive for that class to discuss more on sex education.

It is obscure to find out that hundreds of high schoolers are not given the same opportunity to understand the actions necessary to have a safe sex future.

The partnership between White Station and LeBonheur Children’s Hospital to enrich Lifetime Wellness students on protective sex only applies to students who are in a classroom setting for Lifetime Wellness. Through this program, a representative of LeBonheur comes to White Station, for one class period for a week, to inform students about what sex entails, including videos and hands-on activities about abstinence, protection, and sexually transmitted diseases.

The other students, who unfortunately did not get the classroom setting for Lifetime Wellness, read one section about sex education in their textbooks. Only one section for a significant and life-altering topic like sex, especially in a city like Memphis.

Memphis has large percentages for people who are diagnosed with gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. In 2011, approximately 90 students at Frayser High School were pregnant in the same school year.

So, how can this change? How can more students become well-informed people about sex education through a healthcare professional?

It is not a strenuous task or one that would create mania and chaos. Instead, it is as simple as giving all students the chance to partake in the program that White Station and LeBonheur already has in place.

Equal opportunity is essential for students to be aware of a matter that will continue to be prevalent in their lives, not just in high school.

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