The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Rob’s reckonings: School should teach real-world practices

I’m guessing I wasn’t the only person to have a goofy, slightly pervy and definitely politically incorrect health teacher in high school.

You know, the old guy that thinks he can soften the awkwardness of the sex talk by giggling along with the class when he asks them to come up with a running list of slang terms for genitalia? The guy that is convinced you won’t do drugs after he tells you stoner stories about ‘a guy he used to know?’

Sure, it was all fun and games – until the live birth video – but overall, the course was a joke, considering it was supposed to address some of the most prevalent issues teenagers face. And that seems to be the consensus. Most basic classes that cover topics such as sexual health, substance abuse and general health are an hour-long laugh. The instructor is someone that has long since forgotten what it is like to be a teenager — let alone connect with one – and the information is either incredibly outdated or ridiculously conservative.

However, the Milwaukee School District might become one of the first to change all that. A new proposal by the district would give students two condoms upon request, but only after they get a spiel from the school nurse. The proposed tactic — which would make the district one of the first in the country to use it – will in theory help reduce STDs among the 63 percent of district high school students that reported being sexually active in a recent survey. And those are just the ones telling the truth.

Of course, this decision has been met by criticism that it promotes permiscuity and leaves morals by the wayside.

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The schools aren’t promoting permiscuity; they are promoting responsibility.

Finally people are using their heads instead of relying on the the assumption that kids believe they will actually go to hell for their sexual exploits. The reality is, scare tactics don’t work anymore, and relying on abstinence is completely outrageous and naive. Teachers can show as many nasty crotch close-ups as they want, and churches can rant about premarital sex and eternal damnation until fire and brimstone rain from the sky . but teens still like to have sex. Trust me, I’m from Chippewa Falls, home of the unwed mother. I might be one of ten people from my graduating class that has yet to procreate, and I’m only 21.

If the MSD goes through with the plan, it will be one of the first school districts to be realistic about the sex lives of its students. It will be the first to actually address a problem instead of holding on to some fantasy that its seniors are still working on their first kiss.

Handing out two condoms isn’t that big of a deal. Two condoms probably cost a couple of bucks at the most, and anybody can buy them, so it’s not like the district’s policy is earth shattering. And I’m still wondering what’s going to happen if someone makes return trips to the nurse’s office – ‘What?! You got two of them yesterday!’ But the idea is there, and the logic finally makes sense.

Cheers to Milwaukee for accepting change to do what’s best for its students.

Rob’s Reckoning’s is a weekly column. Hanson, The Spectator’s editorial editor, can be reached at [email protected]

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Rob’s reckonings: School should teach real-world practices