New sex-ed program welcomed in high school

Dear Editors,

One of the things I value most about Grady High School is how cognizant and educated most of the student body is about social issues. While opinions differ on some matters, students are able to back their opinions up with facts. That is why the FLASH sexual education program is very significant to our school, and why the article “The New Sexual Education” deserved its place on the front page of last month’s Southerner.

On politics, most students know what they are talking about. The Grady cluster, which includes Grady and its feeder schools, does an excellent job of keeping students informed and up-to-date on political issues, and social media also helps students be more informed.

But, as the article revealed, there are some areas where we need to brush up. The sex education students received before this school year was wholly inadequate and had little effect on students’ sex lives. With 40 percent of students being sexually active, it’s important that, instead of teaching abstinence, the school teaches how to engage in sex safely, and FLASH makes an effort to do this.

The article was the perfect way to introduce FLASH to the school. Not to mention, the showy photo of condoms on the front page caught students’ eyes. But the article also brought to light the flaws in the previous sex-ed program. As a freshman, I know that Grady’s previous sex-ed was lacking, but I didn’t know the extent to which it reached. This article led me to ponder how deeply-rooted this issue was in our values and beliefs as a state.

Our Grady students, our informed and observant students, do not reflect the people on Georgia’s Board of Education. Misinformation runs rampant in our state government. Some of their beliefs appear to directly contradict statistics; for example, the state board of education’s main reason behind providing such a basic and inadequate sex-ed curriculum was out of fear of making students more sexually active. But, as the article states, 85 percent of students don’t believe that comprehensive sex-ed increases sexual activity.

Our board of education is willing to sacrifice the safety and health of our students to support their deeply personal beliefs, which, in our society, vary dramatically by the individual. This shouldn’t be an issue of morals because sex-ed isn’t just about sex. It’s about understanding the basic bodily processes of humans. It’s about healthy relationships and sexual orientation. It’s about STDs — comprehensive sex-ed could prevent cases of HIV in Grady students and, therefore, save lives.

This article made sure that the news about FLASH did not fly under the radar. The introduction of the program has already made an effect on the lives of students in the program, whether they know it or not, because knowledge about safe sex, reproductive anatomy and healthy relationships should be an opportunity presented to everyone.

I am enrolled in health, and I have seen how wonderfully comprehensive the FLASH program is. I learned many things I believe will be useful in my life right now and in the future, and I’m sure my peers did, too. The program portrayed sex in a very neutral light and taught students about much more than just intercourse. “The New Sexual Education” not only it teaches students about the program — it represents a paramount change in the knowledge and health of Grady’s student

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