So the whole abstinence-only-focused sex education thing isn't working out so well here in Texas. We now bear the dubious distinctions of having 1) the most teenagers having babies, and 2) the most teenagers having babies after they've already had a baby.
By contrast, California, which combines abstinence education with information about contraception - and gives teeenagers access to contraception without parental consent - has seen a 47% reduction in its number of teen births.
Look, I do believe that parents should have the right to opt their children out of sex ed classes in public schools. Texas law clearly makes such a provision. But we clearly have a disaster here - 63 of every 1,000 teenage Texas girls had babies in 2004. And the frustrating thing is that this is a totally preventable problem. It's glaringly clear that abstinence-only sex ed isn't working, especially with respect to our state's Hispanic teenage girls, who accounted for 61% of teen births in 2004. Some teenagers are quite clearly going to have sex whether they're taught that it's a good idea or not, and while teen pregnancies make the consequences of such decisions quite clear, we're doing a disservice to these kids by not giving them better information. Until the people who control this state wake up, it's just going to get worse. I'm not holding my breath.
Anyway, we're still near the bottom in SAT scores.