No. 522



There are few things that can severely damage the future of a teenage girl like an unwanted pregnancy. Yet, this is the plight of thousands upon thousands of young unmarried girls in our nation each year. In fact, I know of one small community where there are 35 to 40 young girls in the local high school who are pregnant. Sadly, many of these young girls and their babies will become wards of the state, which means that every taxpayer in the country will be called on to foot the bill. It's always a case of where many people suffer because two people made a poor choice.
While this is a very complex issue, there is an answer to this dilemma. It's called "abstinence," which means we teach teenage girls in our schools that they should not engage in sex until after they are married. While it's not realistic to think that every young girl will follow this teaching, in schools that teach abstinence as part of their sex education program it has proven to make real progress in reducing unwanted pregnancies. One would logically think that because this approach definitely reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies and thereby increases a teenage girl's chances for success in life, that everyone would be for it.
This is certainly not the case, as many groups are opposing this program of teaching abstinence sex education. One of these groups is called SIECUS, which stands for "Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States." In a recent annual back-to-school briefing in Washington, D.C., to gain support for further funding for so-called "comprehensive" sex education, they did their best to malign "abstinence" programs that have proven effective in reaching girls with the message of no sex before marriage.
The content of the programs SIECUS recommends was too graphic and age inappropriate for them to discuss, even at their own briefing. I have read what they advocate and it's so graphic that I would never share this kind of language in one of my columns. There is another group that is committed to helping this organization get this kind of sex education taught in our schools and they are totally opposed to the teaching of abstinence education in our nation's public schools. Would you care to guess the name of this group? You are right! It's the ACLU, which stands for the American Civil Liberties Union.
If you will check out their Web site at you will find a pre-written letter to all public school administrators in the nation touting their philosophy, and it's called "Not In My State." All a member has to do is download the letter, place the name of the school and the superintendent's name and sign their own name and send it out. In the past this has been a very effective method of intimidating our local school officials. But wait a minute. Do people in local communities all across our nation really need the ACLU to tell them what kind of sex education programs to teach in their schools?
I'm just one person, but I say we need to return the control of our local schools to three important groups. First, the taxpayers who pay to build the schools. Next, the parents who send their children to our nation's public schools. And lastly, the voters who elect the school board members, who hire the administrators and teachers.
Here is a point that many people may not realize. In our judicial system, every citizen has the right to petition the court just as much as the ACLU or any other group.
The problem for most of us is that we don't know the law. There are thousands of fine attorneys across our land who do not approve of what is happening to our schools and many of them would represent us, pro bono, to begin to restore control of our local schools to the hands where it belongs.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)