Teach our kids about condoms!

A suit claims a school district is providing misinformation, by comparing women who have had sex to a "dirty shoe"

Topics: Sex Education, Sex, Love and Sex, Teenagers, Parenting,

Teach our kids about condoms! (Credit: iStockphoto/ericsphotography)

In an unprecedented move, parents in California are suing their local school district over sex education. But these parents aren’t revolting for the reasons we’ve come to expect: They’re suing because they want their kids to be fully informed — imagine that.

The sex ed textbook used by the Clovis Unified School District in Fresno, Calif., “does not mention condoms at all, even in chapters about HIV/AIDS and on preventing STDs and unintended pregnancy,” according to a press release from the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the parents, along with local doctors, in the suit. Instead, the textbook recommends preventing STDs through self-respect, group hangouts, abstinence and, um, “plenty of rest.” Who wrote this thing, Todd Akin?

Charmingly, the curriculum compares “a woman who is not a virgin to a dirty shoe” and explains that “men are unable to stop themselves once they become sexually aroused,” says the ACLU.



This isn’t just an assault on reason, it also breaks the law, the suit argues. In 2003, we wild ‘n’ crazy California liberals passed a law requiring sex education in public schools to be comprehensive and, you know, scientifically accurate. Last year, researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that things had improved throughout the state since the law’s passage, but spottily. More than a quarter of school districts did not teach HIV prevention — in fact, schools were more likely to discuss abstinence than mandated information about HIV — and only 58 percent covered contraception.

So, sadly, Clovis Unified is not alone — although Fresno County does have the distinction of having one of the highest teen birth rates in the state.

Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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