Texas High School That Only Teaches Abstinence Suffers Chlamydia Outbreak

Parents of students at Crane High School in Crane County, Texas, received what had to be the most disturbing note of their lives from school officials. A chlamydia outbreak was reportedly declared at the conservative high school after at least 20 cases of the sexually transmitted disease were confirmed last week.

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Parents of the high school's 300 pupils were told they should be aware of the "growing problem," which is one way to put it. If left untreated, chlamydia, which affects both men and women, can cause permanent damage to reproductive organs. Unlike several other sexually transmitted diseases, chlamydia may not cause any symptoms so teens could be walking around with the disease—and continuing to transmit it—without even knowing.

Scary, scary stuff. The school district should be commended for its honest approach to addressing the problem instead of sweeping it under the rug, which would be horrifically irresponsible. They even sent letters to the parents of students in Crane's middle school, just to be safe.

More from The Stir: Abstinence-Only Sex Education Will Not Work

One of the most interesting aspects of this story is that Crane High School is one of many in parts of the country that doesn't teach formal sex education classes. It offers a three-day sex ed course each fall that stresses the importance of abstinence, but clearly, that message isn't sinking in with some teens.

So, what now? Should the school continue on its abstinence-only route, even though it seems like students are starving for more substantial information about how to protect themselves from STD's while engaging in sex? Answer: no, no, no, no. Knowledge is power and teens shouldn't be kept in the dark when it comes to learning how to protect themselves and take control of their bodies and sexual health. Not because they should run with the information and have tons of casual sex, but because knowledge makes you a more powerful individual. Case closed.

Representatives from the school district are expected to meet with the Schools Health Advisory Committee, which is made up of parents, teachers, and school officials to discuss whether changes should be made to the sex education curriculum.

Do you think sex education that includes facts about contraception can help avoid something like this from happening?

 

Image via Eleazer/Flickr

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