wisconsin d.a. tries to outlaw sex ed

According to Scott Southworth, teaching teenagers how to use birth control is essentially the same crime as showing pornography to a minor.

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Are you a teacher in Wisconsin? Do you teach sex ed classes? Then you should be aware that according to a rather dimwitted DA who sent warnings to school districts in his jurisdiction that teaching kids how to use birth control will land you in jail and $10,000 in fine under the same law generally used against pedophiles who try to show porn to their potential victims.

I know what you’re thinking and yes, the DA is a fundamentalist abusing his office to protest the governor’s law requiring comprehensive sex ed in schools. And yes, he’s using the old canard that teaching kids about how to have safer sex if they choose to do it is really just encouraging them to have sex. Juneau County, you need a new DA. Really. Preferably one who actually persecutes actual criminals rather than threaten teachers trying to do their jobs and keep sexually maturing teenagers a little safer with classes intended to show them how to effectively defend themselves from the risks of unprotected sex.

Scott Southworth’s excuse for logic is the kind of ridiculous stubbornness that actually boosts STD infections and pregnancy rates in schools, so if his goal is to make sure that even more teenagers end up pregnant or with some sort of virus, he’s definitely on the right track. Does there even need to be an explanation why lying to raging whirlwinds of hormones and suspended logic that birth control doesn’t work or that if they dare to be with more than one partner, they’re going to end up with STDs, will only contribute to a reduction in the use of condoms and birth control pills?

Oh, sure we could say that good little boys and girls shouldn’t have sex until a wedding ring is involved but then again we could also pretend that we’re all millionaires who own three banks and a fleet of exotic cars. See, isn’t life fun in Fantasy Land™? We could all just see things as we believe they should be rather than how they really are and argue about the color of the tutu worn by the pink elephant in the corner instead of admitting that teenagers were having sex for thousands of years and nothing has stopped it so far, then coming up with way to keep them healthy and in schools. The states ignoring tangible reality tend to have the highest rates of both pregnancies and STDs according to virtually every study on the subject.

Of course Southworth, a passport carrying resident of Fantasy Land, is telling schools not to teach any sex ed classes until the law requiring comprehensive education is repealed and a new one is adopted to his liking, probably requiring school districts to teach kids how to use chastity belts and libido-lowering drugs instead. In his own words, he’s just warning teachers about the consequences of a law he could use as a bludgeon and he really doesn’t want a fight or haul anyone to court. In fact, he says that “the Legislature just dumped” the big problem on his lap. Which is, of course, nonsense.

He heard of a law with which he disagrees and instead of doing his job as an enforcement officer, he’s trying to change it by digging out an anti-pedophile statute to use as a threat for anyone who dares to teach kids about sex in a way that violates his religious beliefs. He didn’t just pick a fight, he’s just begging to haul someone to court so he can use the courtroom as a bully pulpit. You would think that he’s either an ignorant moral crusader wildly tilting at windmills, or a cartoon villain with a plan to contribute to pregnancy and STD rates in his state. Either way, his ridiculous posturing on the matter is only going to make things worse for the teenagers who need to learn how to keep themselves safe and who won’t choose abstinence no matter how hard we push them towards it.

Even worse, Southworth is also set against a comprehensive curriculum because it may cover the sexualities of gay and transgendered people. Because as we all know, if we don’t tell teenagers about homosexuality or the transgendered, they’ll never find out about them. And if they do, they could just be taught to hate them, find them immoral, repugnant and less worthy as human beings by religious fundamentalists. Really, who is this guy fooling but himself in telling the media that he doesn’t want politics in the classroom? Of course he does.

It’s just that he wants his politics taught instead of a more moderate, realistic viewpoint which focuses on just the facts. God forbid that teenagers are empowered to make educated choices and form opinions based on more than just one source of information. Why that would make for a world where teenagers deal with sexual maturity in constructive ways, without fundamentalists’ indoctrination and ranting. And Southworth and all his likeminded friends and allies certainly can’t have that happen on their watch…

# sex // fundamentalism / homosexuality / sex education


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