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85% of schools in Arkansas tell kids to say no to sex

With teen births high, youths called ‘uneducated’ bunnies

By Ginny Monk

This article was originally published September 24, 2017 at 4:30 a.m. Updated September 25, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

terri-bryant-is-the-school-health-coordinator-and-improvement-director-for-the-malvern-school-district-one-of-seven-districts-in-the-state-that-teach-students-how-to-properly-use-condoms-students-also-learn-about-sexual-consent-through-a-role-playing-skit-that-teaches-female-students-how-to-say-no-bryant-said

Terri Bryant is the school health coordinator and improvement director for the Malvern School District, one of seven districts in the state that teach students how to properly use condoms. Students also learn about sexual consent through a role-playing skit that teaches female students how to say “no,” Bryant said.

A map showing Sex education by school district

A map showing Teen birthrates by county, 2016

Graph showing Teen birthrates by age, 2015

Graph showing information about Arkansas and U.S. birthrates

A map showing information about Teens who have had sex

A high school senior stands in front of a crowd of eighth-graders, sporting a pregnancy belt that rounds out her stomach; a weight strapped on her back represents the burden of household chores.

A map showing Sex education by school district

A map showing Teen birthrates by county, 2016

Graph showing Teen birthrates by age, 2015

Graph showing information about Arkansas and U.S. birthrates

A map showing information about Teens who have had sex

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Jfish says... September 24, 2017 at 6:57 a.m.

While I agree that abstinence is the best policy, it is absurd to not teach sex education starting around the seventh grade. It is a natural desire, don't treat it like taboo and hope everything turns out for the best. Sounds like Reuter and her husband still need to take the course if the second child was also a surprise for the couple, pretty unbelievable.

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TimberTopper says... September 24, 2017 at 8:08 a.m.

I don't really think telling the kids to just say "no" to sex will work. Just saying "no" to drugs damn sure didn't.

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23cal says... September 24, 2017 at 8:22 a.m.

Abstinence 0nly programs do not work. The studies are in; there is no doubt.
For those with reading comprehension difficulties, I didn't say abstinence doesn't work, of course it does. However, the results are in that abstinence only PROGRAMS don't work, whereas comprehensive sex education programs DO work.
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It is a travesty the amount of federal funding pissed away on abstinence only programs in order to pander to the wishful thinking fantasies of mostly backward religious types determined that head-in-the-sand denial is the best way to confront modernity and established data.
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One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over expecting different results. There is an awful lot of insanity in this state about this issue.
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What is truly gobsmacking is that the ones most against abortions are also the ones most against the comprehensive sex education which will lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies and thus, fewer abortions.

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GCW says... September 24, 2017 at 8:43 a.m.

Consequence education certainly wouldn't hurt.

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arkateacher54 says... September 24, 2017 at 9:08 a.m.

Yes teaching the little buggers how to put a condom on a banana and how to have anal sex is going to put a stop to teen pregnancy. It won't as long as the TV, movies, celebrities, newspapers, magazines, Planned Parenthood, radio, internet, peers, parents and government are all screaming Have sex! Have sex! Have sex! It won't as long as the government pays people to have babies irresponsibly with WIC, SNAP, day care assistance, rent assistance, ARKids etc etc etc. It won't as long as parents, when there are any, fail miserably to teach their children to behave responsibly, to be self-disciplined and to understand that all actions lead to results whether you like them or not. It won't as long as our society embraces the 60s philosophy 'if it feels good do it,' ridicules morality, teaches that there is no absolute truth. It won't as long as government and society quashes religious belief. As with all social problems and most problems in general, the solutions are complex and multi-faceted. It is ridiculous and unfair to think that schools and educators can deal with this problem alone and are to blame for the failures. What we have is Lord of the Flies, except the adults are on the island with the kiddos.

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PopulistMom says... September 24, 2017 at 10:36 a.m.

JFish's comments are right on. It is fine to encourage abstinence through high school. I don't think that it is practical to expect celibacy until marriage; it causes marriage at a young age which may not be practical when people live so much longer. Also, how many brides have waited until the wedding night to find out that their husband is gay or impotent? How many grooms have waited until their wedding night to find out that their wife is frigid. While we can preach abstinence through high school, it is highly irresponsible not to teach young people the medical aspects of sex. A large number of teens do have sex. They need to know the facts. They need to know the pregnancy rates of every type of contraception, and they need to know about STDs. They also need access to contraceptive materials. If I had my way, condoms and spermicide would be available in vending machines in every public restroom in America.

It is very sad that Reuter gave up college to start a family so early. It is hard to raise a family on what you make with a high school diploma. I also do not understand why people just don't go down to the courthouse to get married when they get pregnant.

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GrandHolly says... September 24, 2017 at 12:08 p.m.

Fayetteville hires a Christian company to teach their high school sex ed. They use disgusting analogies to scare kids into abstinence, and tell them that tubal pregnancies are the result of having sex outside marriage. They do not include consent in their abstinence-based curriculum.

I don't think I can post a link to a recent opinion piece with some facts, from the Fayetteville high school newspaper (reporter: Maggie Hendrix). Google "sex ed in arkansas fayetteville register".

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mrcharles says... September 24, 2017 at 2:05 p.m.

Just say no didn't work 50 years ago, and apparently not today. Yet there are those who want stupidity of unworkable principal to be the way even though many girls will suffer . Just like the divines who don't want girls vaccinated so this scare is incentitive not to have sex, but if they get cancer, well that will teach them especially if they die... another example of that kind of love that has death FOR a minor infraction. Evil, Evil talking great apes should be prosecuted criminally to cause harm to girls.

Did David say NO? Yet he is a revered ancestor of a deity that retailers look forward to every year to celebrate the bday of Sir Isaac Newton.

Purely the result of superstitious primates who believe in angels, demons & water walking dual nature creations & their evil policies.

Kansasteacher, please ID your school so no relative of mine would be taught by a nonrational individidual. Yes aids js bad but not as bad as condoms.

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Popsmith says... September 24, 2017 at 3:07 p.m.

Advertising works. Just flood the TV and internet with sex, sexy clothes, "true romance", easy prophylaxis and other cheap things that cheapen sex. It creates a tremendous market.
So what do you expect? Do you really think that bit of sex ed is going to keep sex sacred until an age of responsibility makes everything right?

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Razorcliff says... September 24, 2017 at 3:31 p.m.

Good article, thanks Democrat-Gazette for having the courage to step up and report on another core issue in our state's lagging education system that needs to improve some more (at least the overall trends are down). Thanks to the internet/facebook/TV, etc., kids are exposed to much more than 15+ years ago. They need helpful, balanced information. Maybe a follow-up could focus on how the charter schools address this area and results?
Thanks again for the food-for-thought!

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