Petition to Mayor Fenty, Chancellor Rhee, Board of Education & City Council
We the undersigned believe that our youth deserve the best possible future. Since abstinence from sexual relationships before marriage provides physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and moral benefits for youth, it should be the expected standard for all school age youth. Health Education Standards must state that abstinence from sexual activity is the desired standard for all school age youth (grades 5 to 12) and must include the following language for grades 7 to 12:
Explain the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and moral benefits of abstaining from sex before a committed lifetime monogamous relationship, such as marriage.
The topics of sexual orientation and gender identify (proposed sections 6.1.6, 8.1.5, and 8.1.6) are inappropriate for discussion in school, and should be deleted. The discussion of contraception for 7th grade should be deleted (7.1.7). The discussion of contraception and abortion for 9th grade (9.1.5)should be changed to:
9.1.5 Analyze trends in teen pregnancy rates, teen births, plus Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System data showing that the majority of high school students in Washington, DC have never had sexual intercourse. Discuss why abstinence from all sexual activity outside of marriage is the only 100% sure way to prevent STIs, pregnancy, and social and emotional consequences of sexual relationships.
The following statement must be included in the Health Education Standards:
Nothing in these standards shall be interpreted as excluding programs that comply with the Federal Title V standards established as part of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 for abstinence education programs.
The Board of Education should delay voting on the proposed Health Education Standards for at least 60 days to allow for more input from parents, students and concerned citizens.