Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Doesn't Fly: California Judge

Ruling says students should learn about STD prevention, all kinds of birth control
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2015 5:03 PM CDT
Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Doesn't Fly: California Judge
This ruling could have massive implications for sex ed in California.   (Shutterstock)

California has a sex-ed law on the books that bans schools from pushing abstinence alone in teaching about pregnancy and STD prevention, and a Fresno County judge has now enforced that law, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Superior Court Judge Donald Black's decision ruled that the Clovis Unified School District—located in an area deemed a "hot spot" for some of the highest teen pregnancy and STD rates in California—went against state law. Black also mandated that sex education has to be "complete, medically accurate, and free of bias" and include info on all kinds of birth control, STD and HIV/AIDS prevention, gender roles, and sexual orientation, the Guardian reports. "Teens deserve complete, accurate health information," says the ACLU, which calls the ruling a "huge victory for students."

The ruling comes after parents—with support from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the ACLU, and the Gay-Straight Alliance—filed a lawsuit in 2012 claiming Clovis students weren't taught about various methods of birth control and were mainly informed about abstinence and hetero lifestyles, per the Guardian. One video the students watched told them to "adopt the mantra 'one man, one woman, one life,'" while another video compared a woman who wasn't a virgin to a "dirty, used pair of shoes" who could give someone foot fungus, the suit alleged. The judge's ruling seems to be in line with what the nation believes: A January YouGov/Huffington Post survey showed that 66% of the 1,000 adults surveyed believe teens "should be taught about various methods of birth control." (At a Texas school with an "abstinence-only" program, this happened.)

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