Let’s cut to the chase: America’s sex and reproductive health education is greatly lacking. Adolescents and sometimes adults aren’t exposed to the teaching of normal and healthy things that we do as humans, such as, say, have sex or masturbate. While the majority of public schools across the nation’s curriculum is based on preaching “abstinence only,” it is, in return, taking away from students. It shows adolescents that the only way to live a healthy and successful like is to not partake in sexual intercourse in their later years, even though most will. This can lead to teen pregnancy, receiving STD’s, rape, and, simply, not knowing what to even do during sexual intercourse.
Lynn Barclay, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), told Bustle that aside from neglecting the teaching of consent, proper genital care and STD prevention, the only thing schools are succeeding in is teaching students on how to “feel bad about their bodies.” At the middle school age level, the same age levels when puberty begins in the average teen, 50% of schools are teaching “abstinence only,” and that it is the most effective way to prevent teenage pregnancy, yet only 10% of schools are teaching condom demonstrations.
The Trump reign is now in full force, and because of that, there will be a new nominee for Secretary of Education. Who might Trump pick, you ask? The infamous conservative billionaire Betsy DeVos. DeVos, who attended a private Christian school throughout her secondary education, was the chairwoman of the American Federation for Children based in Detroit during the 1990’s. She is also a strong advocate for the spread of Michigan charter schools, which, similarly, have lower test scores than the state average. While, yes, DeVos has contributed millions of dollars to fund Michigan charter schools, she has also illegally stolen $870,000 in contributions from neighboring committees and affiliates, in the hopes of fulfilling her beliefs that private schools should be paid for by public funding. Obviously, this didn’t work out, and she was fined $5.3 million in 2008, which hasn’t even been paid yet.
DeVos is not even qualified for the position, similar to the rest of the majority of Trump’s “trash” cabinet. Stephen Henderson of the Washington Press describes her as:
“DeVos isn’t an educator, or an education leader. She’s not an expert in pedagogy or curriculum or school governance. In fact, she has no relevant credentials or experience for a job setting standards and guiding dollars for the nation’s public schools. She is, in essence, a lobbyist — someone who has used her extraordinary wealth to influence the conversation about education reform, and to bend that conversation to her ideological convictions despite the dearth of evidence supporting them.”
Let’s see how liberal America responded:
I will be voting against Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. We must strengthen public education in America, not destroy it.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 26, 2017
I will oppose Betsy DeVos’s nomination. Our next Education Secretary must be pro-public schools, pro-accountability and pro-civil rights
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 25, 2017
Betsy DeVos would send taxpayer ? to schools that can discriminate on the basis of:
Some have even, ironically, edited DeVos’ grammar:
— Oliver Chinyere (@Oliverdirtyb) January 22, 2017
I believe that with proper and thorough sex and reproductive health education, tragedies such as the Brock Turner incident, unwanted pregnancies and abortions and the spread STD’s will greatly decrease. But with DeVos as our possible Secretary of Education, the future is scarily unknown. Hopefully, but doubtfully, she will steer the country in the right direction and enforce the need for better sexual and health education for young adults. Just remember to fight for what you believe in and for the fundamental rights that we Americans so wholeheartedly deserve.