Update, Wednesday, 5/13/15, 2:45 pm:
It wasn’t hard to believe that Crane High School’s “just don’t have sex” (aka “abstinence-only”) sex ed policy would lead to a chlamydia outbreak, as originally reported by CBS 7 and news outlets around the country. The real story, as revealed today by Vice, shines a spotlight on the realities of life (and sex life) in a small town.
Jim Rumage, the school superintendant, sent a letter to parents saying 21 students had been diagnosed with chlamydia. In reality, the students had simply been tested for the STD. “When they said tested I probably thought confirmed, and I was just trying to be proactive and thought if they tested 20 people, there was some reason for it,” Rumage told Vice.
The bright spot of the confusion has been a much-needed conversation about sexual education in Crane, a small town in the state of Texas where no schools are required to teach sexual education. The Crane school board plans to vote next week on a measure to incorporate sexual education into the curriculum. The board last voted against the program in April 2012, Carr said, because “it’s small town USA and they thought they didn’t need it.”
Original post, Friday, 5/8/15, 3 pm:
Like so many so-called educational establishments across the U.S., a high school in Crane, Texas teaches “abstinence-only” sex ed — i.e. their curriculum on sexual education amounts to telling horny teenagers “don’t do it.” This approach must have backfired, however, because Crane High School students have somehow (magically?) contracted a reported 20 cases of the STD chlamydia. That’s 1 in 15 students in a high school of 300, reports local news channel K-FOR TV.
The Texas Department of State Health Services had to notify the school district about the school’s escalating number of chlamydia cases, CBS 7 reports. The district sent a letter to parents of high school students informing them of the issue. It also informed the parents of junior high students as a precautionary measure. We are guessing the local doctors’ offices were already well aware.
Although chlamydia shows few symptoms, it can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system if it’s not treated with antibiotics. According to the CDC, chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in America. Fortunately, it’s easily treated.
Crane High School is stilling digging in its heels about abstinence-only sex ed, however. “If kids are not having any sexual activity, they can’t get this disease. [It’s] not a bad program,” superintendent Jim Rumage told KFOR-TV. The school board plans to vote on changes to the curriculum that will include a discussion on STDs on May 19. Here’s hoping some of the adults in this town come to their senses before then.
READ MORE: On Dating with Herpes