Professor Alice Dreger’s son goes to East Lansing High School in Michigan, and he did just that. When Professor Dreger discovered that her space at the back of the class had wi-fi, she decided to live-tweet the entire experience. As her outrage increased, so did her tweets.
The teachers—not regular employees of the school but specialists brought in from outside—hauled out statistics and stories one after another to prove that condoms don’t work, that premarital pregnancy leads to a life of ostracism and misery, and that condom failure happens one out of six times, on average. Dreger seethed and tweeted, tweeted and seethed.
But the teacher was having none of it.
Dreger found that the focus of the class was on telling horror stories about what happened to people who risked pre-marital sex.
While the teachers moved on to the ineffectiveness of birth control, Dreger kept up the momentum.
Soon she couldn’t hold herself back from all caps.
Then the experiments began.
The principal at the school told Buzzfeed that the class isn’t abstinence-only, but “abstinence-based.” Some post-class research, however, revealed to Dreger that the group brought in to teach was a pro-life Christian group, with a clear point of view. In-class listening demonstrated the same thing.
Studies question the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education, but funding for it has been extended by Congress through 2017. Dreger, who is a Clinical Professor in the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in Chicago, found the whole experience infuriating.
Since then she’s been banned from most high school events and told she’ll be subject to “special monitoring” when she’s there in the course of the normal routine (like pick up, drop off, and conferences), because so many students heard her use the word “fuck” after class. (I’m going to admit right now that my mother could easily have gotten in trouble for the exact same thing. Oops.)
Dreger still thinks her son goes to a good school, but believes the district isn’t even aware of what’s being taught by the groups they’ve brought in to teach the class. Chances are high that they’ve figured it out by now, given the attention she’s gotten.
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