North Atlanta is Lacking in Sex Education


Sophie Peck

Knowledge is Power: Staff writer Tabitha Randklev reflects on the consequences of the lack of sex education at North Atlanta.

Atlanta Public Schools is great at many things like sports and arts but I think we can all agree that we are horrible at one thing: sex education. Georgia standards have to teach us that the only 100 percent effective way to not get an STI or pregnant is abstinence. Don’t get me wrong, that’s completely accurate, but that can’t be the only information we’re getting.

Whether you agree with it or not, North Atlanta students are going to be sexually active, no matter what sex-ed classes tell them to do. Sure, some people will be abstinent, but in the heat of the moment, most kids would rather keep having fun than think about their freshman year mediocre sex education class. Georgia school officials keep feigning shock every time a student gets an STI or gets pregnant. “Oh, well we taught them abstinence!” Yeah that doesn’t really mean anything.

Despite all Georgia has done in its abstinence campaign, studies show that the teenage birth rate in Georgia is 23.6 out of every 1,000 teens. Also, 10.2 of those girls are between the ages of 15-17. See any problems here? Even though teen pregnancy rates have declined since the early 90s, that doesn’t mean the problem has just gone away. And while Governor Kemp is addressing abortion laws, he should also be concerned over this issue. Georgia’s statistics in teenage pregnancies are above average compared to the rest of the United States. Something must change here.

With a problem this big, there has to be an equally sized solution. And that solution is to teach more about safe sex in school, besides the obvious answer of abstinence. Actually talking about and normalizing different kinds of birth controls in class, instead of just completely glazing over them or only talking about the negative effects, could help save a lot of teens from a sticky situation.

While the concept is hard for most adults to cope with, there’s nothing they can do to truly prevent teenagers from having sex. However, if they take a different approach and teach us about methods of safe sex and birth control, things could really change for the better.