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According to the Washington Post, students in Montgomery County, Maryland- a suburb of Washington, DC- will now continue learn about homosexuality, condom use, and sexuality beyond vaginal intercourse as part of their sex education classes.
Over the past six years, after the conclusion that Montgomery County's sex education program was out-of-date, a debate on the appropriate content occurred. Upset at the resulting revisions, in 2005 a group called "Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum" took Montgomery County to court, arguing that the curriculum, by stating that homosexuality was innate, was not factual, and, that by mentioning things like anal intercourse and condom use, taught "erotic techniques."
After receiving a ruling that the lessons being taught in Montgomery County are appropriate and in line with the standards of the community, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum have announced that they will not appeal the ruling another time.
Let me just say, speaking as a product of Montgomery County's public schools- IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME.
When I attended Montgomery County's public schools (beginning with Kindergarten and ending with my graduation from high school), our sex ed program was woefully inadequate. The fact that homosexuality and safer sex practices, not to mention sex besides vaginal-penile intercourse, are be discussed, is something that fills my heart with joy. Last I heard, they also got rid of the abstinence-only speaker who came in and threatened a bunch of 15 and 16 year olds like me with tape and chewing gum, making the analogies that having sex with more than one person is gross (like chewing already-been-chewed gum), and that sex, like tape, can only be special for the first couple of times it's had before losing it's ability to bond people together.
It's next-to-impossible to find messages of self-love, of self-acceptance, and of self-respect in "abstinence only" lessons like that- ones that send messages that you, too, can be damaged goods if you have sex.
And, now, Montgomery County is free to continue making that step towards giving its students accurate information that they can use to make their own decisions. That Montgomery County is edging towards being inclusive and accurate in its sex education program- not only by mentioning different kinds of sex, but especially by mentioning different orientations- is something for me, a former resident and student, to be glad for.