Statement to the Board of Education on sex ed and the Braves 10

Last Monday night I made the following statement before the Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Trustees during the public comments and I wanted to share it here.

I’ve got two kids in the Ypsilanti Schools. My daughter has been in the Ypsilanti public schools for ten years and my son for seven. In that decade aside from ridiculously cursory HIV awareness, they’ve gotten absolutely zero reproductive health education. The fact that this district has failed to provide any comprehensive health education to it’s students is an absolute disgrace. Just because one very vocal opponent has repeatedly spoken up at every single meeting of this board and some administrators may be squeamish about teaching kids about condoms, it’s not an excuse for continuing to stall on a very important element of these kids education.

Earlier this year you saw the results of a survey that was conducted by the Reproductive Health Advisory Board where almost seven hundred parents overwhelmingly said they want comprehensive reproductive health education. Some people may want to just tell kids not to have sex before marriage but the reality is that sticking your head in the sand like that will do absolutely nothing to protect kids. No matter how much you urge kids not to have sex the reality is that it will happen. Not all of them will but a significant number will. They always have and they always will. Believing anything else is deluding yourself.

Given that we need to make sure that we teach kids about healthy relationships, alternatives to intercourse and how to minimize risks if they do choose to have sex. The reproductive health advisory board has spent more than two years evaluating curricula and have chosen a comprehensive plan. They presented it to you and in public presentations. It’s time to stop stalling just because certain members of this administration and a very vocal minority of the population are uncomfortable with reproductive health education. The parents have spoken and the kids need this. We must face the reality that kids will have sex and most parents are just as uncomfortable as you are when it comes to talking about sex to them. Any parents that don’t want their kids to get this education are free to opt out of either the whole program or any individual lesson.

Finally on an unrelated note, this board in a previous iteration made a difficult and correct decision to retire the Braves nickname. It’s just a nickname and people need to get over it and move on. It offends a group within our community and tradition doesn’t make it OK. I urge you not to re-open this issue and not to restore the name. Starting this fall and over the coming years the kids will get used to a new name and within a few years none of them will care about the old name. Meanwhile alumni will always have their memories. Thank You.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 thoughts on “Statement to the Board of Education on sex ed and the Braves

  • Kate

    Very well said, Sam. Reproductive health education is desperately needed in Ypsilanti. I, too, have real trouble with the foot-dragging going on in the district right now. How many babies having babies does it take before the administration and board wise up? How many young lives changed because of an STD? Why is it more important that leaders give the appearance of being properly puritanial than that our kids learn the realities of life?

    Good for you for speaking up. I hope more will follow your example.

  • Sam Post author

    Thanks Kate. It’s tragic that so many people refuse to acknowledge reality and actually believe getting kids to sign an abstinence pledge is all it takes to get them to not have sex.

  • Amy Doyle

    I just watched the video of public input at the meeting and saw you deliver that statement. Thank you, Sam, for speaking up. Thanks, too, to Cathy Thorburn and Gerry Butterwick for their remarks.

    I encourage others to attend more of these meetings or watch the videos. There are many things going on in the district, both good and bad, which we all should be aware of. And please, weigh in on those issues which are important to you. Sam is right that there is a very vocal minority attempting to shape policy for the district. Don’t let the decision-makers think they speak for you if they don’t.

  • maryd

    Thanks Sam and all friends of reproductive health education. This is such an important matter to our children, we must not be sidetracked by such non-issues as nicknames.

  • maryd

    Thanks Sam and all friends of reproductive health education. This is such an important matter to our children, we must not be sidetracked by such non-issues as nicknames. Or rather our BoE should not step backwards with this bad policy and move forward with the things that matter to our children.