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.