Monday, April 30, 2007

Love letters

If you live in NC, PLEASE call and email the following people about NC House Bill 879, which would bring the state back into my good graces by legislating COMPREHENSIVE sex ed for our youth.

There's a key house health committee meeting tomorrow at noon, so hop on it, and pass it on!
(n.b. the chair is no longer Rep Wright as the link says but rather Rep England)

Here's the bill and
Here are the contacts:

Chair Rep.England 919-733-5749
Vice-Chair Rep. Earle 919-715-2530
Vice-Chair Rep.Justus 919-733-5956
Vice-Chair Rep. Rapp 919-733-5732
Rep. Barnhart 919-715-2009
Rep. Goforth 919-733-5746
Rep. McAllister 919-733-5959
Rep. Wilkins 919-715-0850

When you call, just identify yourself and tell the person
answering the phone you support HB 879 -- Modify School Health
Program and you hope the representative will as well. It's that

If you want to email all at once, drop me a comment or email and I'll forward an email I got from a local agency that will let you email everyone without having to look everything up. OK?


This is my exchange with a legislator about HB 879:

Dear Representative Fulano,

When you enter the Health Committee meeting this Tuesday you will be
given the chance to save thousands of lives and protect the health of
all North Carolinians.

House Bill 879 -- Modify School Health Program will protect North
Carolina's young people throughout their lives by arming them with the
information to make healthy lifelong decisions.

This bill preserves the abstinence-first sex education that reflects
North Carolina's values while supplementing that curriculum with the
facts students need to stay healthy as they grow.

Furthermore, this bill empowers parents by leaving the decision about
their children's sex education up to them.

This is the best piece of legislation I have seen in NC in years. I am a
strong, strong believer that our children need information about sexual
health that will help them throughout their WHOLE lives.

Providing our kids with information about contraception and other sexual
health matters does not mean in any way that we are condoning youth
sexual behavior. Access to information also doesn't mean that kids are
going to BOOM! start having sex. What this bill DOES mean, however, is
that when our kids do make the decision to become sexually active, they
will be armed with information about how to keep themselves healthy. We
hope they choose abstinence, and we encourage that.

Thank you VERY much for your consideration.



I believe in local control of local situations. North Carolina already
has a mechanism that allows local units to carry out comprehensive sex
education programs. Through that mechanism, Stew County and Neighbor
County already have programs.

-Rep. Fulano


Thank you for your response. As a NC and Stew County citizen, *I* believe that our children deserve accurate information about contraception and STD prevention.

I do understand the importance of local control, but certain public health issues should be law whether or not the locality approves. From a public health perspective, that only makes sense. If Stew County decided to tolerate asbestos or lead levels that were higher than is safe, I'd be asking you to change that law. Abstinence-only sex ed puts our kids at risk by giving inaccurate or insufficient information about health issues that are tough to talk about at home.

And just as a point of interest, my (considerable) experience with Stew County schools has been that even though they jumped through all the necessary hoops to have comprehensive sex education, nonetheless teachers and educators are SCARED to give kids this information. Unless NC law explicitly states that it's OK to give this health information to teens, the fact is that teachers won't.

Giving out information about contraceptives won't cause kids to run out and have sex any more than giving them information about heroin will cause them to run out and shoot up. This is positive health information that will serve them their whole lives.

Please reconsider.