A note for Kansas Teachers Rising

Let’s face it, public schools are dominated by women. And I’ll bet most of those women know at least one other woman whose life was rerouted by an unplanned pregnancy.

She may have been one of your high school students, who was not presented with a comprehensive education about sex and babies.

She may be one of your parents, whose student is struggling because their family doesn’t have access to resources.

She may be your friend, hoping to better her life by going to college, but her progress is hindered by also being a parent.

Over the decades we’ve watched public school staff try to compensate for the slowly diminishing resources families used to be able to provide. Too often we see children struggling in single parent homes, or low-wage earning parents who work two jobs and cannot devote the time needed to help their children reach learning goals. We see parents who do not know how children develop, who may be uneducated or illiterate themselves. We see the language barrier of immigrant families who have escaped extreme violence and come to the U.S. to be met with hostility and aggression. It’s not that these parents do not Love their children, it’s that they were not prepared to be Parents.

We see the broken system day after day, and while we do all that we can to relieve the symptoms of poverty, it’s the broken system that is not being tended.

Factual, comprehensive sex education may help rebuild the system. Getting 100% open and honest with our youth about positive and caring relationships, how babies are created, and how children develop, can prevent unwanted pregnancies. Access to birth control and information about sexually transmitted disease can prevent irresponsible sexual encounters. Conservative parents can use this information to reinforce abstinence. But denying our young adults this information is simply perpetuating the problem.

Children having children may have worked well on the farm 100 years ago; today we must accept that, in the U.S., we don’t need so many children. We are living longer, and we’re collectively wealthy enough that no child should go hungry. No child should know neglect.

Pro-Choice is the idea that every child born will have a parent who is prepared to raise them, not regret them.

Change the status quo. Raise your hand for Sex Ed! Join me and others from across the state on September 27th for Lady Parts Justice V to Shining V event, on the south patio at the statehouse from 3:00pm, and downtown 8th St in Topeka from 5:00 to 8:00pm.

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