Santa Ana Students to Ask School District Board to Modify ‘Abstinence-Focused’ Sex Education Program
A group of high school students in Santa Ana, "tired of seeing their friends get pregnant," have decided that the school district's "abstinence-focused" sex education curriculum "isn't working" and plan to ask the school district board to modify the program, the Los Angeles Times reports (Garrison, Los Angeles Times, 9/30). The students plan next month to ask the Santa Ana Unified School District board to force health teachers to provide students with more information about STD prevention and contraception in addition to abstinence education (Associated Press, 9/30). The Campfire USA Orange County Council Speak Out program recruited the 15 students to research teenage pregnancy in Santa Ana high schools. During the past 18 months, the students surveyed fellow students about their "sex habits" and polled parents and teachers about "what they would like to see taught in schools." The California Wellness Foundation funded the survey. According to the findings, three-fifths of the district's students responded that they "are sexually active." In addition, 76% of students said that the school district's sex education curriculum "needs to be changed," and 90% of parents said that they would "support efforts to revamp" the program. A majority of teachers also said that the curriculum "needs improvement." Several school board members said that they would "carefully consider what the teens have to say," but added that the "subject is complicated." According to a 1996 University of California-Berkeley study, more than 8% of Santa Ana girls ages 15 to 17 have children each year (Los Angeles Times, 9/30).