It requires districts to teach abstinence as the only “completely reliable method” of preventing STDS.But the specific curriculum — how they teach it all — is left up to the districts.At the time, 14 percent of births in the city were to women under age 20.The change was enacted, with only one board member opposing it.The girls, who are black teens, know that the stakes are higher for their peers, who disproportionately become pregnant, contract STDs or are victims of dating violence and rape compared to their white counterparts.That’s why they are part of an effort by the group Girl Gov to push for comprehensive sex education at all schools.
In contrast, a group of parents in 2009 urged the Pittsburgh Public Schools board to enact a more comprehensive curriculum that went beyond the abstinence-only lessons city students were receiving.
Oakland Catholic senior Liza Wilson knows a girl whose birth control method with her boyfriend is ‘pulling out.’ Ciara Bailey, a senior at Winchester Thurston, says some of her peers think oral contraceptives provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases.
And at West Mifflin Area High School, sophomore Cheyenne Rhone often hears about students having unprotected sex and staying in negative relationships.
She’s happy that her school adopted a comprehensive sex education curriculum this year.
The Winchester Thurston Upper School dean, Matt Bachner, said the previous curriculum, which was only a “sliver” of health class, “wasn’t working to our satisfaction.” The previous curriculum included information about birth control, but the new curriculum will address “the full range of experiences they might have, so they can make smart choices.” At Oakland Catholic, the sole message to Liza is to save herself for marriage.