Sunday, December 16, 2007

Firm on Abstinence Funding

If you will pardon the pun it seems that the "abstinence only" programs are going limp. According to the Washington Post and MSNBC there are now 14 states that have sent the money back! Good for them for standing up and saying that they do not believe that the programs are effective. 14 states have either notified the government that they will either not be applying for funding or will be opting out of future funding, forgoing more than $15 million of the more than $50 million that is available. Ohio and Washington have applied, but have stipulated that the money will be used for comprehensive sex -ed and that has made them ineligible. Many other states are considering withdrawal as well.

As the states begin to wake up and realize that these programs are not working Congress is considering raising the funding to $204 million. This seems to be a wise move on their part. NOT! How do these people retain their jobs? Do they not hear what the people want? They continue to follow what a few small groups care about and do not hear what the larger desires are. If private sector folks were to operate this way in their employment we would all be out of work! It continues to amaze.

William Smith of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States said,"We hope that it sends a message to the politicians in Washington that this program needs to change, and states need to be able to craft programs that are a better fit for their young people and not those dictated by Washington ideologues."

Those in favor of the programming counter that they teach "relationship building skills" and accurate discussions of sexually transmitted disease. Are they kidding with this? Having taught in the middle school and high school setting I can tell you that they are not interested in "relationship building" skills. Who at that age is? Hell, we have enough trouble perfecting those skills as adults! It is only about the sex. Short and sweet. They are not out to cement a relationship in stone or make a life long commitment. They already know about the diseases out there. They are also still having sex.

It continues to be yet another example of a White House that relies on their conservative religious background and base to use money on programs that has no basis in success. Yet, as many of us know and other bloggers continue to point out, there seems to be no end in sight. If just one of them would speak up and address issues that really affect and matter to any of us they would have mass support and appeal. Alas, it seems that we are going to be subject to continued wasting and unnecessary programs.

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