Why you should Support the Healthy Adolescent Act
I am writing as a constituent to encourage you to support The Healthy Adolescent Act, Senate Bill 926. This bill will require public schools to provide certain information regarding human sexuality. The bill will also require schools to provide parents and guardians with curriculum about such topics. It will also authorize students to be excuse from certain conversations, without punishment. The bill will provide courses and programs teaching middle and high school students’ human sexuality and comprehensive sex education.
Students will be medically informed and provided with factually accurate information. Senate Bill 926 is very important because sex education is the provision of information about bodily development, sex, sexuality, and relationship. I believe it is very important for schools to ensure students have all the knowledge they need. I strongly trust the bill can be very helpful to many students in Florida.
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I am currently a student at Florida Atlantic University and have witnessed hookup culture while on campus. I am grateful for the sex education I received in high school. However, the education I did receive was very vague and I was exposed to it later in life. I was taught to stay away from sex with abstinence being the only option. I believe that played an important role in my decision making of lifestyle choices. I am grateful for my older family members, who I was able to talk to. I felt uncomfortable talking to my parents; instead I would seek advice from older cousins.
Many students do not have the same luxury. Countless do not have anybody they can benefit from of reliable experience. Students are left to depend on their peers and the media to get the answers they need. Being that I was informed during my mid-teens, this played a major role in my life and still does to this day. I am constantly learning new things that I did not learn while in high school.
Sexuality is a vital part of being human and sexual development is a normal part of growing up. It is essential that schools are giving students the proper sex education they deserve. We live in a world, where we have access to everything at our fingertip. Media has a major influence on adolescents, but if schools are giving the proper teaching students will not have to depend on social media for answers.
Today’s society has a large LGBTQ+ community. I think it is important to include LGBTQ+ within the curriculum to make sure no one is excluded. The inclusion of LGBTQ+ topics will reduce the judgement and bullying many face during school. It is important schools create a space comfortable for LGBTQ+ youths. Creating a classroom where they are not being judged and where they are able to freely ask questions and get the proper knowledge.
Some might want this rejected, because they are in contradiction of proper sexual education in schools. They may not want their tax dollars going towards something they feel may be inappropriate in schools. Regardless, I think it is important this bill is passed. Currently 51% of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned pregnancies. 1Teens who received in-depth sex education were less likely to report teen pregnancy than those who received no knowledge from school. The U.S. has higher rates of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease than any other country. Students as early as 6th grade are involved in sexual activities and the rates increases steadily to 12th grade students.
Nine and six percent of adolescents who dated in 2018 experienced some type of physical harm or abuse. Senate Bill 926 enforces that subjects covering dating abuse and violence are discussed in classrooms. I believe this will help students to recognize when in an abusive relationship early on. Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are leading public health problems in the United States. Viral hepatitis can lead to liver cancer, and it is the most common reason for liver transplantation.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) can lead to serious issues including infertility. Not only can unprotected sex lead to having a STI but it can also lead to other health problems one may have to deal with later on in life. Eighty-eight percent of births from teenagers 15-17 years of age were the result of unintended pregnancies. The United States continues to lead other countries in having high rates of adolescent pregnancy, with over 700,000 pregnancies per year. 6
I ask that you support Senate Bill 926. The research shows how positive effective sexual education can be. Providing students with the skills they need is key to healthy decision making. As young people grow up, they will have to make important decisions about relationships, sexuality, and sexual behavior. The decisions students make will impact their well-being for the rest of their lives. Thank you Senator Oscar Brayon II for taking your time to read my letter, and I hope to hear from you soon.