Monday, January 21, 2013

40th Anniversary Roe vs. Wade

My last two years of teaching were memorable. So memorable that I have never returned to the school. I did attend the graduation exercises of my last Junior English class, but that ceremony was held at the local civic center down the road from the school. I said my congrats to the kids who invited me and got out of there as soon as the commencement was finished.

My last 7th grade English class will graduate this May. I don't think anyone will remember to invite me, but that's okay. My memory is so poor lately that I do not remember too many of their names anyway.

But I do remember one of the last of my teaching responsibilities was to teach Drug Ed. Not how to use drugs, since I have never smoked anything (not one cigarette!), rarely drink alcohol or even coffee, and sometimes even forget to take my baby aspirin and blood pressure meds. Actually the physical education/health teacher was supposed to teach the drug ed lessons, but it was assigned to me to be completed in my 11th grade English class. Go Figure!

No materials, so I downloaded the US Government Drug Ed lessons and dived into the deep. For sure my students knew more about drug abuse than I would ever know. But we spent one English class each week discussing the abuse of drugs.

One day during lessons, someone asked a question about sex education. Bingo! They told me that no one at school had discussed AIDS with them since Junior High. And they said that those discussions were usually filled with lots of giggles/laughter and red-faced teachers.

That is when I decided to sneak in a few US Government Sex Ed lessons on STD's and AIDS.

Just a year before a female student said in my class, "No one around here has AIDS. We are all clean." When I heard she was pregnant some months later, I hoped that she was right.

Until we (parents and schools) teach sex education, abortion will be a topic of contention. And English teachers should teach their own subject (predicate, direct object, etc.).

January 22, 2013 is the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

"Abortion should not only be safe and legal, it should be rare."
BILL CLINTON, speech at DNC, Aug. 29, 1996

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