Abstinence-only sex ed bill stirs up controversy

By: Kelly Schlicht Email
By: Kelly Schlicht Email

In this health class at North High School, teacher Deb Tackmann broaches the sometimes awkward subject of sex.

“How many of you know someone in high school that is sexually active?” Tackmann asks her class of roughly two dozen freshmen during her fifth hour class. Nearly all students stand up.

Tackmann says a new bill in the state legislature that would no longer require contraceptive methods to be taught will put her students at risk.

“Our abstinence based promotes abstinence,” says Tackmann. “Abstinence only, I would not be able to talk about contraceptive methods, I would not be able to talk about STI's, I would not be able to in some cases be able to talk about male and female reproductive systems and how to take care of their health.”

The author of the bill, State Senator Mary Lazich, (R-New Berlin), told the Senate Education Committee Wednesday school boards deserve the flexibility to design their own sex education curriculums.

Earlier this week, senate democrats said they disagree with the bill, which they say takes the focus away from the economy.

And while Tackmann tackles the tough questions from teens, WEAU 13 News took the conversation outside the classroom and asked people in Eau Claire what they think.

“I'm a Christian,” says Cassy Botty. “I believe that people shouldn't be doing that until their married. Married people should be doing that.”

“I believe in teaching them the options. I believe that abstinence is best, but I think that they should be taught the truth that if they have sex, they're going to have a pregnancy possibly, and the results and the consequences of doing that,” says Sandy Rude.

Until curriculum changes, this teacher says she'll promote abstinence, but remain realistic about the consequences these kids could face.

We’ve attached a copy of the bill in its entirety for you to read.


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  • by Anonymous on Oct 22, 2011 at 01:26 PM
    Who is wasting time and money? We should be told social security and the like need to be cut when this is what the politicians worry about?
  • by RC on Oct 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM
    @Ezekial...Thanks for telling the truth why you and so many others are really anti-abortion. It isn't about killing babies at all, it is about your religious belief that sex sinful. What a sad thing to see children as just punishment for sin. So then, in your way of thinking does the child then deserve whatever the negative by-products of being unwanted or having parents who are not able to provide adequate care for him or her? After all, he or she exists only to provide punishment for sinful sex. I find it odd that at first you classify children as punishment then in the next sentence you classify them as precious and a gift. Your logic seems twisted.
  • by one fish on Oct 21, 2011 at 07:19 PM
    What religion would want to inflict the cruelty that would be inflicted on an unwanted child? I'm glad my god is a loving one that wants the best for his children.. I pity that thought process
  • by me on Oct 21, 2011 at 03:55 PM
    I am a parent and it is my responsibility to teach my kids about sex, but not all parents feel the same way. In fact, I know some parents who are relieved the school does it because they do not have the guts to do it themselves. I am confident that I have educated my children on this subject, but what about the kids who don't get to have that talk with their parents. Abstaining is best, but we also have to be realistic.
  • by Ezekial Location: Thorp on Oct 21, 2011 at 02:53 PM
    If these kids are going to choose to commit an abomination against God, then they deserve to get stuck raising a baby. This is why we need to push for making abortion illegal and punishable by the death penalty. There is nothing more precious, no more greater gift of the glory of God than a life to honor and serve his holiness.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 21, 2011 at 12:37 PM
    whats the big deal about not being abstinent, im a teen and everyone has sex.
  • by me on Oct 21, 2011 at 09:22 AM
    I remember when I was about 12 and my friend said her mother told her that you got pregnant by holding hands with a boy in the dark. Imagine everyone's surprise when within a year she was pregnant. She couldn't understand it. They had done other things but had not held hands. She was very careful about that. Kids need to be told the truth. Abstinence is the safest method but if you are going to have sex, here's what can happen and what you can do to avoid problems.
  • by Dave on Oct 21, 2011 at 08:08 AM
    I feel the parents and the schools both should teach sex ed. Parents are one on one and teacher is one on the class.A group discussion would bring everyones opinion out in the open and help take the taboo out of a natural human function
  • by Cindy Location: NW Wisconsin on Oct 21, 2011 at 07:04 AM
    I am disgusted thinking that we are on the brink of going backwards into the dark ages. This is not a world filled with butterflies and rainbows! Our children deserve the truth and the best comprehensive education that we can give them. Don't make Christianity an excuse....God would want our children safe and protected.
  • by To Linda on Oct 21, 2011 at 05:29 AM
    Linda, thank you for a great common sense post, as well as actually reading the bill, which some of these idiots obviously didn't do. You mkae great points. Along with those points, it would be great if all these morons would feel that it is their responsibility to teach their children about sex, not the schools. The school class should be a stop gap education for students that were not talked to by a loved one. And according to the bill, they will still learn about the consequences of sexual contact and the possible outcomes. I don't know what the big deal is here, why you are all so bitter.
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