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.