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Sex education for adults

May 05, 2006

If you're a parent with a ninth-grader in the Washington County Public Schools, you should make plans to attend one of seven meetings that will preview a graphic sexual-education program.

Students cannot attend unless parents give their consent. According to school officials, to ensure that such consent is based on facts, parents must attend one of the meetings.

All of the parent meetings begin at 5 p.m., which means that many who work will have to make arrangements to leave their jobs early. We hope local employers will support their employees' efforts to become better informed. For employers outside Washington County, we urge parents to show them this editorial.

Everyone wishes that sex education was taken care of in the home, but last year's pregnancy needs assessment, based on a survey of teens and parents, showed that even when parents believe they're sending the right message, in many cases it isn't getting through.

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Babies born to teen mothers have a greater chance of being abused and neglected and are more likely to grow up in poverty and remain in low-income jobs most of their lives.

If compassion for such children doesn't move citizens, consider that many of the babies born to teen mothers are cared for courtesy of the taxpayers. Preventing teen pregnancy not only prevents abuse, but it also curbs the expenditure of tax dollars.

Tomorrow's editorial page will include many letters from teens who have agreed to tell readers why they believe Washington County's teen pregnancy rate is so high.

The schedule of parent meetings for each school is as follows:

  • South Hagerstown High School, Monday, May 8.

  • North Hagerstown High School, Wednesday, May 10.

  • Boonsboro High School, Thursday, May 11.

  • Smithsburg High School, Monday, May 15.

  • Hancock High School, Tuesday, May 16.

  • Clear Spring High School, Wednesday, May 17.

  • Williamsport High School, Thursday, May 18.


Student assemblies will be held a few days after each parents' program.

Summer is coming and with it, more unstructured time for youths. Parent should take time now to preview a program that might deter their teens from making a big mistake.

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