Our program, the Edge, is presented to students starting in the sixth grade. Before we spend the week with the students, they are given an "opt out" form to give to their parents. This allows parents to decide if they want their child to participate in the program. Prior to our coming to the school parents receive an “Opt Out” form. . Earlier this year, one teacher showed me one form with a note written in bold at the bottom:

"This should NOT be taught in middle school."

At first, I admit, I was a little offended. In fact, I'm always a little offended when parents opt out of our program.  I mean, we're awesome and I feel we aren't even given the benefit of the doubt. We're well educated. We care about your kids. We want them to make the healthiest decisions. Abstinence is never a bad choice.

But after I thought about it for a little while, my heart softened. Maybe that parent didn't want us to teach the material because she felt that it should be a matter discussed at home.  Ok, I can get on board with that.  But, is it a bad idea to have what is being taught at home reinforced at school? I don't think so.

And then, my mind settled on a final determination for the letter and the removal of the child from our program. He was in 6th grade. His mother felt he was too young for the material.

And, I think that's a problem.  Please understand: I fully believe that the parents should be completely involved in the education of their child, especially at the public level. They should have a word in the matter. But, unfortunately, no matter how much we protect our children, the false perception of sex without consequences saturates our culture. And if we aren't telling our kids the truth, they will accept those false teachings as such.

Why do we teach a program to sixth graders? Because our youth are having sex at a very young age. Each year, we have clients as young as 12 walk through our doors for a pregnancy test. Our children are believing these false ideas, and accepting them as truth. They don't know the consequences of their bad decisions. 

Why do we fight to be in our schools? Because if we don't fight for it, Planned Parenthood will.  With a message of risk reduction.

And, honestly, would you rather someone tell your child how to simply reduce their risks, or how to avoid them completely?

I know I'll be teaching my little girl how to avoid those risks. She's far too valuable to me for a message of risk reduction. And, you know what, your kids are too.