Colorado’s STD rate is growing; respond by banning abstinence-based sex education (editorial) | VailDaily.com

Colorado’s STD rate is growing; respond by banning abstinence-based sex education (editorial)

Denver Post Editorial Board

With the rate of sexually transmitted diseases increasing among Colorado teens, we must ensure that our students are taught how to safely and effectively use condoms.

That’s not radical; it’s common sense.

And it’s one of the goals behind House Bill 1032, which is sponsored by Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora, and Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose. The bill bans religious-based or abstinence-only sex education instruction in all publicly funded schools.

Colorado’s academic standards have for a long time been based on a comprehensive health curriculum, but schools have been able to teach abstinence-based programs alongside comprehensive programs, and some rural and charter schools have opted out of health courses completely.

Abstinence education may be fine for some students, but according to the 2017 Healthy Kids Survey, more than 50 percent of high school seniors say they have engaged in sexual activity. History tells us that teens are going to engage in risky behavior whether we talk to them about it or not, but helping teens mitigate the risks associated with their decisions is paramount.