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Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:32 pm
by Haley
On February 7th, Pam Stenzel is coming to speak to Tomahawk High and Middle School students. She embraces abstinence until marriage, the pro-life stance on abortion, birth control as a measure to control women and not fertility, and Planned Parenthood as a money-machine rather than help to underpriveleged people looking for reproductive health (though she is preaching her morals and making $5000 per appearance off of this.) She explores the "consequences of illicit sex–including life-ruining and life-ending medical horrors." [here]

She traditionally speaks in Parochial and private schools about God's role in sexuality, as well as faith as a preventative measure against sex.

Formerly a director of a crisis pregnancy center (Alpha Women's Center), which describes itself as a "fundamental Baptist pro-life organization dedicated to compassionately providing material, emotional, and spiritual assistance to those with needs related to pregnancy, sexuality, and post-abortion trauma," Stenzel has participated in President George W. Bush's Faith-Based and Community Initiatives meeting at the White House in May 2001.

So let's see. She's anti-choice, anti-birth control, and pro-Bible. Does this have any place in the public school? Do you think that everyone is aware of where she is coming from? Do you think that everyone is comfortable with our youth going to a faith-based sex-ed speaker? I certainly do not. I do not believe that mandatory attendance should be required. I hope that the faith-talk is balanced out by unbiased information about ALL types of birth control; to deny that information to our students is promoting irresponsibility.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:16 pm
by tinman
I also embrace abstinence until marriage, I am pro-life, I do not care for Planned Parenthood, I do believe in birth control but not abortion. I believe if our schools are going to promote safe sex, they also need to balance that teaching by presenting someone like this woman. Not all kids are horny teenagers just waiting to drop their pants. Some do believe in waiting and I think it's great and I applaud those with the guts to say no and wait for the right person at the right time.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:54 pm
by Haley
You are completely missing the point. This is about educating students, not preaching morals to them. Do you honestly think that by withholding important information from students that you are doing them a service? If Stenzel were to give equal time to all other forms of birth control, I and most other would not have a problem. There is a problem when a one-sided, misleading viewpoint is forced down mouths of students ignorant to their choices.

Which do you think is better--a student who has sex in a monogamous relationship with birth control, or a student who breaks her or his abstinence pledge and has unprotected sex because she or he is not aware of choices of birth control?

Of course not all kids are horny teenagers wanting to drop their pants. However, kids WILL have sex whether or not they have a promise ring on their finger, and we need to make sure they are accounted for. Lastly, why do you say that students who want to have sex are all just a "bunch of horny teenagers?" You make it sound like such a black and white situation.

However, if a child is going to learn something new from all of this and they are already in high school, then the parents haven't done a very good job in being responsible for their own darn kids. Sex education lies in the parents' hands. When schools are left to babysit their kids' malleable viewpoints, of course they're going to wind up ignorant.

<small>[ February 02, 2005, 07:02 PM: Message edited by: Haley ]</small>

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:51 pm
by sagan
Bush has piddled away 273 million of the taxpayer's money on his so-called abstinence program. Every society from the beginnings of history have told their children not to do it. They all failed in that endeavor because they overlooked human nature.

Organizations like Family Planning and Planned Parenthood have a proven record of success at reducing abortions. The so-called and self-proclaimed "pro-life" groups do not. Most don't even oppose execution of prisoners in our prison system.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:46 pm
by Deb Richardson
Haley, have you in fact heard Ms. Stenzel speak? Is her message the same to public school students as those in a parochial school? I've not heard her but would like to know what her message will be to the students at THS.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:07 pm
by Brian
Teens Increased Sex After Abstinence Program
This report might make you think twice about embracing abstinence-only programs... news report

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:09 pm
by Deb Richardson
There is a problem when a one-sided, misleading viewpoint is forced down mouths of students ignorant to their choices.

Haley, you aren't saying too much for the intelligence of your peers. Quite frankly, I don't think that high school students or middle school students are "ignorant to their choices." Other than maybe abstinence. What would be wrong with discussing or presenting that option. My guess would be that Ms. Stenzel will not use Christianity in her presentation to the public school program. So be it if she does. That's what is so great about our country, freedom of speech.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:32 pm
by aphephilia

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:39 pm
by Haley
I think 10th grade is a bit late to teach a lot of things, as history has shown that people indeed have sex at early ages. Do not come and tell me that people waited longer in "the olden days"--because "the olden days" are a symbol of the apparent good years, why would we hear about the unfavorable things? Sure, boys had cooties for a lot of girls and vice-versa, but your own experience does not and should not dictate the experiences of others. I didn't like boys until I was 14, but many of my peers had gone far before me. Everyone is different.

Regardless of the giggle-factor, it's important stuff that is the basis for future knowledge. I still remember what they taught me in sex education--though my mom got to talk with me for a while first--and since this was long ago, it was back when sex ed. was actually sex ed., not a don't-do-it-or-you-will-get-pregnant-and-die class (thank your current administration for that.)

I am not a high school student, although I have young family members who are. I worry for their well-being when they are told abstinence is a choice, rather than what it is--a lifestyle. To tell an entire school they should adhere to a lifestyle that tells them that women are nothing but a chalice of virginity and men all angry dogs out to get that is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Kids WILL have sex regardless of what is told them. Some won't, but some will. We, as their mentors, would be blatantly irresponsible to just ignore those kids who do have sex. We need to make sure every student is accounted for, regardless of their morals.

...And baby, I have a problem with faith-based teaching when it's mandatory in a public school, and I'm far from being the only one who feels this way. That is all. Please do not try to get my sympathy. I don't see how your molestation fits into this at all. But of course, you've talked to every Afro-American there is, right?

Oh, to add: There is no magical day on one's 18th birthday where they are suddenly ready to do the deed. Pam Stenzel promotes abstinence until marriage. I was always told to test drive a car before you buy it, otherwise you could potentially end up in an unhappy marriage.

<small>[ February 05, 2005, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: Haley ]</small>

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:54 pm
by Deb Richardson
I was always told to test drive a car before you buy it, otherwise you could potentially end up in an unhappy marriage.
Haley, it seems what you are saying is strong argument given by many people. Many of whom mistake being sexual attracted to someone as love and very shortly after saying "I do" are divorced. Although I agree that all options should be taught to our young people, I also agree that abstaining should be one of those options.

<small>[ February 05, 2005, 07:07 PM: Message edited by: Deb Richardson ]</small>

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 5:35 pm
by sagan
Originally posted by baby:
Besides, why should kids even have to need Planned Parenthood before 16.
Studies continue to show that puberty is occurring at an increasingly earlier age in children.

Some attribute this to simply evolution, some to cultural factors, some to hormones in our food supply, pollutants, and so forth. But my point is if you wait to age sixteen to worry about it you may join the ranks of grand parents prematurely.

Here's an odd site with an unusual collection of statistics:

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 5:38 pm
by sagan
Perhaps we should tax anyone with a child a $1000 dollars per year on their taxes instead of a tax deduction (and give it to the school system). This would probably be more effective than religious or environmental arguments.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:47 pm
by Dave
Ms. Stenzel's appearance has been completely financed with private donations and does not involve the expenditure of any public funds. Her appearance has been supported by local health care professionals and the Board of Education. I don't quite understand what the problem is except that her message may not be popular with at least one or two contributors to this message board.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:15 am
by Haley
I know for a fact that it's not just members here that are incensed about the whole ordeal. Many of my friends have called the school to excuse their older kids from the event on Tuesday, and many of the students are planning on peacefully protesting Ms. Stenzel by refusing to attend.

Don't pretend a few of us are the only ones mad about this. I'll only be contributing to the stink raised if the woman brings in false statistics, sexism and a guilt trip on these kids. And this will happen, from the looks of it:

"In March, 1994, a parent and minister in the small town of Waupun filed a sex discrimination complaint and two religious discrimination complaints arising out of several public school assemblies featuring nationally known "abstinence speaker" Pam Stenzel... The complainant... charged that the assemblies were replete with factual inaccuracies, sexist stereotypes, and sectarian indoctrination." [PDF link]


"Lisa Martin, a Planned Parenthood community education specialist, said she was alarmed when students, after hearing Stenzel’s speech, asked questions about statements they claimed Stenzel said. Some of those alleged comments include: A condom cannot protect from disease, tests for sexually transmitted diseases are prohibitively expensive and birth control can cause infertility, Martin said."

“I think she (Stenzel) confused a lot of people rather than helping them,” said Kyra Schloenbach, a Hoover High School senior. “She was not only preaching abstinence, but it felt like she was judging (our) character.” [Link here, requires reg.]

"Board members in Allentown, PA, cancelled a presentation by national abstinence-only-until-marriage speaker Pam Stenzel after viewing her promotional video. Stenzel was scheduled to address students... but board members and administrators said they found her messages offensive and felt she came across too harsh. They were particularly upset with her suggestion that students 'will pay' if they have sex before marriage. The school director said, 'I found that offensive. That doesn't sound very loving to me.'" [link here]

Shall I add more? Just google the woman. She's a nightmare. I hope you aren't subjecting your kids to this.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:40 am
by Haley
This, too. I keep finding scarier and scarier stuff about her.

"Some programs go even further. Peggy Papsdorf, project coordinator for Plain Truth for Washington, a group that promotes comprehensive sex education in public schools, witnessed a lecture by Pam Stenzel, a former Crisis Pregnancy counselor turned abstinence instructor. According to Papsdorf, Stenzel told a class of eighth graders that:

* no one has ever had sex with more than one partner without paying a price
* birth control pills make you ten times more susceptible to death
* abortion causes long-term psychological damage
* condoms are unsafe
* boys don’t get hurt by premarital sex while girls suffer for life
* large numbers of 18 to 20-year- old women are having radical hysterectomies because of cervical cancer caused by early sexual activity" [link]

Another event featuring Ms. Stenzel:

"Six-hundred middle-schoolers hardly twitched through two-and-a-half hours designed to entertain, but mostly to frighten. The girls were warned about poverty, sterility, and death. For sexually active boys, the future held emotional damage and a lifetime of child-support payments. ...The event organizers added a local touch near the end: A six-minute video of aborted fetuses, set to music."

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:53 am
by Nimble
You see Haley, she was effective. She kept 600 middle schoolers from having sex for two and a half hours.

Abstinence programs are like so-called natural family planning. You better make sure you have immediate and ready access to an effective backup plan, because you are going to need it.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:56 am
by Nimble
Nobody exploits aborted fetuses like the so-called prolifers. The process is one of the central features of their propaganda programs.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:13 pm
by zoe
I know that I am coming into this discussion late, but after reading all of the postings, I feel that I need to add my two cents worth.

As a person who works in a secondary school setting on a daily basis, I think this is less of an issue in terms of telling teenagers not to have sex, than it is a situation that should be making teenagers aware that the decision to have sex can have severe, tragic and life-long repercussions. This does not just concern the students that I see and speak with whose lives and future plans have been drastically changed by bringing a child into the world at sixteen or seventeen years of age. I see how some of these girls struggle just to finish high school. In most of these situations,they are raising this child with the help of their parents rather than a significant other, and they will tell you how tough it is to do that, and how they would have done things differently--hindsight is always 20/20.

What concerns me even more than these visibly obvious examples of sexually active teenagers,is the casual attitude that the majority of the students have regarding sex, and what type of behavior is expected, or considered acceptable in a dating relationship.

You can be the best parent in the world, have the most open discussions about sex with your kids, teach them about safe sex and all of that, but if they don't know what's out there (31 documented and diagnosed types of STDs), how can they protect themselves?

I feel that this speaker, regardless of her personal perspective on abstinence, Planned Parenthood or the Bible, should be allowed to present her information. Call it scare-tactics, or a reality check, the truth is that some of our kids are doing things they don't need to be doing at this age, and we as parents, teachers and community members owe it to ourselves, and our kids to be informed and educated.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:46 pm
by Haley
I just can't seem to make some of you understand that despite what you think is right or wrong, students are going to have sex. They are going to.

But they won't need to "struggle" to get through high school if they are educated on the proper forms of birth control and use them if they are planning on sex!

Zoe, do you honestly think that Ms. Stenzel, as an abstinence-only advocater, is doing anything but harm by withholding the correct, statistically accurate information from our students? Stenzel herself said this: "Students, condoms aren't safe. Never have been, never will be." I can't understand how medical professionals are supporting this presentation, except if they haven't looked her up and seen her history of lying and knowingly scaring students.

Yes, sex is risky. They teach you that in normal sex education by showing you how to protect yourself! They showed us pictures of bodies affected by STDs and brought in speakers that were HIV+.
However in this case, students aren't learning anything except that in 100% of cases of premarital sex, you will get pregnant and die. :mad:

I don't think you read the whole thread. I feel as if i just repeated everything I said above.

<small>[ February 06, 2005, 05:56 PM: Message edited by: Haley ]</small>

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 10:44 pm
by zoe
Our local school district does have a sex ed curriculum in grades six, eight and ten. According to my kids, they do talk about condoms. But something tells me that the message doesn't seem to be getting through based on the number of pregnancies; teachers are always having to talk with the kids who think it's alright to neck in the hall before or after school or play tonsil hockey before they drop each other off at a classroom door. We're missing the boat here somewhere.

I may be old-fashioned, but I'm not naive. Kids are going to have sex whether it's right or not. I just think that there's a time when a person is physically, psychologically and emotionally ready for a sexual relationship, and personally I don't think it's middle/high school. I feel really adamant that I want my kids to experience life and all the opportunities that it has to offer them; I don't think they can do it with a diaper bag on their shoulder and carrying a Snugli.

We may simply have to agree to disagree on this one.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:07 am
by Kerry Tobin
Actually Zoe, the message must slowly be getting through because the teen pregnancy rate continues to decline...

Also, studies have shown that teens in the US are having sex just as often as those in other developed countries. However, we have a much higher pregnancy rate.


Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:14 am
by Haley
Baby, what are you talking about? I don't see how sexual abuse (of a different age group than the one we are addressing, nonetheless) fits into the topic at hand. Do us all a favor and don't post until you can stay on topic. I honestly do not understand why feel you must change the subject on every. single. post you make.

<small>[ February 07, 2005, 10:16 AM: Message edited by: Haley ]</small>

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:40 pm
by Kerry Tobin

Way to skip right over the good news!!!

Teen Pregnacy is DROPPING!

Also, as the link I provided pointed out... Many of the countries with lower teen pregnancy have kids that are equally sexually active but have contraceptives available!!!

Personally, I'd advocate offering both to all students. To have or not to have sex is going to be a personal decision. You can sit and tell two kids not to do it until you are blue in the face and it isn't going to make a lick of difference. However, if you make a condom available at least they will be a little safer (kind of like wearing a seatbelt or giving the 16 year old the car with airbags...). At the same time, teaching abstinence as an option will get through with some kids and pointing out that not EVERYONE is doing it will help some of them decide they may want to wait for what ever reason.

Teach both and be willing to accept what ever decisions they make because THEY are going to make it, not you, not me and not anyone else...

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:56 am
by zoe
Baby--couldn't have said it better!! That is the real problem we are facing and the one that everyone seems to want to turn a blind eye to. Like Pam Stenzel said at her parent talk last night "Pregnancy is not a disease, it is survivable" and it only lasts for ninth months. Catch a viral STD at 13 and you've got that baby for life.

Re: Abstinence Education in Tomahawk

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:03 am
by zoe
Way to go Baby--couldn't have said it better. The real problem isn't teen pregnancy--that rate is dropping as teens find "alternative" ways to avoid it; the bigger issue is STDs and the alarming rate that those are going up among a teen age population. As Pam Stenzel pointed out in her parent talk last night, "Pregnancy is survivable"--it only last nine months. Catch a viral STD--you'll have that baby for life.