Abstinence In The Classroom - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/8/04-Tyler

Abstinence In The Classroom

They come to school expecting to learn things like math, science and reading, but Dogan Middle Schoolers in TISD are getting some 'life lessons' as well.

Once a month in their regular Science classes, the kids take part in a program from the East Texas Abstinence group. Today they're outside shooting a state-wide commercial for the Virginity Rules program.

Every one of the 570 Dogan Middle Schoolers are in the program as a part of their regular Science classes, something educators say is crucial in a world where kids are bombarded with sex.

"Every where they turn they get the messages of sex. It's on television, on computers, in the music they listen to. They are facing some major challenges," says Irene Efstathiou, educator and Community Coordinator for the East Texas Abstinence Group.

And worse, kids are now learn about sex earlier in life and many times left misinformed or completely in the dark.

"A lot of our kids are curious and they just find things out from their friends, or their parents may not feel comfortable talking about things like that, " says James Bivins, Principal of Dogan Middle School.

"Just the fact that even here in East Texas we have 12 year old girls getting pregnant, shows the enormous problem we have and the need for awareness like this," says Efstathiou.

That's why this school says it's up to them to get kids on the right track.

"It's the school's responsibility to educate the all aspects of the child, and not just teach math and science. It's about how to live a healthy lifestyle and be a productive citizen," says Bivins

Something the kids in the program say they want as well, and wouldn't get at home.

"I would have to ask my mom and it's not something we walk about very much, " says Dogan eighth grader, Mia Black.

"We're learning more about life, health, and our bodies too. It just teaches us that when you make bad decisions you can't take it back," says Edith Valle, another Dogan student.

"I don't want to be pregnant. I know about 5 or 6 of my friends who have gotten pregnant in school. I don't want to grow up to have that kind of life," says Black.

The kids say the commercial shoot may be over, but what they've learned from Virginity Rules will stay in their lives for good.

For a link to their web site, go our web site, kltv.com and click on the "know more on 7 page."

Reporting: Braid Sharp bsharp@kltv.com

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