A Wisconsin District Attorney has warned local sex ed teachers if they teach students about contraceptives they would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months behind bars and a $10,000 fine. He said it would be promoting sex among minors who are not legally allowed to have sex in Wisconsin.
The school teachers, who say abstinence-only program don’t work, are befuddled by the logic.
“Seems like a step back in time,” said teacher Mike Taake, who has taught sex ed for 30 years.
“Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth, a Republican and a Christian evangelical, took issue with a law Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle signed in February requiring schools that teach sexual education to adopt a comprehensive approach.”…
“Southworth said he doesn’t want to drag teachers into court but feels he was ethically responsible for warning them of the new law’s potential consequences. He urged the school districts to refrain from offering sex education courses until the Legislature repeals the law.”
“’ Listen, there’s a real problem with the law,’ he said. ‘I didn’t pick the fight. The Legislature dumped it in my lap…’ ”
“Janine Geske, a Marquette University law professor and former state Supreme Court justice, said she didn’t understand Southworth’s legal logic. She said that if he tried to prosecute a teacher for adhering to guidelines approved by the Legislature and governor, the case would likely be dismissed.”
” ‘To be frank, I can’t follow exactly what he’s trying to get at,’ Geske said. ‘If a teacher is educating a student pursuant to state law … I don’t see how under any examination (that) could be criminal….’ ”
“Taake said he intends to teach contraceptive use and isn’t worried about being prosecuted.”
“ ‘It’s not just teaching them how birth control works. It’s everything else that goes with it,’ he said. ‘To arrest me for teaching correct birth control and the student makes the wrong decision and gets pregnant, that’s not my decision.’ ”
So what do you think?
Should sex ed programs teach about birth control? Do Georgia schools include birth control in their talks? (I don’t think they did when I was in middle school.)
Is this DA right legally? (There’s another section of the story that suggests maybe he’s trying to boost his conservative chops by doing this.)