Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The New Majority

Israel has long been concerned about ethnic Jews becoming a minority in the nation because of the higher Palestinian birth rate. From the looks of things, the rest of the United States had better start worrying about Texas:
"Get plenty of rest."

That's one of the eight STD-prevention steps listed in one of the four high-school and middle-school health textbooks approved for state adoption last week by the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE). "When you're tired, it's hard to think clearly," the text continues. "Don't put yourself in a situation in which you have to make a tough choice when you're tired." The other steps include: "Respect yourself" and "Go out as a group" ("You can also take the pressure off by double-dating"). No mention is made of the barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, that help prevent STDs. One almost expects to see, in its stead, something about "an apple a day."
Leo's efforts, which evidently surprised many of her colleagues, actually came at the tail end of six months of tumultuous hearings, closed-door committee meetings, and agitation on all sides over the issue of what to tell the kids about contraception. And last week it was decided: Don't tell them anything.
On the other hand, since the Texas and California textbook markets are so large, I'm sure we'll be seeing these books outside their home state, so maybe the rest of the country will be able to keep up.


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