A district attorney in Juneau County, Wisconsin (Scott Southworth) is threatening to charge teachers with crimes for following state mandated curriculum on sexual education. Read today’s breaking news in the following link:
WHY is Scott Southworth threatening teachers when they did not make the law? If he is passionate about this issue, he would sue the state of Wisconsin for enacting the law (prove it is unconstitutional due to current sexual assault statutes) – a case he would find extremely difficult to prove. He would have to show teenagers are feeling pressured to engage in sexual activity based on the curriculum.
In all my presentations in middle schools and high schools when students are asked, “Why do students feel pressure to have intimacy at such young ages,” NO ONE has ever answered, “Because our school teaches us about condoms” (and YES I’ve spoke to several schools who teach comprehensive sex ed and the use of condoms – along with many schools who teach “Abstinence Only” – including faith based middle schools and high schools). The actual answers students share for WHY students engage in intimacy at too young of ages are peer pressure; popularity; and pressure from a partner (the same answers we hear in schools which teach “Abstinence Only” and in schools who teach “Comprehensive Sex Ed”).
Notice I am not taking a side on the “Abstinence Only” vs “Comprehensive Sex Ed” debate because that controversy is not the real issue in this story. The FACT remains teachers are being MANDATED by new state law to teach the sex education program he is threatening to press charges against them for teaching. As an organization who works with schools, parents, students, and educators, we feel a NEED to speak out on any person in the Criminal Justice system threatening teachers for following legislatively mandated curriculum (whether the mandate had been “Abstinence Only” and/or the current mandate for “Comprehensive Sex Ed”).
Not only is Scott Southworth NOT legally pursuing the people who put the LAW into place, he is not speaking about actively pursuing teenagers or young adults who are VIOLATING current sexual assault laws (he makes no mention of doing so in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article). At every school we have ever spoke at (including in Wisconsin), students say classmates are being taken advantage of almost every weekend at parties in their communities. Since Scott Southworth is now sharing his passion for addressing sexual assault of teenagers, we would be thrilled to see him put his energies and passions into actively pursuing individuals intentionally sexually assaulting minors who are intoxicated at parties (what some refer to as “taking advantage of someone”). Such an effort on Scott Southworth’s office would be a STRONG SIGNAL to teenagers and young adults that his office is not going to tolerate sexual assault being committed in his county. We absolutely support you in taking decisive actions to reduce sexual assault, Scott Southworth!!
In fact, we would be happy to work with you and local resources in Wisconsin to help you address this extremely serious crime already occurring in your county (and every county in our country). Contact our offices and we will be happy to begin sharing the many ways this issue can be addressed in your local communities. Lets team up your passion and our mission for wanting to end sexual assault to make a positive difference in Juneau County, Wisconsin.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Share your opinions, thoughts, and feedback by “Leaving a Comment.” I look forward to personally responding throughout the conversation we will be getting started here.