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The wisdom of the young

Welcome to Reality.. It’s a hard place to be in, I understand. At the age of 18, I have experienced reality in Malibu. While I was a student at MHS, 10 of my schoolmates (that I know of) had abortions, five have had children and I would estimate that over 85 percent were having sexual intercourse (most of them unprotected). Before you get the misconception that the people I am talking about are children who were not raised right, I can safely assure you that most of them are church-going, conscientious students, varsity athletes, student council members — in other words, good kids. Their parents are admired members of our community. In fact, some of these kids and their parents are probably people you know — they may even be your friends.

I think “hand holding, hugging, and a kiss on the cheek” is great, but it’s also naive. MHS students are sexually active whether you like it or not. Kids need practical sex information to avoid making mistakes that can affect their entire lives. It sounds to me like this is what Suzi Landolphi is trying to do. If you believe that shielding kids from this type of sex education will keep them innocent, then you are sorely mistaken. They will just continue to get their information from other kids who are as misinformed as they are. Why in the world would you not want to give all of our students a safe environment where they can talk openly and freely about sex?

It boggles my mind that you — parents who love your children and want the best for them — cannot see how important this class is. Whenever there is a problem affecting kids at Malibu High — drugs, alcohol, bigotry — everyone jumps on the bandwagon to try to teach our kids how to prevent it. Well, “tears of sadness” should be coming to Mr. Stewart’s eyes because some kids who really need this information may not get a chance to hear it because of the fuss you have made over all of this. That’s sad. These meetings sounded more like episodes of Jerry Springer than serious discussions about sex information and how it benefits our children. For my generation, learning about safe sexual choices can be the difference between life and death.

With all due respect, I think people who deny the truth make America weak, not educators, not President Clinton and certainly not knowledge. Ignorance is the only thing that can hurt us. How many kids need to tell you that you are misguided, before you believe it? ASB president Jeremy Tarr put it perfectly, “You’re great parents trying to protect your kids, but you can’t protect them from sex. . . .”

You’ve probably heard this analogy, but in a way, it’s like having a swimming pool in your backyard. You can tell your kids not to go in the pool, you can build a fence around it, hey, you can even put a cover on it. But, if you think that there is any chance whatsoever that your children will find a way into the water, don’t you think you’d want to teach your kids how to swim? I hope you do . . . I really hope you do.

Shannon Ross

MHS Class of ’98

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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