Not Again, Texas

Texas is such an interesting place. So full of contradictions. Like the attempts to be both modern; in its force of business , and “old school”; in its gun rights, prayer in schools, and just about anything else. I’d like to take this time to remind the great state of Texas that you cannot be both liberal and conservative. Your individual citizens might be, though, if news this week is any indication.

According to the Houston Chronicle, in a story published on May 6th, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee have made an attempt to legalize the buying and selling of marijuana in the state.

Cool notes?

  • Two Republicans were part of the panel and behind the affirming vote.
  • Marijuana would still be illegal for minors, except when used under/with parental supervision.
  • If passed into law, it would make Texas the 5th state to legalize pot.

Lame notes?

  • For anyone confused on how the branches of our state governments work: marijuana is NOT legal in Texas, even with the passing vote from this panel. House Bill 2165 will have to move up through the system, being voted and scrutinized every step of the way, before this becomes viable.
  • Republican (TEA PARTY) David Simpson of Longview (self-proclaimed Christian), when asked why he supported the seemingly liberal bill replied, “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that [the] government needs to fix.” – Roughly translated that means: “My religion can be reinterpreted to suit my purposes. Whenever I want.”

So, this is kind of a big deal, right? Texas, a notoriously red state, tryna be all blue with the happy green plant.

Tx-Flag
Credit: DallasVoice.com

But let’s temper your enthusiasm for the Lone Star State’s apparent progressiveness with a high school popularity contest.

A high school in Crane, TX, is currently suffering from 20 confirmed cases of chlamydia…in a student population of only 300. Although I’d like to argue that 20 cases of chlamydia in teens seems like a lot even in a population of 1,000. Maybe I just had a better education in how terrible sexually transmitted infections can be. Because, you know, I had an education. According to the Associated Press, in an article posted on May 5th, Crane High School does not offer its students sexual education of any form.

Why? Well, according to the Guttmacher Institute, Texas is the only state that takes the cake on all of the following sexual education parameters:

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Credit: Huffington Post

 

  1. Because knowing what your genitals do is something best left for teenagers to surf the internet for.
  2. “Effective HIV and AIDS education can help prevent new infections by providing people with information about HIV and how it is passed on, and in doing so equip individuals with the knowledge to protect themselves from becoming infected with the virus.”
  3. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY RED STATES?! WHY WOULD YOU NOT TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ACCURATE INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR OWN GENITALIA OR REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS?! WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIE TO US ABOUT? IS SANTA EVEN REAL???
  4. “New research by Penn GSE Professor Rebecca Maynard has shown that abstinence-only sex education has no effect on the onset of sexual activity among children or on the likelihood that, if they do engage in sex, they will use a condom.”

SexEdMaps5_1

A little disappointed, aren’t you? You got excited about the prospect of Texas finally pulling it’s longhorned head out of it’s oily ass by allowing its citizens to participate in full civil liberties in the form of smoking the reefer, didn’t you? Maybe it’ll happen. But with the conservative mentality of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” as the only answer available to a student asking what their weewee or waawaa does, I don’t think there’s much hope.

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Credit: sexetc.org

And, frankly, I’d be pretty livid if there were.

Don’t mistake me: I’ve got no issue with legalizing medicinal and recreational marijuana. But Texas’ priorities are way off base if pot comes before education, specifically education that could save its students from things like, you know, chlamydia.

Maybe, and this is a one hell of a stretch, that’s the whole point. Maybe Texas is going to legalize weed to pay for education reform. The tax money from marijuana sales could, potentially, be high enough to revolutionize curriculum across grade levels – including sexual education curriculum. But I don’t think that’s likely.

 

My name is Chelsey Mick, and this is how we yeehaw?

  • CPlll

    Hey! It’s your San Antonio Marriott “bar” buddy Chris….anyway, just because the items you listed above are not “required” as part of the curriculum, I know it was still taught and part of the curriculum when I went to school here in Texas (back in the 80s and 90s). I had it in both Jr high and high school. I also went to a school in a small Texas town where everyone knows everyone else just about. I asked my sister (8 years younger) and she said she also had it in Jr high and high school. I agree it seems ridiculous to not “require” it, and why not make sure it is medically accurate (which from what we both remember, ours was), but to infer or assume that just because it is not required that it does not occur, seems to be a little “reckless” in your argument. What I would be interested in is how many school systems do include it despite the non-requirement. Just saying…oh and nothing was discussed or taught in relation to same-sex marriages back then in either of our experiences…and that’s how I like to keep you on your toes!!! Hope all is well!

    • micksnark

      Abstinence education isn’t working. Texas maintains one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the U.S. The states that do not have high rates of teen pregnancy, like Oregon and Washington, have very extensive sex ed programs. I went to high school in Texas, as well. I went to 5 years of Texas public schools. In that time I had two semesters of Health, that included a lesson on basic human anatomy. I did not get a Sexual Education class – I double checked my school records to be sure. Your experiences, and your sisters, aren’t the point. Nor are mine.

      Just because a school opts to teach sex ed doesn’t mean they are doing a good job, regardless. For example, the ability to teach medically inaccurate lessons on reproductive organs or the act of intercourse? You’re joking, right? That’s not a Venus Flytrap between my legs and I know better than to believe that “when two people fall in love, the stork brings them a baby.”

      The argument wasn’t about whether or not sex ed was being taught. Despite your argument that some schools still choose to teach sex ed, and despite the hypothetical arguments that Texas public schools DO teach medically accurate curriculum and do NOT participate in gay bashing, the argument was about legislative priorities. Legalize weed? Or reform education? PRIORITIES.

      • CPlll

        I agree on priorities and education reform, but all education reform, not just the sex ed part…just thought it was curious how not one mention of math scores, literacy rates, and etc of high school grads in Texas…I’m sure the entire system could use a boost, but you only focused on the sex ed part…maybe that’s a “sexier” topic and generates more interest or maybe you just had some handy info on that subject…oh, I much prefer debating with you in person at the bar without the red headed “killjoy” lurking around!

        • micksnark

          I checked the 2014 ACT National and State Scores (http://www.act.org/newsroom/data/2014/states.html) and found that Texas scored BELOW the national average in English and Reading. ABOVE the national average in Math and Science.

          I focused on the sex ed part because the weed issue and chlamydia issue happened within DAYS of each other. Highlighting some of the huge hypocrisies within the state’s priorities. I’m all for educational reform on a mass scale. No Child Left Behind was a good IDEA, but poorly executed.

          Haha, thankfully that guy is long out of my life! It’s so great to hear from you!