Please Don’t Coax the Lemmings

Faith-based sexual health counseling strikes again (a problem we’re wearily familiar with here in Austin). In case that first link dies, basically some third-party sex ed teachers used shared gum as a sexually-transmitted disease vector metaphor (I guess, or maybe just as a gross-out), apparently not realizing it’s an actual potential disease vector. Obviously they’re not up on their Chains of affection: The structure of adolescent romantic and sexual networks.

While the students in the class probably didn’t learn anything positive from the exercise, this is an ironic and unintentional study in so many teen/Gen-Y issues–peer pressure, failure of the education system, mixed messages from on high, the perils of obedience, Schadenfreude (“It was fine for me, because my best friend and me [sic] did it first!”), etc. I also imagine this turned into a perverse game of “is he/she hot or not” to keep it rolling, since only the person right before you counts, right?

I don’t know which is scarier–that the “health” instructor got 18 kids to chew the same piece of gum at the absolute height of cold and flu season or that the director of school health services characterized this as “a low risk of spreading the cold or flu.” Um, if cold and flu can’t spread by the direct transfer of saliva from one person’s mouth to another, how the hell does it transfer? Maybe they got over zealous redacting evolution from the textbooks in that district and threw out germ theory as well. And really, it’s cold and flu if they’re lucky.

Great job folks. I’m pretty sure the takeaway for these kids was “it’s okay to have an orgy!”

Oh, and no way were we dumb enough to fall for this in high school. I’m serious. But we had The Boss.

Blind faith in your leaders, or in anything, will get you killed – Bruce Springsteen

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