I think I accidentally have a cause. When Andy started school and all the mounds of paperwork came home about the PTO etc., I filled something out to be on the Student Health Advisory Committee. I did have to explain what public health experience I have. Sure, I work for a medical trade association, in communications, but I'm hardly a nurse or anything. Despite that, I got on this committee. I presumed it was all about vaccinations and school lunches, that kind of stuff. I had no idea that what this really is is a front group to try to get sex education taught in Texas public schools, one school district at a time.
Fun facts that I've learned the last few weeks -- Texas leads the nation in abstinence only sexual education because the state mandates that only abstinence be taught at the local schools unless the individual district explicitly decides to do otherwise. In 2005, it also had the highest teen pregnancy rate (apparently Texas, New Mexico and Mississippi take turns with that honor).
Now believe me, I'm not all about seriously graphic sex education or anything, but I do believe that teaching kids the basics of developing bodies, pregnancy prevention and STD and HIV avoidance is one of the big things a school should do in addition to reading, writing and basic math/checkbook maintenance. I'm serious. World history is important, but it's hardly the life skill that say, not getting pregnant is. Sure, this is a touchy subject and sure, parents, should absolutely be the final teachers in this, but to let kids teach themselves through Gossip Girl and Facebook is really criminal. And this is avoiding the really controversial stuff (!) like teaching kids that homosexuality is okay or that abortion exists. My parents were pretty conservative when it came to a lot of things, but I'm really proud that they knew you have to teach kids these things. And I can say from experience that my mother's talks and books teaching us all about these things did not make me more apt to out and sleep around or do drugs.
There is a group here that is fascinating and doing some work that actually may inspire me to get more involved -- The Texas Freedom Network. Check it out.