Local school districts teach sex ed, promote abstinence
A recent study from the Texas Freedom network shows sex education remained on the back burner in Texas during the school year during the 2015-2016 school year.
The study found 80 percent of school districts offered no sex education or stuck to teaching about only abstinence.
Michelle Deckert says sex education isn't something she waits on schools to teach to her 9th grade son.
"My son was in middle school and girls were pregnant so I had to tell him," she said.
School districts in the area, including Waco ISD, Temple ISD, Killeen ISD, and Belton ISD teach sex education while promoting abstinence.
Since 1995 state law has mandated that schools promote abstinence over any other method but does not prohibit lessons on contraceptives.
"You have to have them prepared and have them understand the consequences of having sex at a young age not married," Deckert said.
Belton ISD refrained from covering birth control last school year but contraception was taught to 8th graders at Temple ISD.
The same is taught at Killeen ISD.
"Well, they say condoms aren't that much effective and neither is birth control so you shouldn't have sex at all," Killeen high school student Desire Bulock said.
"But if you do, use a condom, so really it's confusing."
The Texas Department of State Health Services reports Bell County has some of the highest STD rates in the state, stressing education is more important than ever.
"Adolescents and young adults are eager for the information. They want to know how to protect themselves and we don't want our kids suffering silently with an STD," Regional HIV/STD manager said.
"We want them to know what the resources are out there."
Teen pregnancy and child-bearing are currently at historic lows in the U.S, although Texas remains to have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.
The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends sexually active individuals get tested annually.
Individuals can receive testing 14 years or older without parental consent.