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Wisconsin Teachers, Students Mystified by Sex Education Warning

Associated Press @ Common Dreams - Mike Taake has taught sex education for 30 years, and he says he knows what doesn't work: just telling students to wait.

The Mauston High School health teacher has used abstinence-only and comprehensive curriculums, and he said students need all the information they can get about sex to make the best choices. But teaching them about contraceptives could land him and other teachers in court.

Last month, Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth sent a letter to area school districts warning that health teachers who tell students how to put on a condom or take birth control pills could face criminal charges. The warning has left many teachers, school administrators, and parents flabbergasted.

"Seems like a step back in time,'' Taake said of Southworth's logic.

Southworth, a Republican and a Christian evangelical, took issue with a law that Governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat, signed in February requiring schools that teach sexual education to adopt a comprehensive approach.

Southworth warned that teaching a student how to properly use contraceptives would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months behind bars and a $10,000 fine. He said it would be promoting sex among minors, who are not legally allowed to have sex in Wisconsin. Read more.

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