This show is starting to sink into a disturbing trend of having a great over-arching story (Eli and his visions) and enfuriating self-contained stories (namely, the cort cases). After the episode about the soldier of five years who milked the country for money until they asked her to do her job AS a soldier, and she sued for release (see my review here: ), I didn't think this show could piss me off more.
Then they do this show. As soon as they said the girl was in trouble for interrupting a school assembly on abstinence, I knew there was going to be problems. First of all, the girl knew damn well that what she was doing was against the rules. She knew she would get in trouble. She did it anyway. Then she decided to moan about the punishment. That's crap already.
Then they get to court, and the start rambling off these heavy-handed leftist "facts" that are total lies. She starts by talking about how the abstinence assemblies are about "never having sex." Not true. They're about waiting. They're about discouraging teens, who are not only not legally allowed to have sex, but are unready and ill-prepared for the possible consequences, from having sex. Waiting until you're ready is not "never." And I'm sick and tired of people acting like it's impossible to wait, it's impossible to EXPECT anyone to wait, and that's it's just some completely inevitable thing that kids are going to have sex, so you might as well just throw your hands up, toss some rubbers at them and tell them to have a good time. When the hell did people stop having any faith in their kids?
Then they get into the court claims that the seminars teach that contraception doesn't work. Not true. They teach that abstinence is the only contraception that works 100% of the time. That even if you use a condom, it is still possible to get pregnant or catch a STD. And that's true. Then she states that that kids who are in abstinence programs are less likely to use contraception. Bull crap. Totally made up. Then they ask her how she's been affected by the seminars, and she lists here friends who have gotten pregnant, or got STD's. Here's the thing: there were four pregnancies in my graduation class, NONE of whom had ever attended an abstinence course. There were at least three with STD's. Again, no abstinence course. Alright, so her friend got pregnant, and the other one got the clap. That doesn't mean those thing wouldn't have happened had the abstinence assembly not been held.
Then Michaels takes the stand and reiterates what she said. I sometimes wonder if the people writing this crap have ever actually ATTENDED one of the assemblies they so viciously rally against. The point isn't that "condoms don't work." The point is that "condoms can fail" and "abstinence is the ONLY thing that always works." And it's true. Condoms can rip. They can tear. They can leak. It is not only POSSIBLE that they fail, they DO fail. It happens every day. Yes, they are very effective. Yes, the VAST majority of the time, they do their job. But I'm sick of hearing "how can I be pregnant? I don't understand, I used a condom!" or worse, "I should be able to have an abortion because I was responsible and used protection." The problem (and this part is key, so please, pay attention), is that when condoms are the main focus of sex ed, the signal that is sent is "go ahead, have sex, it's fine, don't give it a second thought, just wear a condom, and you'll be fine!" No addressing how much it can change a young person's life. No mention of the drama it tends to bring, but worst of all, it takes away the very real need to consider the very real consequences that are possible every time you have sex, protection or not. Consequences that no one is ready to face in high school.
And that's what it all comes down to: consequences. The girl did something she wasn't supposed to, and when the consequences rolled away, she insisted that she shouldn't have to face them.
And that attitude is exactly why it's so important to teach both abstinence and that condoms can fail.