Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tough Love

A lot of teachers in my school are now required to give lessons about HIV infection. There is a script, apparently, that they are supposed to follow, and there are supposed to be Q and A or dancing or skits or something. These are absolutely the best and only ways to teach the materials so there must be no variation whatsoever. Still, some of my colleagues have their own spin on it.

One teacher, a volunteer fireman, claims he can sum it up very neatly in a single sentence. Every year, he has to go to training sessions and learn about infectious materials. He says, "If it's wet, and it isn't yours, don't touch it." That might work.

Another of my colleagues has broken the concept into four distinct steps. First, she says, is abstinence. Don't have sex, you won't get diseases, and you won't get pregnant either. That's the best approach, she tells the kids.

However, if kids can't follow step one, they have to go to step two. Use protection. Latex condoms are very effective and certainly decrease the possibility of STDs. Don't even think about having sex, but if you do, don't even think about going without one of these time-tested devices.

Now if kids can't follow steps one and two, there is a third route. If they've gotten this far, they could be infected, pregnant or both. Kids at this stage need to speak to someone. It could be their parents, or a counselor, or a psychologist. But they're going to need to speak to someone for sure. Serious problems require serious treatment.

If they fail steps one, two, and three, however, there's only one thing left to do. They need to find appropriate methods to commit suicide, as there is no hope for them whatsoever.

And that's it. I'm sorry if you expected one of these, but no matter how hard we try, we can't always oblige.
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