Educator Says Local Sex Ed Isn't Cutting It

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Every 48 minutes in Texas, a teenager has an abortion.  That's according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Local experts say the shocking statistic is due to the lack of formal sex education classes including here in the Basin.

94 percent of schools in Texas are teaching abstinence only programs, including Ector and Midland County. One local sex educator says that's why Texas has the highest teen birth rate in the country.

"In Texas, we have a higher rate of sexually active teenagers than the national average," Carla Holeva, with Planned Parenthood of West Texas, said.

According to recent report by Texas Education Freedom Network, nearly 48% of teens in the country are having sex.  In Texas, that number jumps to almost 53%.

"Until we start looking at medically accurate, positive education, we're going to continue to see the rates we have," Holeva said. "If you don't want to get pregnant, you don't want to have an STD, don't have sex, make the right decision.  But if you choose to be sexually active, you need to know how to protect yourself."

Holeva says the curriculum in both Ector and Midland counties just isn't cutting it.

"We've got to start looking at the type of curriculum we pick. (And if we) are addressing the needs of the community, (and) looking at what really is the best education for the young people in our community," Holeva said.

NewsWest 9 contacted both Ector County and Midland ISD's, but they did not have a comment on our story.