By Kim Powell
CRANE - "We do have an abstinence curriculum, and evidently that isn't working," Jim Rumage, the superintendent for Crane Independent school District.
A chlamydia outbreak that got everyone talking about the small town of Crane last week now has the school looking at possible ways to fix it and ways to prevent it from happening again.
"We need to do all we can, although it's the parent's responsibility to educate their kids on sexual education," Rumage said.
It all started last Wednesday when two school nurses and a local physician made a call to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC then called Rumage, telling him that Crane County is at epidemic proportions, which then made him decide to send a letter home to parents.
"I definitely think that it was something that parents need to know so they can have their children tested, because, you know, that's the parents responsibility to have them tested for that," Rumage said.
The letter states that there have been several reported cases of Chlamydia in both Crane and Upton Counties. It then goes on to list facts on the sexually transmitted disease (STD) and how to treat it, urging parents to get their kids tested.
In light of the outbreak, the School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) met on Monday to discuss the curriculum for sex education. Right now, their curriculum is a three day course focusing on abstinence, but they're looking at a new program that could possibly bring in a professional to not only teach abstinence, but also go over the risks of STDs. This is something SHAC passed three years ago, but it fell through the cracks.
"It seems to me that ought to be something that we should probably go ahead and adopt and get started on it," Rumage said in the meeting. "Let's not wait three years to do this again."