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U.S. Debate Rages Over AIDS Sex Education

February 07, 1987

The recent call by U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop for comprehensive sex education beginning in the lowest grades in order to combat the AIDS epidemic, in addition to the increased interest in and funding of basic research relative to the problem, has been a long-overdue and positive step in the effort to understand and eradicate this terrible disease.

It is therefore distressing that individuals within the Department of Education feel that such candid discussions of sexuality and disease are inappropriate for school children. I refer to your article (Jan. 16); "Federal Debate Rages Over AIDS Sex Education."

Nothing could be further from the truth. This country has long needed an organized and comprehensive system of sex education to combat the ignorance surrounding sexual issues. Such ignorance ultimately translates into a number of societal ills.

All children should have the right to information that is likely to make them healthier and happier, and when the information relates to a 100% fatal disease it becomes the responsibility of adults to make sure that it becomes part of the curriculum of every school in the country.

Gary L. Bauer, undersecretary of education, was quoted as saying that such education is "clinically correct, but morally empty." I wonder if he would prefer that sexually active adolescents be morally correct but clinically dead?

The people of this nation deserve public officials whose primary concern is their health and well-being.

DAN SHEPARD

Huntington Beach

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