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April 20, 2000     Beverly Hills Weekly
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April 20, 2000
 

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!} Beverly junior elected JSA Lieutenant Governor By Margaret Boyle Beverly Hills High School junior Kate Supnik was elected the Junior State of America's Southern California Lieutenant Governor on Saturday April 15 at the JSA Spring State 2000 confer- ep.ce. ,upnik took 56 of the votes in the ti,ghl race against junior Philip Chang of Sunny Hills High School. "I'm really looking lorward to this year ahead." Supnik said. "We have a lot of strong leaders and 1 want to take this opportunity to maximize the poten- tia! f the Senate." The three-day Spring State conven- tion was held at the LAX Hilton begin- ning Friday April 14. It was comprised of the elections for Southern Calitornia Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Mayor and other state and regional officials. "I think the Beverly chapter had a good time. Personally, I think that Spring State is the best convention," Supnik said. "The extra night and the election process is really exciting. There's the cxu: time for the debates... It really give> the de!egalcs a great vari- ety' of activities m one ,,.eekcnd." Over 1200 high cm'  ,,tudent.,, fr,m over 45 high schoob,. :,,'ere given the opportunity to participate in debates on domestic and international current events, educational policies and moral- ity issues. Seventeen students repre- sented Beverly Hills High school, under teacher advisor William Ryan. Keynote speaker for closing session was Board President of LAUSD, Genethia Hayes who spoke on leader- ship and democracy. "It is my belief that without a lit- erate s(u:iety democracy cannot work," Hayes said. "If we do not have young people that under- stand democracy...then all else is lost." According to Supnik, JSA's pur- pose is to teach high school stu- dents about government, to help them develop their leadership skills, and to learn first hand, as the motto of the JSA states, to "Make Democracy Work." "Winning the election has really meant a lot to me." Supnik said. "For the past two years I've dedi- cated a lot of time to JSA, and this past year to the senate. I know that this year Sutra maos her accoptanco speech I'!! remain just as dedicated and work hard to see the best of the organiza- tion." Utah abolishes real sex ed, hurts teenagers everywhere Utah has taken the sex out of sex education, thereby rendering the education part useless as well. With leg- islation that passed last month, the Beehive State's lawmakers fatally stung sex ed for Utah's public schools. While California is not likely to pass a simi- lar bill, the fact that one exists anywhere shows how many parents and other adults are blind to the fact that sex ed, when taught correctly, saves lives and prevents pregnancy. Last month, the Utah Legislature passed the bill HB411, which mandates that educators in public schools can teach only about abstinence. According to the law, teachers of sex ed can mention nothing about condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and nothing about contraception to prevent pregnancy unless it is done in the context of a marital relation- ship. Six other states currently have a similar law. In promoting the law, some legislators used the archaic argument that abstinence has never killed any- one, but they failed to mention how ignorance can kill teens who engage in sexual activity without practicing safer sex. Even more astounding was Utah ;tate Sen. Michael Waddoups's statement, "It is not really our goal to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases." Waddoups, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, clearly indicated that he and the remainder of the Republican majority in the Senate simply do not care about the well being of teenaged Utahans. These legislators apparently prefer that teenagers turn to other sources of information about sex such as friends and the media, which often provide disinforo mation and compound the problem of ignorance. The fact is that teens often engage in sexual activity, where they are taught about abstinence or contraception or both. Interestingly, the Utah's Deseret News reported that about 60 percent of Utah's teens are having sex, and that the state has one of the highest teen pregnan- cy rates in the nation. In the U.S., the teen pregnancy rate is the lowest is has been in four decades, and the use of contraception has increased. In addition, there is no evidence that promotion of contraception pro- motes sexual activity. In fact, teen sex has actually declined since 1970. Sex ed merely allows sexually active teens to protect themselves %y applying their knowledge. Furthernore, in 1996, USA Today reported that the annual National Youth Risk Behavior survey indicated that stressing abstinence has no deterrent effect on teen sexual behavior. Ironically, the law can be interpreted in different ways; bill proponent and Senate President Lane Beattie said that the bill does not restrict teaching about birth control in the context of marriage. Thus students are expected to infer that contraception that works during marriage will work before marriage also. As the world enters a new millennium, many Americans seem to take a step backward with this bill. It is oddly fitting that although "41 !" means "informa- tion," the bill named HB411 intends to promote igno- rance in the name of morality, in turn hurting teenagers everywhere. THE PRINCETON REVIEW PSAT . SAT I . SAT II . ACT Better Scores, Better Schools (800) 2-REVIEW (310) 473-3423 www.revtew.com April 20-26, 2000 13