Teaching that it's right to wait for sex

Wilson Bruning, right, a STARS teen leader, helps Mt. Vernon Middle School students Kiaya Wilson and Adam Barry understand the importance of sexual abstinence. Contributed photo

MT. VERNON - For the past several years Mt. Vernon Middle School has run a program that encourages sexual abstinence as well as encourages positive decision making for young teens.-

The program, called Students Today Aren't Ready for Sex (STARS) consists of five, one-hour classes held weekly as part of a comprehensive health program at the seventh-grade level.-

These classes are taught by students from Grant Union High School. The students -12th-graders Faith Allen, Haley Hueckman, Amanda Myers, Ree Armstrong and 11th-graders Wilson Bruning and Jeremy Hyde - are trained as teen leaders and do the classroom instruction.-

The teen leaders not only go through the required training, but are held to a high standard of conduct to maintain their positions. The requirements are that they not only stay sexually abstinent, but stay away from alcohol or other drugs, be of good moral character and be above average students. They are role models for the younger students in the community.-

The students really enjoy the classes and indicate they are learning a lot of helpful information. Here are some of the things they are saying about the program:-

"I like STARS because it tells us about why we should wait." - Adam Barry.

"I like STARS because we learn about how to handle our future teen life." - Cory Slayton.

"I like STARS because it's a really good program to show that students aren't ready to have sex." - Karina Hoffman.-

"I think STARS is cool. It's fun and the kids who come in are really nice and funny." - Bobby Hillary.

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