Wichita County is seeing a spike in cases of sexually transmitted diseases. New numbers, just released by the centers for disease control and prevention shows nationwide STD's are at an all time high.
"Research shows that by having a conversation with a student, they're more likely to postpone being sexually active than if you don't."
WFISD is doing just that, PE and health curriculum specialist, Julie Henderson helps run hot topics. A program that's been around for 30 years.
"We brought in different people from the community anywhere from parents, to clergymen, to doctors, to write what we thought was best and fit for Wichita Falls."
The program is taught to 4th graders up to high school students. The curriculum can change, but parents are told what will be covered.
"Because all the time new things are coming out you know whether it's resistant strains of sexually transmitted diseases that are being affected by antibiotics now. We like to keep up with new information."
Like new numbers from the health district in Wichita Falls, showing an increase within the past two months in gonorrhea and chlamydia cases. Nurse Debra Booher says that treatment is just the first step.
"I do a lot of teaching in my clinic."
With this spike, Henderson says hot topics will stress the importance of making smart decisions, prevention, and where to get tested. The health district makes it easy for these younger patients.
"They don't have to have a parent come with them. They don't have to have parental notification of any positive lab results, I give them directly to them."
Henderson says that with cut backs in state and local STD programs we're lucky to have these options.
"That's a very important piece to the puzzle. So without that, that's taking away some resources that are going to cost more money later on."
"I don't think it's going to be something that's going to decrease unless there's a definite effort and push, like I said of a community together and supporting behind it."
Like schools, churches, doctors and parents.
Julie Henderson says that parents do not have to be experts, and it's not about having "the talk". It's an ongoing discussion. She says that parents need to be non-judgmental when having these talks with their kids; because hearing this information from someone they care about means a lot more..