17 Oct 2012

Calls for sex education to be mandatory in American Samoa schools

8:17 am on 17 October 2012

High School students in American Samoa have proposed to lawmakers that sex education become mandatory for all high school students.

80 students made the proposal last week at a youth summit in Pago Pago, where they cited data from the Coalition for Teen Pregnancy Prevention showing the territory has the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the region.

One student says peer pressure, lack of confidence and poor knowledge about sex causes teens to make poor choices.

Senator Alo Dr. Paul Stevenson, who is also an educator, supports the proposal and says the Senate will look at it.

"Even though there are barriers in our culture that refrain us from discussing sex. The time has come that we have to move beyond that level because the consequences of not knowing the basics of the issues about sex education could actually devastate your life."

American Samoa Senator Alo Dr Paul Stevenson