November 15, 2011 — Nebraska Sen. Brenda Council on Saturday said she hopes to sponsor a bill in the state Legislature that would require age-appropriate, "medically accurate" sex education for all students, the AP/Omaha World-Herald reports. Council said that society needs to "take the blinders off" and provide young people with the knowledge and resources they need to be sexually responsible.
Speaking at a meeting for the Empowerment Network -- a program aimed at improving African-Americans' economic status and quality of life in Omaha -- Council said the high poverty rate among African-Americans in the area is influenced by the high number of births to unmarried women. According to statistics presented at the meeting, 76% of African-American women who gave birth in the Omaha area from 2008 through 2010 were not married.
"We look at the data and then we ignore what the data [are] telling us," Council said, noting that 40% of blacks in the Omaha metro area who are living in poverty are younger than age 18. She added, "When you have only one person providing income, one person providing resources, ... our opportunities to move these young people out of poverty are greatly diminished" (Ruggles, AP/Omaha World-Herald, 11/13).