Elders' Dismissal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   On December 11th, President Clinton fired the highly esteemed Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders because she made controversial remarks concerning masturbation. Dr. Elders' dismissal was unjustified and extremely harmful to the welfare of the nation.

Dr. Elders has been a long-time activist for the war on AIDS and a firm advocate of increased sex education for youth and more health care programs to benefit the public. Her leadership has provided the nation with much needed information and insight on how we can combat questions about STDs and condom distribution. After years of valuable service to our nation, Dr. Elders was fired because she chose to voice her opinion that masturbation should be taught as part of the public schools' sex education curriculum.

Realistically, masturbation is an issue that causes a lot of discomfort, pain, pressure and confusion among youth. Dr. Elders' sole intention was to expose a taboo issue that should be discussed, to educate youth. She by no means intended to embarrass or humiliate the office of the presidency. It is not as though she was promoting masturbation or encouraging anyone to do it.

It seems Dr. Elders has been punished because she expressed an opinion that didn't comply with society's traditional views. Her acts are undeserving of disdain and should be praised as they were aimed at teaching pertinent information to teenagers, It's about time we, as a society, stopped avoiding this uncomfortable, but prevalent issue, and discuss with our youth the questions surrounding masturbation. If youth are not provided with awareness then they are bound to be negatively affected by this issue.

Ultimately Dr. Elders' beneficial devotion to the nation far outweighs any "inappropriate" remarks she may have made. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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