When I’m in the classroom, I talk much more than I lecture. Lecturing isn’t really my style. I enjoy conversing with the students. Occasionally, that can lead students to ask questions that probably aren’t the most appropriate to ask an adult. I’ll let your imagination fill those in.

Honestly though, I think the students appreciate the conversational time. They like having a place where conversations about football or music aren’t going to be completely shut down. In fact, one exercise I do with the students is called “Fact or Opinion,” and they really get into it.

I read simple statements, and then the students decide if it is a fact or opinion. There are some that really get them going. Like “Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time.” That one starts some really good conversation, and while many students can spout off statistics that would seemingly secure Brady’s GOAT status, ultimately, the statement is an opinion.

Other statements spur less conversation, unless it is a student arguing against a factual comment.

The point of this exercise is to get students to realize that truth is truth, regardless of if we want to believe it. It’s to point out that though we may not all have the same opinions and that’s okay, truth doesn’t change if we decide we don’t agree with it.

This is really relevant to our program. We live in a culture that essentially says if you don’t like something or don’t agree with it, it must not be true. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. I don’t like the fact that I’m only 5 feet tall, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am.

It is estimated that more than 10,000 teenagers get a sexually transmitted disease every day. That is a lot of teens that are impacted by a decision that may seem like it isn’t a “big deal.” That’s 10,000 teens that are dealing with consequences that much of our culture paints as not a possibility, or only an opinion.

I want our students to understand that it doesn’t matter where they are in their life, how much money they have or the brand of shoes on their feet. Truth is truth is truth. We can’t change facts. And unfortunately, consequences are based on truth.

I can believe with every bit of who I am that trucks don’t exist. I can believe that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I can believe that eating ice cream for every meal is a good choice. But none of those things are true. If I stand in the middle of the highway, I’ll probably get hit by a truck. If I lose all my money in Vegas, that bad choice doesn’t just stay there. And as delicious as ice cream may be, it isn’t healthy as the main part of my diet. Consequences are based on what is true.

The truth is, teen sexual activity is a big deal. There are consequences. Our students need to know that.

There are some opinions that have consequences as well. Like Tom Brady being the greatest of all time. The consequence there is that this 5 foot 6 inch Peyton Manning fan can’t be your friend.