Based on the increase in teenage pregnancies, many have blamed abstinence only education. They are claiming it doesn't work. I say that we have never really given it a shot!
If a school teaches abstinence only but the media, family, and friends don't support it, then there is no way it is going to work. When kids see everyone around them having relations out of wedlock, why would they consider waiting? So, the programs in schools don't work, but it isn't the program's fault. It is the fact that they are getting a mixed message. For abstinence only education to work, they have to hear the same message from everyone (or at least from most avenues).
I do feel abstinence is the best practice. No other method of birth control is 100%. Plus, there are the sexually transmitted diseases that are spread even with many of the methods of birth control.
Personally, I wish the schools would just stay out of it. I think it is the parents' responsibility to teach their children about these things. This is especially the case up until high school. I think the schools should spend their time working on reading, math, history, science, etc and less time on these things.
Does that mean it shouldn't ever be mentioned in school? I would say yes until high school. A high school health class is a perfectly fine place to give students some information from a scientific/medical perspective. A biology or anatomy and physiology class can talk about some of it too.
Why do I think teenage pregnancy is on the rise? I think it is because kids are being bombarded from every direction with sexually explicit material. Adults are engaging in relations outside of a committed relationship (marriage I think it best, but I would hope people would be at least in a committed relationship...). So, kids are doing as their role models are doing. So, we as a culture need to show them a better example. We need to show them that we can resist the temptation and wait. We need to show them that it is not okay to have casual relations. Unfortunately, I don't think this is going to happen any time soon...