Local and Community News
Santa Ana, Calif. School Board Rejects Abstinence-Only Curriculum
May 16, 2003
The Santa Ana, Calif., School Board voted Tuesday to reject "Game Plan," an abstinence-only sex education curriculum, saying it did not meet state requirements. The 3-2 vote capped a contentious night. "It's a good plan and I believe in abstinence," board member Sal Tinajero said. "But I believe there is a need to give knowledge because knowledge is power." Tinajero was referring to shortcomings in the curriculum as outlined by district staff. If Game Plan were adopted, staff said, there would have to be supplemental materials on HIV/AIDS and STDs, among other issues.Adapted from:
Game Plan, developed by Project Reality, consists of an eight-chapter workbook that stresses marriage before sex. Game Plan does not discuss the use of contraceptives or provide resources for students who choose not to abstain. The plan was heavily promoted by board President Rosemarie Avila, with support by member Rob Richardson. Before the meeting, Avila said the plan offered more information on abstinence than other curriculums she had evaluated. "It's a more realistic view of what's out there," Avila said.
Beatriz Salas, a Santa Ana mother and vocal supporter of Game Plan, said she hopes to organize other parents to protest the board's decision at the next meeting. She said Santa Ana's largely Latino population is more conservative and needs a curriculum that addresses that. "We are a religious people; we don't want [our kids] exposed to sex," she said. The meeting was preceded by a rally organized by Game Plan supporters.
Opponents of Game Plan said they will ask the board to form a committee to examine the current curriculum. They said a more effective program would be abstinence-based but also include information on condom use and relationship issues. In 2001, a group of teens with Campfire USA's Speak Out program approached the board and, citing Santa Ana's high teen pregnancy rate -- more than 3,000 teen deliveries in 2000 - asked the district to alter its curriculum to include more information on contraceptive use and relationship issues.
Los Angeles Times
05.15.03; Denise M. Bonilla
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.