Local and Community News
Leander, Texas Board OKs Revision to Sex Ed Class
April 23, 2003
Under a revised sex education curriculum approved Thursday by Leander, Texas, school board members, teachers will be allowed, beginning in the eighth grade, to discuss oral and anal sex with students when teaching about STDs.Adapted from:
With the unanimous vote by the trustees, the school district joined at least 15 others in Central Texas that include oral and anal sex when educating about health risks. Teachers, who had previously not been allowed to use the terms, may make the change immediately.
"I appreciate them allowing me to use the proper terminology as we talk about dangerous behaviors," said Kelsey Friedman, a Leander Middle School science teacher who teaches eighth grade sex education. "It will be easier because I don't have to sidestep or refer the questions [students] have to other sources."
District officials -- concerned about a growing belief among some students that the acts are not sex acts and do not pose health risks -- had grappled with the issue for months. Some parents and board members were concerned that adding the words to the curriculum could create graphic images in students' minds or introduce new ideas to those unfamiliar with the terms.
In December, board members directed the health advisory committee to investigate whether there was a more sensitive way to teach about the risks without using the words. The committee, however, stood by its original recommendation that educators must use the words to fully communicate the risks. As with all of Leander's sex education, which begins with a fourth grade discussion of body maturation, parents can opt to have their children not take part.
Board President Jim Sneeringer, who had initially been hesitant about the change after speaking with concerned parents, said using the terms is effective in communicating the health risks and supporting abstinence.
04.18.03; M.B. Taboada
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.