Maryland State Board Approves County's Sex-Ed Curriculum
July 5, 2007
On Tuesday, school officials announced that the Maryland State Board of Education ruled in favor of a sex-education curriculum for Montgomery County that includes new lessons on condom use and sexual orientation. The curriculum was adopted last month for use in the county's middle and high schools.
The 17-page, June 27 opinion by the State Board declined to "second guess the appropriateness" of the curriculum approved by the Montgomery County Board of Education. The panel said it could reverse the county's action only if it violated the law. And after reviewing more than a dozen claims by opponents of the curriculum, it found nothing illegal in the lessons.
The ruling is the strongest victory for the county, which has been involved in legal battles over its sex education curriculum. Lessons have been under revision for five years due to an effort to introduce the topic of sexual orientation in health classes.
"The State Board rejected each and every legal challenge brought by the opponents and determined that there was no valid reason to overturn our decision," said Nancy Navarro (Northeastern County), president of Montgomery County's school board. She expressed hope the litigation would "finally come to an end."
The umbrella group Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, which opposes the lessons, is exploring its options, including whether to take the matter to federal court, said spokesperson Michelle Turner. "There are many parents here in Montgomery County who are opposed to the curriculum," she noted, adding that a growing number of parents outside the county are concerned that the lessons could be adopted in other Maryland counties.
07.04.2007; Daniel de Vise
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.