Florida: As St. Lucie Sex-Ed Plan Advances, Focus on Condoms Draws Fire
August 14, 2007
St. Lucie County school officials are studying a proposed high school AIDS awareness and prevention curriculum. The 14-lesson "Get Real About AIDS" (GRAA) curriculum may be ready for consideration by the School Board this fall.
The county's current abstinence-only sex education curriculum does not include information on proper condom use. The proposed GRAA curriculum emphasizes abstinence, and more than half the lessons focus on HIV/STD transmission and prevention. In addition to reasons to delay sex, GRAA covers how to purchase and use condoms. It also discusses such topics as peer pressure, defining boundaries, and how to identify and escape risky situations.
The curriculum is what most parents would want for their children, believes Superintendent Michael Lannon. In 2006, a University of North Florida survey found that nine of 10 St. Lucie parents believed sex education should be taught in school. About five of 10 parents said abstinence is best for teenagers, but that condom and contraceptive information should be provided as well. Just one in 10 parents believed abstinence-only should be taught.
GRAA has received CDC's "programs that work" designation, which helps schools identify curricula that offer credible evidence of reducing risky behavior among youths. The local leadership council, St. Lucie County Executive Roundtable, recommended GRAA in May after spending a year researching sex education curricula.
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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.