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Pennsylvania: Reading Teachers Balk at Condom Lesson for Middle-Schoolers

February 5, 2009

A teachers' union representative recently complained that some Reading teachers are not comfortable presenting information about condoms to their middle school students. The lessons are part of a pregnancy prevention program, approved by the school board in September, which is to be taught this school year to students in sixth to eighth grades.

"I recommend you take a look at this," Daniel Grim, teachers' union president, told the Reading School District Board. "It's not appropriate for middle school."

Grim noted a portion of the curriculum about how to make condoms "fun and pleasurable"; suggestions on incorporating condoms into foreplay; and how to ensure sex with condoms is more physically pleasing.

Board member Karen H. McCree, defending the program, said Grim was misrepresenting it as "pornographic." "It's promoting safety," she said.

Reading is one of four school districts with high teen pregnancy rates chosen by the state to introduce the program, which is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. McCree said that the program was one of more than 100 the district evaluated. The city received a $20,000 grant to roll out the courses, which are funded through CDC.

"I will note that we've had fifth-graders pregnant in this district," McCree said. "Kids are having sex, and there are some people who are not comfortable talking about that." Parents can choose to exclude their children from participation, and teachers uneasy with the program can decline to teach it, McCree added.

Back to other news for February 2009

Adapted from:
Reading Eagle
01.30.2009; David Mekeel

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.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
Condom Basics
Condom Demonstrations/Distribution


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