News and Observer (Raleigh NC) (09.28.11) - Monday, October
Johnson County's sex education curriculum for grades seven
through nine is open for review by parents through Oct. 9,
finishing the 60-day open-access period mandated by the
Healthy Youth Act of 2009. This will be the Johnson County
Schools' (JCS) second year using the abstinence-based,
comprehensive "Healthy Living Curriculum."
In addition to stressing abstinence, by state law the program
must cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved methods
for reducing STDs; the efficacy rates of FDA-approved
contraceptive methods; and rates of STD infection among
youths. The JCS program is "opt-in," so parents must indicate
their permission before students can participate. The county
does not have the material available online due to its nature.
"There's always been that strong emphasis on abstinence
education, where we discuss with kids the dangers,
consequences of decisions made," said Chris Godwin, JCS
director of academic programs. "We really thought about how we
could meet the requirements; but I think it's understandable
to say that Johnson County really believes that we hope that
our students would remain abstinent until marriage."
"We want to be fair to all, but one thing that we always point
to is utilizing evidence-based and science-based materials
when using anything to educate young people, and that again is
in the law," said Nakisha Floyd, abstinence education
consultant with the state Department of Public Instruction.
"We asked our parents if they were concerned and to please go
to the school first; look at the material; if there was
something they did not feel comfortable about, please let us
know," said Godwin. "We did not have any issues with that. I
think most people that did look at it were fine with what we
did have in the curriculum."
Godwin said he has not heard from principals about large
numbers of students being opted-out.