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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
NORTH CAROLINA: Review Period for Sex Education Curriculum Almost Over
Rebecca Putterman
October 3, 2011
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.