School Board officials in Granville, Ohio are considering adding discussions of contraceptives to the sexuality education unit of its health education curriculum.
The new component of the sexuality education program, which would discuss contraceptive options and effectiveness, would be part of a curriculum shift designed to increase focus on sexually transmitted diseases, decision-making, and an understanding of sexual activity as more than sexual intercourse.1 The coordinator of Granville’s curriculum explained the proposed addition: “They [would] receive more instruction around contraceptives, so they can make more informed decisions as they enter adulthood.”2
The contraceptive component of the unit would follow an opt-in policy under which parents would be required to give their permission before a student could receive instruction. Parents would have the option of enrolling their children in the program at either the eighth grade or the tenth grade levels. At the tenth grade level, the opt-in portion of the curriculum would also involve discussion of the differences between spontaneous and elective abortion.
A 15-member committee of administrators, teachers, and parents planned to submit a recommendation in favor of the revised curriculum at the Granville School Board meeting on April 16. “I felt the committee was very responsive to the subject at hand,” said one parent in that group. “I think the committee had the students’ best interests at heart.”3 Another parent who was unaffiliated with the proposal committee concurred. “So many parents don’t talk to their children about this,” she said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for some sort of openness with a parent.”4
If the school board accepts the proposed revisions, it will be first change to Granville’s health education curriculum in over a decade. The proposed changes would take effect during the 2007–2008 school year.
SIECUS will continue to monitor this situation.
- Charles Peterson, “School proposal may add contraception unit to sex education,” The Granville Sentinel, 29 March 2007, accessed 10 April 2007, <www.newarkadvocate.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070328/COMMUNITIES02/703290315>.