by David Safier
The first few paragraphs from this strange and interesting article in the Republic.
Seventh and eighth graders will be taught about condoms in an expanded health curriculum that will also touch on dating safety, self esteem and body image. Abstinence will remain at the core of the health curriculum, according to Carrie Furedy, Kyrene program administrator for instructional services and member of the district health steering committee.
Schools can teach barrier methods in Arizona as long as they maintain the only 100 percent way to avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections is abstinence. Kyrene's steering committee felt students should know about condoms if they choose to take part in sexual activities. They also maintain the health risks of not discussing the material would be significant.
"We believe kids need the information before high school," Furedy said.
Kyrene won't demonstrate how to use the barrier method or distribute condoms at its middle schools. Permission slips also will be distributed before the concepts are discussed, and parents can have their children opt out of the class.
Catholic Charities Community Services of Arizona will still provide its sexual education curriculum to Kyrene eighth graders like years past, but won't discuss condoms. The barrier method will be taught after the presentation by district staff. Instructors for the material have yet to be tied down but will be trained and follow a script.
Governing Board President Ross Robb asked whether Kyrene would be forgoing any funding for giving students information on barrier methods. Furedy and Kyrene's health director Susanna Yost reassured the board that funding wouldn't be lost and the new lessons are compliant with the Arizona Department of Education.
Catholic Charities teaches sex ed in public schools?