Condom ed in Kyrene Middle Schools

by David Safier
The first few paragraphs from this strange and interesting article in the Republic.

Kyrene middle schoolers will learn about the condom next spring as part of a new health curriculum the district's governing board adopted on Tuesday.

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?

0 responses to “Condom ed in Kyrene Middle Schools

  1. This is amazing! I’m glad that this school district has seen the reality of the matter and is taking action. If kids want to have sex, they are going to find a way to do so no matter what. It is a great for them to know about things like condoms and birth control; it will save a lot of kids from getting pregnant and catching STDs.

  2. Francine Shacter

    Teaching sex should not be predicated on teaching fear – STI’s are a problem – but not teaching scientifically accurate information about sex is wrong. Young people share two things: raging hormones and a conviction that they are invincible. The invincible thing is what let’s them smoke cigarettes in the face of a mountain of information about the health effects from smoking, riding bikes without helmets, driving dangerously – you name it, bottom line: youth honestly beleive “it can’t happen to me!! I’m invincible” – although their vocabulary may not be up to so many syllables – but that is the conviction of the young and we have to understand that. The “lessons on refusal skills” may be quite excellent, but the data show they do not work. Take a look at teen pregnancy rates where abstinence only has been taught.

  3. Unfortunately, condoms don’t work well to prevent skin-to-skin sexually transmitted infections, and condoms aren’t a guarantee against any STI or against pregnancy. That has nothing to do with religious doctrine, but with public health. Parents who are comfortable talking about sex with their kids can help them plan ahead – do they want to initiate sexual contact in their pre-teens or teens and risk contracting an STI (condom use or not), or do they want to postpone sex until adult years, when they are more likely to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship, and thus less likely to contract or spread STIs? Both comprehensive sex-ed and abstinence-focused sex-ed have excellent lessons on refusal skills to make it easier for those who choose to wait for sex until their adult years to achieve this goal.

  4. I’m glad I read the entire piece, not just the headline.

    This being AZ, I thought that the only condom use that the AZ lege would allow to be taught is how to use a condom to prevent water from getting in the barrel of assault…errrr…”hunting” rifles.

  5. “Abstinence only” is a religious doctrine. I know this, growing up Catholic. By definition, their education program thus includes “religious content”.

  6. Francine Shacter

    We have a moral obligation to teach children scientifically correct information about sexual activity. Abstinence is the only 100% means of preventing pregnancy. But that is predicated on an assumption that these youngsters with their raging youthful hormones will all recognize this fact and abstain from sexual activity. As I have said before, that is much like expecting water to run uphill. I don’t care who teaches it – I care that the information be scientifically correct.

  7. While Catholic Charities may not teach religious content, they do teach from an abstinence only perspective which of course stems from the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  8. That is insane. I wonder if they have opened themselves up to allowing equal access to Scientologists and Pastafarians?