GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - There’s a debate in Gwinnett County over changes to the school system’s sex education curriculum.
One group of parents believes the current program is out of date and teens are unprepared.
Another group said changing the teaching could lead to new problems.
It wasn’t on the agenda, but the school board heard lots of opinions about sex education during a meeting Thursday night.
The school board did not make any decisions.
“One of the things that’s missing is any real discussion about consent,” parent Tamara Ashley said.
Ashley and her children led a group of more than a dozen others who voiced their concerns.
“Yes, it’s old-fashioned. It’s out of date. It’s harmful and it’s shaming,” former Gwinnett student Sasha Ashley said.
The group believes the district’s sex education relies too much on an abstinence-only approach.
“I’ve heard from a lot of students how they were not prepared for when they did become sexually active to use contraception, to keep themselves safe,” Tamara Ashley said.
In a statement sent to Channel 2 Action News, Gwinnett County School said:
“Resources used in Gwinnett addressed the state requirement for abstinence-based human sexuality education. These materials are abstinence-centered, not abstinence-only resources.”
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Several people at the meeting supported the policy.
“I think if we justify sexual activity at their age, it will only confuse the message of abstinence,” one parent said.
The one school board member who spoke on the topic indicated that teachers face an uphill battle with students because of what he called a “moral component” to the teen sex conversation.
“They’re hooking up and the whole purpose is to have sex with no intimacy. I was one of those persons that came along in the 60s where it was pretty much the three P’s: the pill, promiscuity and Playboy. I think we’re bearing the consequences of that," said school board member Dr. Robert McClure.
The school district’s health advisory committee recently voted to stick with the current sex education program, so for now, the full board has no plans to vote on any changes.
The group said it will keep pushing for changes for next school year.
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