Gwinnett County

Gwinnett school board to vote on health curriculum, won’t vote on changing sex education program

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Two months after the Gwinnett County School Board delayed a vote on major sex education charges, a vote is expected Thursday night that does not include implementing any changes to the current abstinence-only sex education program.

This comes after months of backlash from the state superintendent and a vocal group of parents at school board meetings.

“The parents of Gwinnett County answered a survey that said we don’t want it,” said Karen Pirkle at a board meeting in April.

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Thursday’s board meeting agenda calls for a vote to switch the health curriculum to the HealthSmart program but to leave sex education alone.

In March, the board considered comprehensive sex education by HealthSmart including lessons on gender identity, sexuality, and abstinence as an option.

The current sex education program -- Choosing The Best -- teaches abstinence only.

“Choosing The Best gives kids hope by telling students who have already had sex that it’s never too late to choose abstinence,” grandparent Debbie McCreary said.


Some students, however, have been vocal with their own views suggesting it’s time that the sex education program is updated for the first time in 22 years.

“There’s no actual education about sex,” student Eddie Madden said. “That is the much larger risk than just saying, ‘Please be abstinent.’”

A recent district-wide survey resulted in overwhelmingly negative feedback among parents, with some school board members saying over 90% of parents did not approve of changes to sex education.

It’s unclear if the sex education issue will be revisited in the future.

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