4J school district discusses new health curriculum, review of sex ed

In order to adopt that new health curriculum, the school board has to iron out some issues that have come up with the current sex education curriculum.

Posted: Mar 20, 2019 11:51 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2019 11:52 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The 4J school board held a discussion on Wednesday night about the current sex education curriculum offered in their schools, which would be just a small part of the future health curriculum they're looking to adopt.

In order to adopt that new health curriculum, the school board has to iron out some issues that have come up with the current sex education curriculum.

More specifically, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Charis McGaughy said they have to make sure that parents of students are always notified multiple times before a topic that is considered controversial is discussed.

"We found in one middle school this didn't occur in the manner we had hoped, and we will continue to work with our health teachers and our administrators to make sure we have a consistent form they can easily send out," McGaughy said.

That issue also brought up the issue some have with one organization that speaks about sex education at schools in the district, Dove Medical.

"Why is this organization being allowed to teach in a public school," said one parent. "They're not only faith-based, they are evangelical."

On the other end, several parents also spoke up in favor of the school board allowing Dove Medical to teach abstinence in their schools.

"I agree and support your decision and concur what you said in your press release you sent out to allow Dove Medical and Stop and Think," said another parent.

Even though they are a faith-based organization, In House Counsel Christine Nesbit said it's not against the law or school policy to allow them to present at the schools.

"Contracting with an organization with a religious affiliation to provide a non-religious service is not by itself a violation of church and state," Nesbit said.

The district does review the content that is presented but is also going to make sure that any organization that presents at schools, about sex education or other topics, doesn't promote themselves or leave promotional materials.

While 4J is working on developing this new health curriculum, they will hold meetings to allow the public to give input on that curriculum. Dates for those meetings have not yet been set.

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