Debate over local sex-ed program


Oregon School District Endorses Controversial Sex Education Curriculum While Battling Ethics Complaints

The rural Oregon Gervais School District (GSD), known both statewide and nationally for proposing a policy of distributing condoms to students as young as 6th grade, is once again riddled with challenges. While facing two separate ethics complaints submitted in August 2015 to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission and directed against board members Molly McCargar and Brent LaFollette, the GSD is also currently recommending controversial sex education curriculum deemed “in compliance with Oregon’s required health education standards”.

The proposed GSD curriculum includes: My Future My Choice and Flash. Superintendent Matt Henry stated in his July 30, 2015 blog, that the GSD “has already aligned the health standards…and has provided the [high school] curriculum [¡Cuidate!, which] they currently use”. ¡Cuidate!, according to Advocates for Youth, is “culturally adapted” from Be Proud! Be Responsible!.

SEGMENT 13 of My Future My Choice (grades 6-8) includes “student-led discussions and role-plays about sex, sexuality, wet dreams, develop your own values, irregular size breasts, etc.” and SEGMENT 3 includes “student-led discussions regarding sexual feelings and desires, reacting to sexual thoughts and images, and how to handle our sexual feelings, talk about sex, respond to our desire, etc.”

FLASH (grades 7-8) Lesson 14 states that “any method [birth control] is more effective than not using a method and is safer than pregnancy and childbirth”. The FLASH curriculum recommends Advocates for Youth and Planned Parenthood, organizations which have distinct political and social agendas which conflict with the values and cultural norms of many families living within the Gervais School District.

Segments of Be Proud! Be Responsible! (grades 9-12) includes the following topics: sexual pleasure, sexual fantasy, oral play, mutual masturbation, foreplay, lube, steps for effective use of dental dams, anal sex and engaging in an exercise involving “verbal intercourse”.

The Oregon Department of Education recommends the above curriculum to school districts across the state and also endorsed the controversial Oregon Adolescent Sexuality Conference which exposed minors to pornography and other sexually explicit content.

Doubt rests in the minds of many individuals as to the wisdom of proposing such curriculum given the tumult the Gervais School District currently faces.

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