TUHSD passes curriculum for new sex-ed program - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Tempe high school district passes curriculum for new sex-ed program

The Tempe Union High School District's Sex Education Curriculum Committee is looking at three new sex-education programs. (Source: CBS 5 News) The Tempe Union High School District's Sex Education Curriculum Committee is looking at three new sex-education programs. (Source: CBS 5 News)

The board for the Tempe Union High School District has selected the framework for its new sex-ed curriculum.

The board passed the motion Wednesday night with a 3-2 vote that accepts family life curriculum for TUHSD's yet to be developed sex-ed curriculum, according to the district spokeswoman Jill Hanks.

In April 2013, TUHSD adopted a policy that requires a comprehensive, uniform sex-ed curriculum to be taught at all of its high schools.

The district's Sex Education Curriculum Committee reviewed three different programs.

But it's who they had review them that had so many people riled up at the public meeting.

"My greatest concern is Planned Parenthood will teach sex education," said Tempe resident Ed Douglas. "They know it well - but without moral education."

A former student with the district's McClintock High School, who's now a sophomore studying public policy at George Washington University, disagreed with that line of thought.

"The moral issue, that's a home concept," said Jevin Hodge. "You are raised with morals. And, when you're at school - you're taught to be educated."

The committee said it brought in an expert with more than 20 years of experience in the field of sex education.

Vicki Hadd-Wissler just so happens to work for Arizona's Planned Parenthood as its director of education.

The committee said it chose three sex-ed programs and asked Hadd-Wissler to analyze them and see how they aligned with national sexuality education standards.

"The misinformation that was out there was that Planned Parenthood was coming into Tempe Union high schools to teach sex education, and that is absolutely not true," said Linda Littell with TUHSD. "This person that presented was asked to come and present because of her knowledge of these programs she presented."

Hadd-Wissler told the committee all three programs – Family Life and Sexual Health or FLASH, Our Whole Lives or OWL and It's all One – met national guidelines and were either free or inexpensive.

She also pointed out that each program would need to be supplemented with information about local resources and state law, which requires sex-ed classes to be abstinence-based with preference given to childbirth and adoption over abortion.

The district said the committee was looking at many different programs and hearing from other experts. But some people who attended the meeting in April said they didn't want Planned Parenthood involved at any level.

"The school board and this committee should be completely in charge, to make a decision on the curriculum," said Christine Accurso, executive director of 1st Way Pregnancy Center. "They should be the ones reviewing it, seeking it out and checking with the parents to make sure it's what they want for their children."

Littell said the committee recommended a comprehensive sex-education curriculum to the governing board and they voted Wednesday night.    

Parents can also choose to opt their children out of a program with which they're not comfortable.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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