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A controversial decade: 10 years of tracking debates around sexuality education.

In 1992 the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States is a United States organization dedicated to sexuality education, sexual health, and sexual rights.  (SIECUS SIECUS Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States ) began the Community Advocacy Project in an effort to help communities respond to an increase in controversies surrounding sexuality education. The goals of the project were two-fold: first, to provide technical assistance to communities experiencing controversy and second, to track controversies around the country in order to gain perspective on trends.

In that time, SIECUS has seen numerous communities struggle with controversies over sexuality education. The majority of controversies involve attempts to restrict what students learn by adopting strict abstinence-only-untilmarriage programs, censoring censoring

in epidemiology, a loss of information from a study, whether by subjects dropping out of the study or because of infrequent measurement.
 books or materials, limiting discussions, or instituting administrative roadblocks.

After a decade of tracking controversy, SIECUS has amassed a great deal of information that can help advocates understand the landscape of sexuality education, gain historical perspective, and learn important lessons that can advance comprehensive sexuality education now and in the future.


Clearly, the most dramatic trend we have seen in this last decade is the rise of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. When SIECUS began the Community Advocacy Project in 1992, the federal government spent a very small amount of money each year on these experimental programs, a few home-grown organizations distributed fear- and shame-based curricula, a handful of communities across the country had adopted such programs, and chastity Chastity
See also Modesty, Purity, Virginity.

Agnes, St.

virgin saint and martyr. [Christian Hagiog.: Brewster, 76]


(Rom. Diana) moon goddess; virgin huntress. [Gk. Myth.
 rallies were still the exclusive province of faith-based communities A faith-based community is a community with members who all believe in the same religious concepts, or at least they did when it was founded. Many faith-based communities are communes, although this is not a requirement. .

Today, the federal government spends over $100 million dollars each year on these programs, abstinence abstinence: see fasting; temperance movements.  only-until-marriage organizations represent a multi-million dollar business worldwide, and students in numerous communities are exposed to fear-and shame-based curricula, abstinence-only assemblies and presentations, and chastity rallies on school grounds.

As a result of this dramatic shift in the last 10 years, SIECUS has tracked numerous debates focused on whether students should receive an abstinence-only-until-marriage message.

Classic Controversies

The classic controversy usually begins when a small but vocal minority of parents approaches the school board asking them to adopt a strict, abstinence-only-until-marriage program. In some cases this program is meant to replace a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum that is already in place, while in other communities no sexuality program exists at the time.

Abstinence Finds Its Way into Communities. In 1993, the Vista, CA school board voted to replace Values and Choices, a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum, with the fear- and shame-based, abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum Sex" Respect. (1) A similar decision was made during the 1997-98 school year in Hendersonville, NC when the school board voted to replace the local curriculum with Teen Aid, also a fear-based, abstinence-only-until-marriage program. The board did allow teachers to use additional lessons from the old curriculum but said that they could only teach about the use of contraception within the context of marriage. (2)

In i999, Taunton, MA became divided on how to approach sexuality education with their students. The Health Curriculum Advisory Board approved revisions to the curriculum that would change the focus of health classes from pregnancy and disease prevention to abstinence-only-until-marriage. At a heated community forum, a physician from the National Consortium of State Physician's Resource Councils, a national opponent of comprehensive sexuality education, told parents "HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States.  is an adult fear not a child fear. When you teach it to ninth graders, you are impinging on their latency period latency period
In psychoanalytic theory, the fourth stage of psychosexual development, extending from about age 5 to puberty, when a child apparently represses sexual urges and prefers to associate with members of the same sex.
." The community voted on a curriculum that would put a priority on teaching abstinence while also clearly communicating the risks associated with both sexual activity and the use of contraceptives 3

Parents and educators in Pinnoconning, MI have debated sexuality education many times over the last decade. In 1999 the school board voted to adopt Safer Choices, an abstinence-based curriculum. Some parents objected saying that references to vaginal vag·i·nal
1. Of or relating to the vagina.

2. Relating to or resembling a sheath.


pertaining to the vagina, the tunica vaginalis testis, or to any sheath.
, anal, and oral intercourse as well as condom 1. condom - The protective plastic bag that accompanies 3.5-inch microfloppy diskettes. Rarely, also used of (paper) disk envelopes. Unlike the write protect tab, the condom (when left on) not only impedes the practice of SEX but has also been shown to have a high failure  use made the curriculum too explicit. One parent said that it "read like a how-to manual on how to be perverse." (4) In response the board reexamined the issue. The following year they chose No Apologies--The Truth about Life, Love, and Sex, a fearbased, abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum published by Focus oil the Family. When parents criticized this choice for being too restrictive, the president of the board said simply that if parents disagree they can take their children out of class. (5)

States Mandate Abstinence. As abstinence-only-until-marriage programs gamed popularity, a number of states began to weigh in on how schools should teach about sexuality. Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, and New Jersey, for example, passed laws requiring schools to stress abstinence. Missouri's law states that sexuality education in public school must present abstinence as the preferred choice of sexual behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life.  for unmarried students, discuss the consequences of adolescent sexual activity', and inform students of the advantages of adoption/' Ohio's law adds that curricula must cover state laws on the financial responsibilities of parents and the restriction for people over the age of 17 from having sexual contact with those under age 17.7

A statewide controversy in Nebraska began, not with legislation, but with a new rule passed by" the board of education in 1997.The policy stated that any program receiving state funds must teach abstinence from sexual activity as the only appropriate option for students. (8) Initially, however, there was an understanding that the statewide HIV-prevention education program supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center.  (CDC See Control Data, century date change and Back Orifice.

CDC - Control Data Corporation
) was exempt from this rule. Educators and health professionals agreed that it would be impossible to provide effective HIV-prevention education without mentioning prevention methods other than abstinence, such as condoms.

When this exemption was brought to the attention of some board of education members in 2000, they asked the coordinator of the program to draft and defend a policy officially exempting her program from the abstinence-only approach. Despite testimony from numerous experts, parents, and people living with HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome , the board rejected the proposal and demanded that the program follow a strict abstinence-only-until-marriage approach. In response to this ruling, the Department of Education declared that they could not find any secular materials that followed the abstinence-only-until-marriage dictate without discussing condoms or other birth control options. The commissioner, therefore, decided that the department would make no attempt to renew the CDC grant when it expired. This decision meant that the department would no longer offer the H|V-prevention trainings and programs for teachers and school districts sponsored by the grant. (9)

Some Communities Abstain

Despite the clear rise in the popularity of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, not all states and communities have given in to the pressure to support this kind of message. As early as 1994, communities were resisting. That year a speaker from the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, a national abstinence-only-until-marriage organization, tried to persuade parents and school board members in Colchester, VT to adopt an abstinence-only until-marriage program. A number of parents in the community, however, joined together to build support for comprehensive sexuality education and won with a 4-1 vote. (10) In 1997, parents in Pembroke, NH became upset about a classroom discussion on safer sex and asked the school board to replace the existing program with the Responsible Sexual Values Program, a fear-based, abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum. The board rejected this proposal on the grounds that it would violate New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E).  law, which requires schools to teach about contraception. (11) That same year, a unanimous vote in Middletown, WI rejected the proposal of parents who had asked for a stricter program because they felt that abstinence was not receiving enough attention. (12)

In 1998, the Idaho Springs, CO school board rejected WAIT (Why Am I Tempted) Training, a fear- and shame-based curriculum. At a board meeting, a teacher demonstrated an exercise from the program in which a goldfish goldfish, freshwater fish, genus Carassius, of the family Cyprinidae, popular in aquariums and ponds. Native to China, it was first domesticated centuries ago from the wild form, an olive-colored carplike fish up to 16 in. (40 cm) long.  is removed from its bowl and left gasping for air on the table until a student steps forward to return it to water. The exercise is meant to show that just as fish belong in water, sex belongs in marriage. The teacher explained that the program also discusses male/female anatomy, birth control methods, and STDs, and shows pictures of aborted a·bort  
v. a·bort·ed, a·bort·ing, a·borts

1. To give birth prematurely or before term; miscarry.

2. To cease growth before full development or maturation.

 fetuses. The school board president was outraged by this program which she called "sexist sex·ism  
1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.

2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.
, racist, and very judgmental judg·men·tal  
1. Of, relating to, or dependent on judgment: a judgmental error.

2. Inclined to make judgments, especially moral or personal ones:
." She pointed to inaccurate statistics and explained that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs ignored gay students. (13) In 2003, the school board in Santa Ana Santa Ana, city, El Salvador
Santa Ana (sän'tä ä`nä), city (1993 pop. 129,873), W El Salvador. It is the second largest city in the country and the commercial and processing center for a sugarcane, coffee, and cattle region.
, CA made a similar decision when they voted to reject A.C. Green's Game Plan, a fearbased curriculum produced by Project Reality, because it did not meet state requirements. (14)

Although abstinence-only-until-marriage programs continue to enter many communities without debate, it is heartening heart·en  
tr.v. heart·ened, heart·en·ing, heart·ens
To give strength, courage, or hope to; encourage. See Synonyms at encourage.

Adj. 1.
 to find that when communities are forced to take a close look, many choose not to expose students to fear- and shame-based messages or deny youth the vital information found in comprehensive sexuality education curricula.

Dual-Track as a Compromise

Communities that are considering whether to provide a comprehensive sexuality education curricula or an abstinence-only-until-marriage program often entertain proposals to create a dual track system. Under such a system, a school district provides at least two options for sexuality education--typically one option is abstinence-based and provides information on contraception and disease-prevention while the other is a strict abstinence-only-until-marriage program. Parents then choose the course in which to enroll their child.

As early as the 1993-94 school year, SIECUS began to see debates about dual track systems. These systems can be viewed as a compromise solution when a sharply divided community cannot agree on its approach to sexuality education, or as a last ditch attempt to bring abstinence-only-until-marriage programs to schools or students. Parents ill Little Falls Little Falls is the name of some places in the United States of America:
  • Little Falls, Minnesota
  • Little Falls, New Jersey
  • Little Falls (city), New York
  • Little Falls (town), New York
, MN began offering Sex Respect, a fear-based, abstinence-only-until-marriage program, privately in the evenings after an unsuccessful attempt to bring it to the schools in 1994. (15) During the 2000-01 school year this private program was being advertised in the local paper and made available during school hours for those seventh grade students who had "opted-out" of the school-based sexuality education program. (16) A similar system emerged in Fenton, MI during the 1996 97 school year. A group of parents were unsuccessful ill their efforts to challenge the district's comprehensive sexuality education curriculum. Ill response they set up an alternative abstinence-only-until marriage program in a nearby church. Children were transported to the church during school hours for the program. (17)

A small group of parents in Osseo, MN worked for two years to replace the existing sexuality education curriculum with a strict abstinence-only-until-marriage program. When these attempts failed, they began to push the idea of a dual track system.

After the school board agreed to try this approach in 1998, many local and national organizations took an interest ill the success of the abstinence-only-until-marriage track. Three area churches held Parents' Nights designed to support the new program. The events featured presentations by national abstinence-only-until-marriage speaker Pare Stenzel and Focus on the Family employee Amy Stephens. Focus on the Family, a national organization that opposes comprehensive sexuality education, also provided materials. In addition, a Minnesota state representative sent a letter to all parents in his district highly recommending the abstinence-only-until-marriage program even though it had not yet been developed. IS

In response to the situation in Osseo, Peter Brandt, then-director of the National Coalition for Abstinence Education said: "This has national significance.., having two tracks is a really exciting new idea. It's unique and we think it's magnificent." (19)

At the time, SIECUS observed that proponents of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs seemed heavily vested ill the success of Osseo's program. We suggested that they might see this as a new approach and reasoned that we might see more attempts for dual track programs in the future. However, this has not happened. During the last few school years we have seen few debates over dual track systems and very few communities actually adopt them.

There are several explanations for this stagnation Stagnation

A period of little or no growth in the economy. Economic growth of less than 2-3% is considered stagnation. Sometimes used to describe low trading volume or inactive trading in securities.

A good example of stagnation was the U.S. economy in the 1970s.
. Some communities have had problems with dual track systems over the years. During the 1994-95 school year, Riverton, WY, for example, noted that most students took the comprehensive sexuality education course and that more students enrolled in neither course than the abstinence-only-until-marriage program. (20) In addition, lack of resources and administrative issues make dual track systems more difficult to maintain.

Unfortunately, the real reason for the decline in dual track systems may be that proponents of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have found simpler ways to bring their message to students such as school assemblies and chastity rallies. In many communities, these events don't require school board approval and receive little publicity-therefore, they" rarely lead to controversy.

Nonetheless, dual track systems remain an issue in sexuality education. This year, legislative language was introduced ill Minnesota that would have required all school districts to offer dual tracks for sexuality education, one of which would have had to be limited to abstinence. The language was part of a larger omnibus bill a large box in a theater, on a level with the stage and having communication with it.
- Thackeray.

See also: omnibus
 and was later removed when it became clear that it would not pass in the Senate. (21)

Funding Controversies

Given the amount of money that is available for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs each year, it is not surprising that many debates around this topic focus, at least in part, on the funding. In 1996, the federal government substantially increased its investment in abstinence-only-until-marriage programs by establishing an entitlement program under Welfare Reform. When this money first became available, SIECUS saw a number of state- and community-based controversies about the funds. These controversies have died down in recent years and for the most part the money is distributed without issue.

States Battle Over Money. In 1999, lawmakers in Oregon cut $151,000 from STARS (Students Today Are Not Ready for Sex), a program that uses peer educators to teach the benefits of abstinence to younger teenagers. Some decisionmakers in the state felt that the program did not place enough emphasis on marriage because it tells students to abstain from abstain from
verb refrain from, avoid, decline, give up, stop, refuse, cease, do without, shun, renounce, eschew, leave off, keep from, forgo, withhold from, forbear, desist from, deny yourself, kick (
 sexual activity until they are ready but does not "define what ready means and doesn't equate it to being married.(22)

Louisiana's abstinence-only-until-marriage program has been controversial since it began in 1997. Almost immediately the governor took the responsibility away from the health department and set the program up in his own office.23 The program then became the subject of a successful lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), nonpartisan organization devoted to the preservation and extension of the basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution.  (ACLU ACLU: see American Civil Liberties Union. ) in which the court found it was wrongfully wrong·ful  
1. Wrong; unjust: wrongful criticism.

2. Unlawful: wrongful death.
 spending government money to promote religious messages.24 (See "Abstinence-Only Education in the Court," oil page 26)

South Carolina's program has also been controversial from the beginning, when in 1997, Governor David Beasley David Muldrow Beasley (born February 26 1957) is a United States politician. He was the Governor of South Carolina from 1995 until 1999.

David Beasley began his political career as a member of the U.S. Democratic Party, but switched to the U.S.
 awarded all of the state's 1.3 million dollars in abstinence funding to Heritage Community Services, a crisis pregnancy center Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), also known as pregnancy resource centers,[1][2] are non-profit organizations established by pro-life supporters that work to discourage pregnant women from choosing abortion. .2s This organization was also the subject of a local controversy in Greenville, SC when the County Council awarded it an abstinence-only-until-marriage grant without a competitive bidding Competitive bidding

A securities offering process in which securities firms submit competing bids to the issuer for the securities the issuer wishes to sell.

competitive bidding

 process. After public outcry the grant was postponed, a competitive bidding process was conducted, and Heritage Community Services was once again awarded the grant. (26)

Despite Funds, Communities Reject Programs. In Charleston, SC the district's Academic Policies and Instruction Committee rejected the program offered by Heritage Community Services in 1998.They felt that students should also learn about birth control and disease prevention. 27 That same year, the Colorado Council of Black Nurses returned $16,000 of an abstinence-only-until-marriage grant they had received because they felt the message was not working in their community. The president of the organization explained, "It was just too restrictive. It did not teach students responsible sexual behavior." (28)

A heated battle occurred in McClennan County, TX during the 1997-98 school year. The McClennan County Coalition for Abstinence Programs (MCCAP MCCAP Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program
McCAP McLennan County Collaborative Abstinence Project (Waco, Texas)
MCCAP Maritime CIS Contingency Assets Pool
) was specifically formed to bring a fear-based abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum produced by Teen Aid to the 17 independent school districts in the area. While 16 districts accepted the program, the Waco Independent School District Waco Independent School District is a public school district based in Waco, Texas (USA).

The district serves Beverly Hills and most of Waco. Schools
High Schools (Grades 9-12)
  • A.J. Moore Academy
  • S.T.A.R.S.
, the largest in the area, refused. The health advisory committee instead chose a curriculum that focused on abstinence hut included other information about sexuality, such as contraception. MCCAP tried to persuade the committee to change its mind but they held firm with a vote of 13-1. MCCAP then went to the assistant superintendent Assistant Superintendent, or Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), was a rank used by police forces in the British Empire. It was usually the lowest rank that could be held by a European officer, most of whom joined the police at this rank. , the superintendent, and the school board and in the words of one parent "dangled a fully-funded curriculum in front of them like a carrot)' The district's ultimate decision to reject the program threatened to limit the funding of MCCAP who, without Waco students, could not reach the numbers of students promised in their grant. (29)

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage in Practice

Decisions to adopt a full-scale abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum, regardless of funding, are just one of the ways that these programs make their way into schools and communities across the country. Proponents of abstinence-only-until-marriage have found that, while curricula decisions often prompt community-wide debate, few people question abstinence speakers, onetime assemblies, and chastity rallies.

The Speaking Circuit. As early as 1994, SIECUS noted the emergence of a national circuit of abstinence-only-until-marriage speakers, including Pare Stenzel, Molly Kelly Molly Kelly is a Democratic member of the New Hampshire Senate, representing the 10th District since 2006. External links
  • The New Hampshire Senate - Senator Molly Kelly official NH Senate website
  • Project Vote Smart - Senator Molly M.
, Mike Long, and Marilyn Morris. These speakers address auditoriums full of middle and high school students across the country. During the 19992000 school year Pam Stenzel presented "The Price Tag of Sex" to students in Sarasota, FL, Cary, IL, Geneva Geneva, canton and city, Switzerland
Geneva (jənē`və), Fr. Genève, canton (1990 pop. 373,019), 109 sq mi (282 sq km), SW Switzerland, surrounding the southwest tip of the Lake of Geneva.
, IL, Butler Township Butler Township may refer to:
  • Butler Township, Minnesota
  • Butler Township, Michigan
  • Butler Township, Columbiana County, Ohio
  • Butler Township, Darke County, Ohio
  • Butler Township, Knox County, Ohio
  • Butler Township, Mercer County, Ohio
, OH, Rochester, MN, Paulsbo, WA, and others. (30) She told students in Whittier, CA: "I did not come here today to make decisions for you. 1 don't have time... I came here to tell you that if you have sex outside of a monogamous--and by monogamous I don't mean one at a time--relationship you will pay the price." (31) In Russellville, AR, Marilyn Morris, President of Aim for Success, discussed the "freedom" that comes with sexual abstinence Sexual abstinence is the practice of voluntarily refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity. Common reasons to deliberately abstain from the physical expression of sexual desire include religious or philosophical reasons (e.g. . She and other Aim for Success speakers explained to students "your dog can have sex. It takes a strong person with self-control, self-discipline, and self-respect to say no." (32)

Chastity Rallies. Events during which young people pledge to remain abstinent until marriage were once the exclusive province of faith communities. In recent years, however, schools and other secular organizations have begun to sponsor such rallies.

In 1998, 8,000 students attended a chastity rally in Chicago, IL held during the school day and sponsored by Project Reality, an abstinence-only-until-marriage organization. Students carried signs with slogans such as "Save Sex" and "Teen Sex Leads to Death."(33) True Love Waits (TLW TLW Tullow Oil PLC (UK; stock symbol)
TLW The L Word (TV series)
TLW True Love Waits
TLW The Last Word
TLW The Lost World (movie)
TLW The Learner Will
TLW Theft Loss Waiver
), a national organization run by LifeWay Christian Resources LifeWay Christian Resources is one of the largest providers of Christian resources in the world. Lifeway is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Background
In 1891, J.M. Frost, a 43-year-old pastor, started the company that is now known as LifeWay.
, which is owned and operated by the Southern Baptist Convention Noun 1. Southern Baptist Convention - an association of Southern Baptists
association - a formal organization of people or groups of people; "he joined the Modern Language Association"

Southern Baptist - a member of the Southern Baptist Convention
, sponsors rallies all over the country. In 1998, then-Governor George W. Bush attended a TLW rally on the steps of the Texas Capitol and commended the young people in attendance for their leadership.3a In 2000, more than 600 people attended a weekend TLW rally at Schuyler (NE) Central High School. Miss America Miss America

annually selected most beautiful young woman in America. [Am. Hist.: Allen, 56–57]

See : Beauty, Feminine

Miss America

winner of beauty contest; femininity high among virtues desired. [Am. Hist.
 1997, Kate Shindle, spoke to the crowd and outlined four steps that young people ("especially girls") need to follow to remain abstinent until Biblical marriage. (35)

Communities Reject Programs. One-time presentations and chastity rallies are rarely controversial most likely because they do not require school board approval and often occur without much publicity. Some parents, however, become upset once they learn the content of these presentations. This was the case in Bradenton, FL when a mother learned of a presentation by Pare Stenzel at her daughter's school that she felt featured inaccurate statistics about sexually transmitted diseases Sexually transmitted diseases

Infections that are acquired and transmitted by sexual contact. Although virtually any infection may be transmitted during intimate contact, the term sexually transmitted disease is restricted to conditions that are largely
 (STDs), exaggerated estimates of condom failure rates, and exhibited biases against abortion. The mother approached the school board and pointed to a Florida statute that requires all health education, including guest speakers, to be medically accurate. The board agreed not to invite the speaker again. (36) Ms. Stenzel was also at the center of a controversy in 2003 when the school board in Allentown, PA cancelled her presentation after members viewed her promotional video and found it to be too harsh and offensive. (37)

Advocates for comprehensive sexuality education need to pay close attention to speakers, assemblies, and rallies. Not only are they slipping quietly into schools across the country, but some communities view these one-time events as fulfilling their students' sexuality education needs.


The rise of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs is just one way that communities have restricted sexuality education in the last decade. While those controversies most often focus on the scope of the entire curricula, many communities spend time examining specific information and materials. These debates can center on the age of students; books and videos; controversial topics such as masturbation masturbation

Erotic stimulation of one's own genital organs, usually to achieve orgasm. Masturbatory behavior is common in infants and adolescents, and is indulged in by many adults as well. Studies indicate that over 90% of U.S. males and 60–80% of U.S.
, abortion, oral sex, condoms, and sexual orientation sexual orientation
The direction of one's sexual interest toward members of the same, opposite, or both sexes, especially a direction seen to be dictated by physiologic rather than sociologic forces.
; or classroom discussions and teachers.

Although the focus varies widely, they share the over-all goal of restricting what students are allowed to learn about sexuality.

Elementary Education elementary education
 or primary education

Traditionally, the first stage of formal education, beginning at age 5–7 and ending at age 11–13.

When SIECUS began tracking controversy in the early 1990s, we saw a number of debates that centered on sexuality education in elementary school elementary school: see school. . Many misconceptions Misconceptions is an American sitcom television series for The WB Network for the 2005-2006 season that never aired. It features Jane Leeves, formerly of Frasier, and French Stewart, formerly of 3rd Rock From the Sun.  exist about what such courses teach young children and many parents fear that elementary-aged students are too young to learn about sexuality.

Proposed updates and revisions to the elementary school curriculum in Westfield, NJ were rejected during the 1995-96 school year because community members feared that teaching fourth graders about HIV/AIDS would open the door for explicit discussions. (38) That same year, Schenectady, NY decided to wait until fifth grade to teach lessons on reproduction and puberty puberty (py`bərtē), period during which the onset of sexual maturity occurs.  that had been previously taught in the third and fourth grade. (39) The following year, Sheboygan, WY voted to eliminate its K-3 sexuality education program against the advice of the Human Growth and Development Advisory Committee. The school board wanted proof that this type of education would prevent unplanned pregnancy and STDs later in life. (40)

Questions about how to teach sexuality in elementary school were at the heart of a statewide controversy which unfolded in Connecticut during the 1997-98 school year. That year, the Connecticut Department of Public Health revised its guidelines for teaching sexuality education in order to make them outcome-based. These curricula framework are brief outlines developed by the Department of Public Health and distributed to schools which are free to modify them.

Some parents and lawmakers became upset because the first draft of the guidelines suggested that second graders should understand animal reproduction and fourth graders should understand a simple definition of intercourse. Under political pressure, the guidelines were revised. The second draft upset health educators because all mention of HIV/AIDS had been removed and puberty education did not appear until eighth grade.

Health educators across the state formed a coalition and worked to build widespread support for a more comprehensive version of the guidelines. The final draft which was eventually adopted was widely considered by health educators to be even better than the first. It suggested that students learn about puberty in fourth grade and HIV/AIDS in fifth grade. In addition, the guidelines suggested that elementary school students receive lessons about biases based on sexual orientation. (41)

In recent years, however, we have seen far fewer controversies revolving around elementary school education. It is hard to say why this has occurred, but it seems that as opponents of comprehensive sexuality education focused less on removing courses from school and more on changing the focus to abstinence-until-marriage, they are spending most of their time working in middle schools and high schools. However, the focus on abstinence may soon trickle down Trickle down

An economic theory that the support of businesses that allows them to flourish will eventually benefit middle- and lower-income people, in the form of increased economic activity and reduced unemployment.
 to elementary schools as well. In 2002, the school board in Rochester, MI eliminated reproductive health Within the framework of WHO's definition of health[1] as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, reproductive health, or sexual health/hygiene  and HIV/AIDS instruction from kindergarten through third grade and added "modesty Modesty
See also Chastity, Humility.

Bell, Laura

reserved, demure character. [Br. Lit.: Pendennis]


gentle, unassuming sister of Kate. [Br. Lit.
" and "respect" as key concepts. In addition, they removed family planning family planning

Use of measures designed to regulate the number and spacing of children within a family, largely to curb population growth and ensure each family’s access to limited resources.
 and STD (Subscriber Trunk Dialing) Long distance dialing outside of the U.S. that does not require operator intervention. STD prefix codes are required and billing is based on call units, which are a fixed amount of money in the currency of that country.  benchmarks (learning objectives) from the sixth grade curriculum and added abstinence. (42)

Classroom Material

Regardless of the students' age, communities take a great deal of time and care picking the materials that will be used in sexuality education classes. Nonetheless, materials that have made it into classrooms and libraries often become the subject of controversy.

Communities Ban Books. Over the years, a number of communities have grappled with issues of censorship around textbooks, children's books, and young adult novels. In Franklin County Franklin County is the name of 24 counties in the United States.

All except Franklin County, Idaho are likely named for Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father of the United States.
, NC parent volunteers removed three chapters of a text book in 1997 before distributing it to students. The chapters discussed HIV/AIDS, STDs, marriage, parenting, sexual behavior, and contraception. The school board feared that this information violated North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures

Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop.
 law, which mandates that schools teach abstinence-until-marriage unless the local school board holds public hearings and the community agrees to a more comprehensive approach. Not everyone agreed that physically removing the chapters was the right decision, the principal referred to the action as "Shades of Noun 1. shades of - something that reminds you of someone or something; "aren't there shades of 1948 here?"
reminder - an experience that causes you to remember something
 1936 Germany" and the health coordinator said "We believe knowledge is empowerment. It's ignorance that's a problem. (43) A similar decision was made in Green County/Carmichaels, PA in 1998 when school officials ripped pages out of a newly approved textbook because they felt the subject was inappropriate. (44)

In 2000, parents in Anchorage Anchorage (ăng`kərĭj), city (1990 pop. 226,338), Anchorage census div., S central Alaska, a port at the head of Cook Inlet; inc. 1920. , AK became upset about It's Perfectly Normal, an illustrated children's book by Robie Harris available in elementary and middle school libraries. One parent explained, "We do not believe a book with pictures of people having sex, naked bodies, people masturbating, people putting on condoms, a student having an erection erection /erec·tion/ (e-rek´shun) the condition of being rigid and elevated, as erectile tissue when filled with blood.

 in front of" a school class, or gay people hugging is necessary at the [elementary] school level." The school board voted 6-1 to restrict access in elementary schools by requiring parental consent Parental consent laws (also known as parental involvement or parental notification laws) in some countries require that one or more parents consent to or be notified before their minor child can legally engage in certain activities.  before a student could check out the book. A request for a similar rule in middle school was denied. (45)

In fact, in recent years many requests to ban books have been denied. In 1999, a life science textbook in St. Johnsbury, VT was said to be explicit because two chapters dealt with body changes and reproduction. The principal suggested removing the problematic pages and binding them separately for older students. Although the board initially agreed, ultimately they voted not to remove the chapter for fear of setting a precedent for censorship. (46)

In 2003, in Riverside, CA, the board voted to approve the young adult novel Too Soon For left. This decision was opposed by, two members who felt the book did not reflect the high failure rate of condoms because the main character, a teen father himself, tells his own son to use condoms if he becomes sexually active. (47) In a similar vote, the school board in Fairfax, VA decided that the young adult novel Witch Baby, which deals with homosexuality, was indeed suitable for elementary and middle school students. (48) Finally, It's Perfectly Normal and It's So Amazing a·maze  
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.

2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.

, two illustrated books by Robie Harris, were put back on the library shelf in Montgomery County Montgomery County may refer to:
  • Montgomery County, Alabama
  • Montgomery County, Arkansas
  • Montgomery County, Georgia
  • Montgomery County, Illinois
  • Montgomery County, Indiana
  • Montgomery County, Iowa
  • Montgomery County, Kansas
, TX. After the Library Review Committee voted to remove the book, a coalition called Mainstream Montgomery County formed to fight such bans. The coalition felt that the library should provide a wide variety of books and parents should determine what is appropriate for their children to read. (49)

Although attempts to restrict access to books about sexuality are likely to continue, the decisions against censorship made in recent years are very encouraging.

Videos Deemed Not Fit for Viewing. Audiovisual materials used in sexuality education courses are often as controversial as books. Over the years, many communities have voted to restrict the videos shown to students.

In 1993, controversy erupted in the Lake Washington Lake Washington is the second largest natural lake in state of Washington (after Lake Chelan) and the largest lake in King County. It is bordered by the cities of Seattle on the west, Bellevue and Kirkland on the east, Renton on the south and Kenmore on the north, and surrounds  (WA) School District over a video called Considering Condoms. The Concerned Parents Coalition felt the film was not focused on abstinence, sanctioned teen sex, and minimized condom failure.The group threatened litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.

When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation.
 but the school board voted to keep the video. (50) The opposite decision was made in Caribou Caribou, town, United States
Caribou (kâr`ĭb), town (1990 pop. 9,415), Aroostook co., NE Maine, on the Aroostook River; inc. 1859.
, ME during the 1994-95 school year when the school board voted to eliminate two films about puberty, because they were "too graphic and made parents appear dumb and unaware of the changing times. (51)

Videos have been an issue a number of times in Fairfax, VA over the last few years. In 1997 parents objected to a puberty video that included animated segments depicting wet dreams, menstruation menstruation, periodic flow of blood and cells from the lining of the uterus in humans and most other primates, occurring about every 28 days in women. Menstruation commences at puberty (usually between age 10 and 17). , and tampon tampon /tam·pon/ (tam´pon) [Fr.] a pack, pad, or plug made of cotton, sponge, or other material, variously used in surgery to plug the nose, vagina, etc., for the control of hemorrhage or the absorption of secretions.  insertion. The video was aired on local access cable to give the community a chance to form educated opinions. Based on community reaction, the board edited the video for viewing in gender-separated classes where children only see animation about their own gender. (52) During the 1999-2000 school year, Fairfax voted to alter a second video be' removing a segment that portrayed a father explaining nocturnal emissions This article is about a sound art project. For orgasms during sleep, see nocturnal emission.

Nocturnal Emissions is a sound art project that has released numerous records and CDs in music styles ranging from electro-acoustic, musique concrete, hybridised
 to his son. Although the Family Life Education Curricula Advisory Committee felt the scene showed a positive example of parent/child communication and approved the video in its entirety, the superintendent suggested editing the video in order to be consistent with the earlier decision. (53)

As technology becomes more advanced and schools are able to use more audiovisual material in classrooms including DVDs and CD-ROMs, it is likely that we will see more communities debate the appropriateness of such resources.

Words and Topics

Sometimes debates over the appropriateness of sexuality education focus not on materials, but on very specific words or topics. In Oshkosh, WI elementary school teachers approached the school board during the 1994-95 school year because they didn't want to name certain body parts in front of students. A compromise was reached in which the words anus, penis, genitals gen·i·tals
, urethra urethra (yrē`thrə), canal in most mammals that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body; in the male it also serves as a genital duct. , and vagina vagina: see reproductive system.

Genital canal in females. Together with the cavity of the uterus, it forms the birth canal. In most virgins, its external opening is partially closed by a thin fold of tissue (hymen), which has various forms,
 were removed from lessons. (54) In Odessa TX, parents became upset ill 1998 because the new fifth-grade sexuality curriculum included definitions of vulva vulva /vul·va/ (vul´vah) [L.] the external genital organs of the female, including the mons pubis, labia majora and minora, clitoris, and vestibule of the vagina. , clitoris clitoris /clit·o·ris/ (klit´ah-ris) the small, elongated, erectile body in the female, situated at the anterior angle of the rima pudendi and homologous with the penis in the male.

, testes testes
 or testicles

Male reproductive organs (see reproductive system). Humans have two oval-shaped testes 1.5–2 in. (4–5 cm) long that produce sperm and androgens (mainly testosterone), contained in a sac (scrotum) behind the penis.
, penis, erection, orgasm orgasm /or·gasm/ (or´gazm) the apex and culmination of sexual excitement.orgas´mic

, and ejaculation ejaculation /ejac·u·la·tion/ (e-jak?u-la´shun) forcible, sudden expulsion; especially expulsion of semen from the male urethra. . Although the parents felt it was "sexually explicit" no changes were made. (55)

A long-standing rule in Queens, NY has banned the words abortion, masturbation, birth control, and homosexuality all classrooms since 1987. Attempts to lift the ban over the years have failed. In 1998 a school board member attempted to make the ban stricter by applying it to all of school property rather than just classrooms. This failed as well, (56) Legislators in Virginia attempted to impose a similar ban through a bill that would have prohibited any family life education from discussing topics considered crimes against nature in Virginia including oral and anal sex Noun 1. anal sex - intercourse via the anus, committed by a man with a man or woman
anal intercourse, buggery, sodomy

sexual perversion, perversion - an aberrant sexual practice;
. The legislation failed. (57)

Oral sex was also at issue in Belton, MO where a teacher was placed on involuntary leave in 1997 after she answered a question that a student had placed in an anonymous question box. (58) Parents felt she should have avoided the topic. Parents in Bryant, AR were upset when questions about oral sex and genitalia genitalia /gen·i·ta·lia/ (jen?i-tal´e-ah) [L.] the reproductive organs.

ambiguous genitalia
 were answered by a former health teacher during a presentation in 1998. (59) The school board apologized and agreed to better screening for speakers. Finally; an anonymous question box was at the heart of another controversy in Beech Grove Beech Grove, city (1990 pop. 13,383), Marion co., central Ind.; inc. 1906. Primarily residential, it has flour and wheat milling. , IN where parents felt misled mis·led  
Past tense and past participle of mislead.
 when a question paved pave  
tr.v. paved, pav·ing, paves
1. To cover with a pavement.

2. To cover uniformly, as if with pavement.

3. To be or compose the pavement of.
 the way for classroom discussion on masturbation during the 1997-98 school year. (60)

In fact, some states and communities have restricted how teachers can answer questions. In 1994 the school board in Merrimack, NH voted to eliminate the anonymous question box after parents complained about students asking inappropriate questions. (61) In 1997 Franklin County, NC teachers were specifically told that if students ask questions about birth control they can only be told about the failure rates of contraception and referred to their parents or guardians for more information. (62) Finally, lawmakers ill Utah attempted to legislate To enact laws or pass resolutions by the lawmaking process, in contrast to law that is derived from principles espoused by courts in decisions.  how teachers answer questions. A bill was passed in 2000 stating that when teachers are asked questions that "skirt the state approved curriculum," such as questions about homosexuality, they must pull students aside to answer the question or refer students to a school counselor A school counselor is a counselor and educator who works in schools, and have historically been referred to as "guidance counselors" or "educational counselors," although "Professional School Counselor" is now the preferred term. . The author of the legislation felt by allowing teachers to answer every question "the class would be driving the curriculum. (63)

Debates over student questions prove that anything, from controversial issues such as abortion to seemingly innocuous in·noc·u·ous
Having no adverse effect; harmless.

innocuous (i·näˈ·kyōō·
 topics like puberty can lead to trouble. However, over the years, two topics--condoms/contraception and sexual orientation--have emerged as the most common subject of such controversies

Condoms and Contraception

When SIECUS first began tracking controversies in the early 1990s there were few controversies around teaching about condoms and contraception. The AIDS epidemic was still at the forefront of people's minds and many parents assumed that sexuality education would cover prevention methods. As the abstinence-only-until-marriage movement gained momentum however, opponents of comprehensive sexuality education began to frame the issue of sexuality education as "either/or." Either your community decided to teach students to remain abstinent or to teach them about condoms. They suggested that teaching about condoms was tantamount tan·ta·mount  
Equivalent in effect or value: a request tantamount to a demand.

[From obsolete tantamount, an equivalent, from Anglo-Norman
 to condoning teen sexual behavior and began to foster misinformation mis·in·form  
tr.v. mis·in·formed, mis·in·form·ing, mis·in·forms
To provide with incorrect information.

 about condom efficacy. These tactics have been very successful; in recent years condoms have been at the center of numerous community controversies.

Teaching About Protection Methods. In 1997 the school board in Hemet, CA drafted a request to include contraceptive contraceptive /con·tra·cep·tive/ (-sep´tiv)
1. diminishing the likelihood of or preventing conception.

2. an agent that so acts.
 information in the ninth grade curriculum. (64) In 1999, the Fremont, CA school board voted to cut a condora demonstration from a play that had been performed in the district for 14 years. (65) And in 2003, a teacher in Naples, FL was fired after he had students in his class demonstrate how to put a condom on a banana. The school board said the decision to fire the teacher was not necessarily based on his teaching practices but that they simply did not need his services anymore. (66)

Making Methods Available. Perhaps more controversial than decisions about whether to let students learn about condoms or contraception are decisions about whether to make these birth control methods available to students on school grounds. A motion to make condoms available was defeated 9-4 in Dalton, MA during the 1997-98 school year. (67) The following year, the U.S. Third District Court of Appeals ruled that Philadelphia could continue to make condoms available to students, ending a five-year debate. The condom availability program there began in 1991 and became the subject of litigation when a group of parents argued that it violated their rights. The Court held that since parents had the option of not allowing their children to participate, the program did not violate their rights. (68)

That same year, the school board in St. Paul St. Paul

as a missionary he fearlessly confronts the “perils of waters, of robbers, in the city, in the wilderness.” [N.T.: II Cor. 11:26]

See : Bravery
, MN agreed to allow Health Start to begin distributing contraceptives, including condoms, on campus. Health Start runs school-based clinics in St. Paul. Prior to this ruling they handed out vouchers for condoms and prescriptions for birth control methods. Health Start petitioned the school board to change this policy when they realized that many students were never filling their prescriptions or picking up the condoms. (69) A similar decision was made in Hartford, CT in 2000 when the school board voted that contraceptives could be made available in school clinics. Ten years earlier, a similar proposal had failed after causing a great deal of controversy. This time advocates worked to build widespread community support and there was virtually no opposition. (70)

Students Advocate for Condom Availability. Many attempts to bring condoms into schools have been spearheaded by students themselves. In Holliston, MA a 1999 survey conducted by students revealed that only 13% of sexually active students used condoms the last time they had intercourse. Alarmed by this statistic, the student researchers proposed condom vending machines vending machine, coin-operated, automatic device for selling goods. Many vending machines are capable of making change, and some of the more sophisticated ones accept paper money or credit cards.  on campus. The board agreed to look into the issue. (71) In 1999, the board in Piedmont Piedmont, region, Italy
Piedmont (pēd`mŏnt), Ital. Piemonte, region (1991 pop. 4,302,565), 9,807 sq mi (25,400 sq km), NW Italy, bordering on France in the west and on Switzerland in the north.
, CA also agreed to discuss the issue of condoms further after a group of students in business class proposed selling condoms on campus as a class project and donating the profits to a local AIDS organization. The board did not want the students to act on their own but agreed to give the issue further consideration. (72)

Student activists also caused administrators in Eugene, OR to reconsider the condom availability policy after they staged a Valentine's Day Valentine's Day: see Saint Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day

Lovers' holiday celebrated on February 14, the feast day of St. Valentine, one of two 3rd-century Roman martyrs of the same name. St.
 protest in 2001. The policy in place allowed school health personnel to distribute contraceptives only to those students who already had an STD. (73) Finally in 2001, teen activists in Woodside, CA, alarmed by high rates of pregnancy and STDs, asked the board to make condoms available in school and to extend sexuality education beyond the ninth and 10th grade to 11th and 12th grade as well. The board approved these changes. (74) (See "Advocating for A Condom Availability Program," on page 25).

Although condoms remain a "hot button" issue and a great deal of misinformation about this topic still exists, recent decisions regarding condom availability programs have been promising.

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation remains perhaps the most controversial topic in sexuality education today. Controversies focusing on classroom information about homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies, student clubs, and even gay teachers have been common since SIECUS began our tracking efforts. While many other topics seem to be becoming less controversial as the years go on, sexual orientation remains a divisive di·vi·sive  
Creating dissension or discord.

di·visive·ly adv.


Learning About Sexual Orientation. In 1995, school administrators in Solon Solon, Athenian statesman
Solon (sō`lən), c.639–c.559 B.C., Athenian statesman, lawgiver, and reformer. He was also a poet, and some of his patriotic verse in the Ionic dialect is extant. At some time (perhaps c.600 B.C.
, IA cancelled a presentation about sexual orientation when members of the community, including the director of the American Family Association The American Family Association (AFA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes conservative Christian values.[1][2][3][4] It was founded in 1977 by Rev.  in Iowa, voiced opposition. The presentation had been conducted in school the previous year and had resulted in students sending letters apologizing for having harassed a gay couple who lived across the street. (75) In 1997, teachers in Franklin County, NC were told that if students asked about HIV/AIDS they were to explain that it is a "virus transmitted primarily by contaminated contaminated,
v 1. made radioactive by the addition of small quantities of radioactive material.
2. made contaminated by adding infective or radiographic materials.
3. an infective surface or object.
 needles and by a homosexual act that is illegal in North Carolina. (76)

That same year, the school board in Clayton County Clayton County is the name of two counties in the United States:
  • Clayton County, Georgia (Located in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area)
  • Clayton County, Iowa
, GA chose videos about AIDS and teen pregnancy with the understanding that they could not "represent homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle" Although this made fulfilling the state mandate for HIV/AIDS education difficult, community members feared reviving a controversy that had occurred years earlier. (77)

"Promoting" Homosexuality. The idea of condoning or "promoting" homosexuality is at the center of many debates. In 1995 the Merrimack, NH school board passed "Prohibition of Alternative Lifestyle Instruction," a highly restrictive policy that prevented teachers from providing any instruction to support "homosexuality as a positive lifestyle." The policy went far beyond sexuality education. For example, it forced a teacher to stop showing a film about Walt Whitman because it mentioned that the poet was gay. Community outrage over this decision resulted in the election of a new school board that rescinded the policy and replaced it with language saying the school would have "no program or activity which is intended to promote sexual activity or any sexual orientation. (78)

A similar situation occurred the following year in Elizabethtown, PA when the school board adopted a "pro-family resolution" stating that the "traditional family is under relentless attack by those who want to redefine Verb 1. redefine - give a new or different definition to; "She redefined his duties"
define, delimit, delimitate, delineate, specify - determine the essential quality of

 family to include homosexual and lesbian couples and to indoctrinate in·doc·tri·nate  
tr.v. in·doc·tri·nat·ed, in·doc·tri·nat·ing, in·doc·tri·nates
1. To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.

 children to pro-homosexual propaganda against their parents' wishes." The school board modified the policy after hearing objections from hundreds of community members. (79)

Many states have struggled with debates about "pro-rooting" homosexuality as well. In 2000, a measure on the ballot in Oregon would have prohibited public instruction from "encouraging, promoting, or sanctioning homosexual or bisexual bisexual /bi·sex·u·al/ (-sek´shoo-al)
1. pertaining to or characterized by bisexuality.

2. an individual exhibiting bisexuality.

3. pertaining to or characterized by hermaphroditism.

 behavior." The measure failed 53 percent-43 percent. (80) That same year, proposed legislation in California prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality was withdrawn by its author, (81) Similar language was introduced this year in amendments to omnibus bills in Minnesota. The Senate amendment failed and the language was withdrawn in the House. (82)

Teachers Revealing Their Sexual Orientation. Over the decade that SIECUS has been tracking controversy, society has become more open about homosexuality. Television shows like Ellen, Will & Grace, and the new Queer Eye Queer Eye (originally Queer Eye for the Straight Guy)[1] is an hour-long American Emmy award-winning television gay series that premiered on the Bravo cable television network on July 15, 2003, and promptly became both a surprise hit and one of the most  for the Straight Guy have made openly gay characters and personalities more common place. Most recently, gay rights were in the spotlight when the Supreme Court reversed earlier decisions and declared anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional unconstitutional adj. referring to a statute, governmental conduct, court decision or private contract (such as a covenant which purports to limit transfer of real property only to Caucasians) which violate one or more provisions of the U. S. Constitution. . Nonetheless, throughout the years of tracking controversies we have seen individual teachers come under fire for revealing their own sexual orientation to students.

During the 1998-99 school year, 15 students in the Rio Bravo-Greerly Union School District (CA) were transferred out of an eighth-grade science class when parents complained about the teacher's perceived homosexuality. The teacher brought a discrimination suit against the school and won a ruling from the state industrial relations industrial relations
Relations between the management of an industrial enterprise and its employees.

industrial relations
Noun, pl

the relations between management and workers
 director who said the school had "wrongfully fostered different treatment" and ordered the students returned to class. (83)

A similar controversy began in 1997 when a teacher in Spanish Fork, UT revealed that she was gay. Parents called for her termination because they feared she would tell students about her sexual practices. Although the school did not fire her, they removed her from her position as volleyball coach and instructed her not to discuss her sexuality with anyone in the school community including students, parents, and teachers. (84) She filed a federal lawsuit charging the school with violating her first amendment rights, and won.

The controversy did not end there, however. A group calling themselves Citizens of the Nebo School District Nebo School District is a public school district in Utah County, Utah serving the southern part of the county south of Utah Lake. Provo City School District and Alpine School District cover the central and northern parts of the county, respectively.  for Moral and Legal Values filed a lawsuit to have her teaching credential A United States teaching credential is a basic multiple or single subject credential obtained upon completion of a bachelor's degree and prescribed professional education requirements.  revoked. They argued that Utah law requires teachers to be good role models and that her private activity conflicted with state laws that prohibited sodomy sodomy

Noncoital carnal copulation. Sodomy is a crime in some jurisdictions. Some sodomy laws, particularly in Middle Eastern countries and those jurisdictions observing Shari'ah law, provide penalties as severe as life imprisonment for homosexual intercourse, even if the
. The court dismissed the case ruling that the group lacked a legally protected interest in the case. (85)

Not all incidents result in widespread controversy. During the 1999-2000 school year, a first-grade teacher in Newton, MA upset some parents when he told his class he was gay as part of a lesson on families. Although some parents felt that he overstepped his bounds, most were supportive. The superintendent said no action would be taken against him for exercising his "basic human rights. (86)

Anti-Discrimination Policies. Perhaps in response to the discrimination faced by some teachers, many school districts have attempted to change their anti-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation. Montgomery County, MD took up this issue in 1995 after a survey showed that high school students felt gay and lesbian students faced the most discrimination in school. The anti-discrimination policy was eventually approved after stipulating that the school system does not "advocate, encourage, promote, or endorse any particular sexual orientation. (87) In 2000, the school board in Heuvelton, IVY unanimously voted to add sexual orientation to their discrimination policies, including complaints and grievances Complaints and Grievances is an HBO stand-up comedy special of George Carlin that was originally titled I Like It When a Lot of People Die, but was renamed following the September 11, 2001 attacks.  for students and employees. (88) A similar vote occurred this year in Palm Beach, FL where a proposal to add sexual orientation to their anti-harassment policies has been brought to the school board three times in the past 12 years. Although opponents started a letter writing campaign that warned that adding sexual orientation would "promote the idea that homosexual and other bizarre sexual behaviors are acceptable, respectable, and healthy," the policy passed in a vote of 5-2. (89)

Gay Straight Alliances. In the past few years, we have seen a number of controversies involving Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs), after-school clubs that offer students a safe place to discuss issues of sexual orientation. Unfortunately, many school districts have taken measures to prevent these clubs from forming on campus. During the 1999-2000 school year students at El Modena High School El Modena High School, sometimes called El Mo (or "ElMo"), is a traditional 4 year public high school located in the El Modena neighborhood in the eastern portion of the city of Orange in Orange County, California.  in Orange, CA filed suit against their school when administrators prevented the GSA (1) (Global mobile Suppliers Association, Sawbridgeworth, U.K., A membership organization of suppliers of GSM products and services. Its goal is to promote GSM as the worldwide mobile communications standard. See GSM Association and GSM.  from meeting as a club. The students, with help from the ACLU, argued that the school was discriminating dis·crim·i·nat·ing  
a. Able to recognize or draw fine distinctions; perceptive.

b. Showing careful judgment or fine taste:
 against them on the basis of perceived sexual orientation. After initial court decisions favored the students, an out-of-court settlement An agreement reached between the parties in a pending lawsuit that resolves the dispute to their mutual satisfaction and occurs without judicial intervention, supervision, or approval.  allowed the club to meet and keep its name. The school board also promised not to single out the club for any special regulations. (90) Since that time numerous GSA's throughout the country have won similar victories after filing suit or threatening to do so.


While most debates over sexuality education revolve around Verb 1. revolve around - center upon; "Her entire attention centered on her children"; "Our day revolved around our work"
center, center on, concentrate on, focus on, revolve about
 the content of the curricula or something said in class, administrative issues regarding enrollment sometimes become controversial as well. These controversies focus on how students enroll in courses, whether courses are electives or requirements, and if males and females should learn together.

The Process of Enrollment

Almost all communities allow parents to remove their children from sexuality education classes if they do not wish for them to hear the information or messages that will be provided. These polices are referred to as "opt-out." Over the years, however, many parents have pushed for a stricter policy, known as "opt-in," in which students may not be enrolled in sexuality education courses until the school has received written permission from the parent. Opponents of comprehensive sexuality education seem to push for opt-in policies on the theory that making the process for enrollment harder will further limit the number of students receiving this education.

During the 1994 95 school year parents successfully lobbied the Conway, NH school board for a strict opt-in requirement for sexuality education. (91) In 1997, the school board in Sheboygan, WI agreed to an opt-in policy for students in fourth and fifth grades but not middle or high school. (92) In 2001, however, when parents in the Grossmont (CA) Union High School District suggested an opt-in program because they were concerned that students "would learn about homosexuality, bisexuality bisexuality /bi·sex·u·al·i·ty/ (-sek?shoo-al´i-te)
1. sexual attraction to persons of both sexes; exhibition of both homosexual and heterosexual behavior.

2. true hermaphroditism.

3. androgyny (1).
, or transgender transgender or transgendered
 issues....," their proposal was rejected. (93)

Changes to the rules regarding enrollment in sexuality education have been proposed at the state level as well. In Arkansas, a bill requiring written permission to teach sexuality education to students in elementary or middle school was introduced in 2000. (94) That same year, a bill was introduced in Tennessee allowing students to be released from sexuality education courses specifically to attend religious instruction. Both bills failed. (95)

In Utah, however, the rules were changed in 1999 to require schools to receive written consent before students could be taught any topic in human sexuality This article is about human sexual perceptions. For information about sexual activities and practices, see Human sexual behavior.
Generally speaking, human sexuality is how people experience and express themselves as sexual beings.
. Prior to that change, written permission was required only for lessons in contraception. (96) In response to the change in rules, the State Board of Education created a statewide parental consent form that included a checklist of topics that would be covered. In 2000, the Nebo, UT school district petitioned the state board to allow them to alter this form by removing contraception from the checklist. The board denied the request saying that while Nebo had the right to decide not to teach about contraception, parents had the right to know that the state feels this topic should be included. (97)

Although opt-out/opt-in policy changes rarely lead to the most heated community debates, over the years some unusual debates have fallen into this category. In 1994 controversy erupted when a student at Council Rock High School in Pennsylvania forged her mother's signature in order to take a course in sexuality. The school promised to take precautions precautions Infectious disease The constellation of activities intended to minimize exposure to an infectious agent; precautions imply that the isolation of an infected Pt is optional, but not mandatory.  to prevent this from happening again. (98) Controversy began in North Olmstead, OH when a parent, who had opted her own child out of sexuality education, asked to sit in on the class herself in 1997. The principal denied this request on the grounds that it might make other students uncomfortable. (99)

Finally, a lawsuit was filed against the Fairfield, CT school district by a parent who took his seventh-grade son out of the entire mandatory health course. The school had an opt-out policy for the sexuality education portion of the course but argued that students must attend the rest of the health course because it is mandated by the state. The court ruled in favor of the school. (100)

It is unclear what effect opt-in policies have when they are adopted. In theory, such policies present numerous administrative challenges and can prevent some young people from receiving sexuality education simply because a permission slip got left in the bottom of a backpack or lost on the way home. In practice, however, this might not be the case. In La Cygne, KS, for example, although they changed to an opt-in policy in 1995, the same number of students enrolled in the program as had in previous years. (101)

Regardless of their ultimate impact, it seems clear that opponents of comprehensive sexuality education will see it as a promising tactic and continue to recommend strict opt-in policies.

Making Sexuality An Elective

While some communities turn to a dual track system when they can't agree on the focus of sexuality education, others make different compromises. SIECUS has tracked numerous debates in Northville, MI over the last 10 years. During the 2000-01 school year, for example, the Northville board voted to make sexuality education an elective instead of a required course. (102) This decision was made after some parents argued that abstinence is the only protection against STDs. Rather than switch to an abstinence-only-until-marriage program or adopt a dual track system, the board diffused the controversy by allowing parents to choose if their children attended sexuality education at all.

Unfortunately, enrollment was so low the following year that the district dropped the course. Northville has placed some of the material in other classes and administrators say they will conduct periodic assessments of whether this approach is working. (103)

Debates over whether sexuality education should be a requirement or an elective have occurred sporadically throughout the last decade most often as part of larger curriculum decisions. Although this is not one of the more common tactics for restricting sexuality, education, it is possible that we will see more of it in the future. In 2003, for example, legislation was introduced in Massachusetts that would require all sexuality programs to be non-mandatory electives. In order for their children to participate, parents would have to give written permission, or permission by a method similar to those used for other elective courses Noun 1. elective course - a course that the student can select from among alternatives

course, course of instruction, course of study, class - education imparted in a series of lessons or meetings; "he took a course in basket weaving"; "flirting is
. This bill is currently in committee. (104)

Separating the Sexes

Gender separation most often conies up because parents worry that their children will be uncomfortable learning about sexuality in a co-educational setting. However, these debates are sometimes an attempt to restrict what students learn. Although gender separation is rarely an issue in and of itself, communities in the process of choosing a curriculum or changing the focus of a sexuality education course will often entertain motions on this issue.

An example of a gender separation becoming an issue as part of a larger discussion occurred in Fairfield, OH during the 1995-96 school year. Controversy erupted over proposed revisions to the K-12 health curriculum. Those parents opposed to the curriculum began to push for a dual track system. This was unsuccessful; however, the school board did agree to separate boys and gifts for elementary school and middle school health courses. (105)

A proposal for gender separation in Oaklawn, IL failed in 2000. Parents asked the school to separate sixth, seventh, and eighth grade boys and gifts for the entire duration of their abstinence-based program out of fear that students would be uncomfortable. (Students were already separated for a portion of the program.) The board rejected the proposal and voted to allow students to submit anonymous questions in writing as a way to address possible discomfort they might feel in a mixed-gender setting. (106)

In Monterey, CA an unnamed puberty video that came complete with three versions--one for males, one for females, and one for both--caused controversy during the 1999-2000 school year when school officials decided to show the complete version in mixed gender settings. Parents complained that there was no reason for fifth-grade students to know that much about the "opposite sex." School officials postponed the viewing indefinitely until they could decide how to handle the situation. (107)

There is very little research on gender separation for sexuality education courses and it falls to individual communities to decide what is best for their students. Although these debates continue to occur, we have seen a dramatic drop in the number of communities discussing gender separation over the years. There have been tufty tuft  
1. A short cluster of elongated strands, as of yarn, hair, or grass, attached at the base or growing close together.

2. A dense clump, especially of trees or bushes.

 a handful of controversies of this kind since the 2000-01 school year.


We cannot deny that proponents of a strict abstinence-only-until-marriage approach have had a very good decade. There has been a dramatic rise in the amount of money that both federal and state governments spend on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs; the current administration is committed to increasing funding; the media has seized on the concept of the "new virginity Virginity
See also Chastity, Purity.

Agnes, St.

patron saint of virgins. [Christian Hagiog.: Brewer Dictionary, 16]


Indian maiden learns too late she can be released from her vow to remain a virgin. [Fr. Lit.
;" and communities have welcomed abstinence-only speakers, fear-based curricula, and chastity rallies into their school with nary nar·y  
Not one: "Frequently, measures of major import . . . glide through these chambers with nary a whisper of debate" George B. Merry.
 a second thought.

Opponents Have Called the Shots

These successes are not based on luck nor do they indicate that proponents of this approach have tapped into the will of the general public. In fact, when surveyed the majority of parents, educators, and voters repeatedly say they want a more comprehensive approach to sexuality education. (108)

Opponents have been successful because they have been calling the shots and framing the debate from the beginning. Conservative far right organizations targeted sexuality education as an arena in which they could successfully affect social change. While they initially called for sexuality education to be removed from school on the grounds that only parents should teach young people about sex, they gradually began to shift tactics. Chastity education was born ill the early 1980s and opponents of comprehensive sexuality education saw this as a way to change what young people learn. Instead of arguing for the removal of sexuality education, they began to argue for a shift in message--a tactic that was easier for many communities to accept.

The success of the abstinence-only-until-marriage movement is owed in large part to the ability of its proponents to shift tactics and try new messages. In fact, over the years they have responded to many of the criticisms against them. Early drafts of fear-based abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula were clearly religious in nature and made outrageous and dangerous suggestions like washing one's genitals with Lysol after sexual activity. (l09) In today's drafts, overt religious statements have been replaced with subtle references to spirituality and morality while blatantly false information has been replaced with mild exaggerations based on legitimate sources.

Today, their message is savvy and unified. School boards and lawmakers across the country are presented with the same requests and hear the same arguments: "Comprehensive sexuality education encourages promiscuity Promiscuity
See also Profligacy.


constantly flits from one girl to another. [Aust. Drama: Schnitzler Anatol in Benét, 33]


promiscuous goddess of sensual love. [Gk. Myth.
."; "Condoms don't work."; "Responsible adults know that teens should be abstinent."; and "The only morally acceptable approach is to tell teens to remain abstinent until they marry." These unified messages are backed by national organizations like Concerned Women for America Concerned Women for America is a conservative Christian political action group active in the United States. The group was founded in 1979 by Beverly LaHaye, wife of Christian Coalition co-founder Timothy LaHaye, as a response to activities by the National Organization for Women and  and Focus on the Family, which continue to get involved in local debates.

These tactics have not only led to an increase in the number of communities accepting abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, they are, at least in part, responsible for the rise in federal funding supporting these programs. Such successes build on each other, the federal funding is now seen in many communities as a stamp of approval and additional schools are wilting wilting

dehydration of plants to the point where the leaves lose their turgor and hang limply. Can happen in living plants which later return to normal, or to cut plants before they are fed out. Thought to be a factor in increasing toxicity.
 to adopt such programs with little or no thought. In addition, as the economy falters and school systems suffer from a lack of resources, fully funded programs become even more appealing. Overall, this has meant that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are reaching more students than ever before, with much less debate.

Turning Back the Tides

There is some good news, however. In recent years, when sexuality education has become an issue, many communities have made encouraging decisions. We have seen communities block attempts to censor censor (sĕn`sər), title of two magistrates of ancient Rome (from c.443 B.C. to the time of Domitian). They took the census (by which they assessed taxation, voting, and military service) and supervised public behavior.  books and videos, decide to make contraception available to students, add sexual orientation to anti-discrimination policies, protect teachers, and resist administrative roadblocks such as strict opt-in regulations.

In fact, by working to build community support, advocates for comprehensive sexuality education on the state and local level have made important strides toward improving the sexuality education our children our receiving.

Some have made efforts to fight back against biased programming in their schools. A parent in Mt. Diablo di·ab·lo  

[Alteration (influenced by Spanish diablo, devil) of diable.]
, CA, for example, is working hard to make sure that CryBabies, an abstinence-only-until-marriage program sponsored by a local crisis pregnancy center is removed from her local schools. She became involved in this issue after reading disturbing and highly biased information about abortion in her son's notebook. (110) (See "How Will We Teach Our Children," on page 17)

Parents and educators in Wake County, NC have worked very hard over the past few years to expand the sexuality education their students receive. As mentioned earlier, North Carolina law mandates that schools take an abstinence-only-until-marriage approach unless community members meet and agree to a more comprehensive curriculum. Advocates in Wake County created a comprehensive sexuality education program that will be used in their public schools. (111)

Many efforts to expand sexuality education come from students themselves. We have seen students in Ashland, KY work to form a GSA despite initial protests from the school (112); students in Woodside, CA persuade the school board to implement a condom availability program; and students in Lubbock, TX receive national attention for their efforts to get a comprehensive sexuality education program into their schools. (113) These future leaders Future Leaders is a UK schools-led charitable organisation that aims to widen the pool of talented leaders especially for urban challenging secondary schools. It was founded in March 2006 by Nat Wei, a former founder of Teach First. , often motivated by high rates of STDs, teen pregnancy, and unprotected sexual activity among their peers, understand that young people need information about sexuality in order to make responsible decisions.

Advocates for comprehensive sexuality" education have made progress on the legislative level as well. Numerous

states, including Arizona and Washington, have introduced legislation that would require all sexuality education to be medically accurate. (114) Although these laws cannot ensure students receive comprehensive sexuality education, they can insure that students do not receive false or biased information in the classroom. It is telling that proponents of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs see these laws as a direct attack on their efforts.

On a national level, advocates helped to introduce the Family Life Education Act. This legislation, which was introduced in 2001, would have authorized au·thor·ize  
tr.v. au·thor·ized, au·thor·iz·ing, au·thor·iz·es
1. To grant authority or power to.

2. To give permission for; sanction:
 $100 million for comprehensive sexuality education. It will be re-introduced this year in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Recently, the states of Maine and California (115) passed similar laws supporting comprehensive sexuality education and others have been introduced in Illinois, and Rhode Island Rhode Island, island, United States
Rhode Island, island, 15 mi (24 km) long and 5 mi (8 km) wide, S R.I., at the entrance to Narragansett Bay. It is the largest island in the state, with steep cliffs and excellent beaches.
. (116)

The Next Ten Years

These positive efforts provide hope and show what can be done when concerned parents, educators, and policymakers get involved and make their voices heard. Abstinence-only-until-marriage funding is unlikely to go away in the near future, and as such, many communities will be faced with difficult decisions regarding sexuality education.

In order to ensure that more students receive high-quality sexuality education, advocates will have to remain vigilant, create unified messages, and take proactive steps in states and communities. By initiating actions to support comprehensive sexuality education and responding strongly to attempts to restrict it, advocates can shape the issue, define the terms, tap into public support, and eventually declare victory.


(1.) L. Kantor, "Attacks on Public School Sexuality Education Programs: 1993-1994 School Year," SIECUS Report, 22, no. 6 (1994), p. 13.

(2.) H. Metzger, "Board Approves Sex Education Program," Hendersonville (NC) Times-News, March 19, 1998.

(3.) C. Price, "Debate Runs Hot Over School Agenda," 7huton (MA) Daily Gazette The Daily Gazette is an independently-owned daily newspaper based in Schenectady, New York. It debuted in 1894 and mainly covers the counties of Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Fulton, Schoharie, and Montgomery. External links
  • Official web site
, Oct. 14, 1999.

(4.) P. Brandt, "Some Parents Object to Pinconning Sex Ed. Plan," Bay City (MI) Times, April 11, 2000.

(5.) P. Brandt, "Reaction Mixed to Sex Ed Plan at Pinny," Bay City (MI) Times, September 25, 2000.

(6.) M. Kempner, "1998-99 Sexuality Education Controversies in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. ," S1ECUS Report, 27, no. 6 (1999), p. 6.

(7.) Ibid.

(8.) M. Stoddard, "State Says Abstinence Only Option," Lincoln (NE) Journal Star, December 13, 1997.

(9.) M. Kempner, "Fewer Debates About Sexuality Education As Abstinence-Only Programs Take Foothold," SIECUS Report, 29, no. 6 (2001), pp. 4-5.

(10.) S. Ross and L. Kantor. "Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality- Education in Public Schools: 1994-1995 School Year," SIECUS Report, 23, no. 6 (1995), p. 15.

(11.) A. Young, "Sex Education Program Questioned in Pembroke," Suncook-Hooksett (NH) Banner, January 8, 1998.

(12.) B. Dunn, "No Change in Sex Ed Classes, Capitol Times, Madison W1, September 23, 1997.

(13.) C. Stiff, "School Board Takes a Hard Look at Sex Ed Curricula" Clear Creak creak  
intr.v. creaked, creak·ing, creaks
1. To make a grating or squeaking sound.

2. To move with a creaking sound.

A grating or squeaking sound.
 (CO) Courant Cou`rant´   

a. 1. (Her.) Represented as running; - said of a beast borne in a coat of arms.
n. 1. A piece of music in triple time; also, a lively dance; a coranto.
, December 16, 1998.

(14.) D. Bonilla, "Orange County; Santa Aria aria (är`ēə), elaborate and often lengthy solo song with instrumental accompaniment. In the 16th cent. it was a melody improvised over a strophic bass line, and a distinction was made between instrumental, vocal, and dance arias.  School Board Rejects Abstinence Only Curriculum," Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times

Morning daily newspaper. Established in 1881, it was purchased and incorporated in 1884 by Harrison Gray Otis (1837–1917) under The Times-Mirror Co. (the hyphen was later dropped from the name).
, May 15, 2003.

(15.) Ross and Kantor, "Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education," p. 15.

(16.) "Alternative Sex Education Program Announced," Morrison County (MN) Record, January 14, 2001.

(17.) R. Mayer, "1996-97 Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Public Schools in the United States," S1ECUS Report 25, no. 6 (1997), p. 25.

(18.) "Parents Organize to Oppose New Sex Education Curriculum," Brooklyn Center Brooklyn Center, city (1990 pop. 28,887), Hennepin co., SE Minn., a residential suburb of Minneapolis; inc. 1911. It has light industry and has been marked by suburban and economic growth since the 1970s.  (MN) Sun Post, March 31, 1999.

(19.) "Osseo Approves Two-Track Sex Ed Program," Family Council Pro Family News. October, 1998.

(20.) Ross and Kantor, "Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education," p. 15.

(21.) See Minnesota HF 580 and SF 851.

(22.) S. Back, "State to Offer New Teen Abstinence Classes," Salem (OR) Statesman Journal The Statesman Journal is the major daily newspaper published in Salem, Oregon, United States. It serves Salem, Keizer, and much of the Mid-Willamette Valley. It was formed in 1980 by the merger of the two main Salem newspapers, the Oregon Statesman and the , April 23, 2000.

(23.) "Sexual Abstinence Program Director Scrapping Proposals: Starting Over," Baton Rouge Baton Rouge (băt`ən rzh) [Fr.,=red stick], city (1990 pop. 219,531), state capital and seat of East Baton Rouge parish, SE La.  (LA)Advocate, November 7, 1997.

(24.) K. McGill, "Settlement to Keep Religion Out of State's Abstinence Program," Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)

Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
, November 13, 2002.

(25.) M. Kempner, "1997-98 Sexuality Education Controversies in the United States," SIECUS Report, 26, no. 6 (1998), p. 17.

(26.) B. Jesse, "Abstinence Only Group to Teach in Greenville," Greenville (SC) News, July 4, 1999.

(27.) M. Guerard, "Sex Ed Liaison May Be Fired," Charleston (SC) Post and Courier, March 7, 2000.

(28.) "Nurses Drop 'Crazy' Sex-ed Program," Denver (CO) Rocky Mountain News The Rocky Mountain News is a daily morning tabloid-format newspaper published in Denver, Colorado. It is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company. (Despite Scripps still running the paper, it's the only newspaper in the Scripps family not to have the corporate lighthouse logo on , March 18, 1999.

(29.) M. Kempner, "1997-98 Sexuality Education Controversies in the United States," p. i7.

(30.) C. Trevor, "What Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Education Looks Like in Communities Today," SIECUS Report, 29, no. 6 (2001), p. 18.

(31.) M. Clark, "Students Get Lesson on STDs, Chastity," Whittner (CA) Daily News, November 8, 1999.

(32.) C. Young, "Students Receive Powerful Message about Abstinence," The Courier, Russellville, AR, November 10, 2000.

(33.) C. Richards, "Schools Putting 'No' Back in Sex Education," Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune

Daily newspaper published in Chicago. The Tribune is one of the leading U.S. newspapers and long has been the dominant voice of the Midwest. Founded in 1847, it was bought in 1855 by six partners, including Joseph Medill (1823–99), who made the paper
, November 18, 1998.

(34.) "Gov. Bush Pushes Abstinence," Ft. Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, April 25, 1999.

(35.) "'True Love' Attracts More Than 600," Schuyler (NE) Sun, February 17, 2000.

(36.) C. Trevor, "Number of Controversies Decline as Schools Adopt Conservative Policies," SIECUS Report, 30, no.6 (2002), p. 6.

(37.) G. Marshall, "BASD BASD Bethlehem Area School District (Pennsylvania)
BASD Business Action for Sustainable Development
BASD Basic Active Service Date
BASD Bellefonte Area School District (Bellefonte, Pennsylvania) 
 Approves Tentative 1-Mill Hike; Parents Protest Board Decision to Cancel Pro-Abstinence Speaker," Morning Call, Allentown, PA, May 20, 2003.

(38.) "Board Splits on Sex Education," Westfield (NJ) Record, January 18, 1996.

(39.) R. Mayer and L. Kantor, "1995-96 Trends In Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Public Schools in the United States," SIECUS Report, 24, no. 6 (1996), pp. 6.

(40.) R. Mayer, "1996-97 Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Public Schools," p. 26.

(41.) Kempner, "1997-98 Sexuality Education Controversies in the United States," p. 20.

(42.) W. Peal, "Schools Adopt Sex Revisions: Despite Concerns Trustees Are Unanimous," Clarion-Eccentric, Rochester, MI, January 17, 2002: R. Whigtman, "Board Approves Sex Ed Curriculum," The Oakland Press, Pontiac, MI, Jan. 15, 2002.

(43.) "Author Says Sex Ed Law Has Been Misinterpreted," Observer brews, September 26, 1997.

(44.) "Censorship Doesn't Help Students," North Hills (PA) News Record, October 10, 1998.

(45.) K. Pesznecker, "Comeau: Book Too Much for Grade School: School Will Hear Public Testimony About 'It's Perfectly Normal," Anchorage (AK) Daily News, September 19, 2001: Kaiser Family Foundation The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), or just Kaiser Family Foundation, is a U.S.-based non-profit, private operating foundation headquartered in Menlo Park, California. , "Anchorage School Board Votes to Restrict Sex Ed Book in Grade Schools After Representative Mails 'Explicit' Book Illustrations to Voters," Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, October 9, 200l.

(46.) J. Luken, "Board OK's Buying Controversial Textbook," Caledonian (VT) Record, October 5, 1999.

(47.) M. Garcia, "Book Choice Causes Concern," Press Enterprise Riverside, CA, May 7, 2003.

(48.) "School Board Vote on Witch Baby," PABBIS PABBIS Parents Against Bad Books in Schools  News, March 14, 2003.

(49.) B. Kuhles, "RLC RLC Residual lung capacity  Vows to Continue Challenge to Books: Library Panel Returns Contested Works to Shelves," The Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX, November 20, 2002.

(50.) Kantor, "Attacks on Public School Education Programs," p. 15.

(51.) G. Flannery, "Caribou Board Approves Health Curriculum," News, Bangor, ME, October 14, 1994.

(52.) G.S. Thurston, "Fifth Grade Sex Video Modified By Board," Great Falls/Mclean Vienna (VA) Sun Gazette, December 25, 1997.

(53.) H. Pickard, "Domenech Pushes Sex Ed Tape Trim," Fairfax (VA) Journal, July 7, 1999.

(54.) Ross and Kantor, "Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Public Schools" p. 12.

(55.) S. Serrano ser·ra·no  
n. pl. ser·ra·nos
A cultivar of the tropical pepper Capsicum annuum having small, blunt, highly pungent red or green fruit used in cooking.
, "Some Parents Say New ECISD ECISD Ector County Independent School District (Texas)  Sex Ed Curriculum Is Too Graphic," Odessa (TX) American, March 7, 1999.

(56.) M. Slemey and D. Gregorian, "Queens School Board KO's Plan to BanTalk of Sex," New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 (NY) Post, April 24. 1998: S. Kershaw and A. Podos, "Words Schools Can't Use," New, York (NY) Newsday, May 12. 1998.

(57.) C. Trevor, "Number of Controversies Decline as Schools Adopt Conservative Policies," p.7.

(58.) R. Pulley pulley, simple machine consisting of a wheel over which a rope, belt, chain, or cable runs.

A grooved pulley wheel like that used for ropes is called a sheave.
 and R. Carroll, "Discussion in Health Class Draws Parental Complaint," Kansas City Kansas City, two adjacent cities of the same name, one (1990 pop. 149,767), seat of Wyandotte co., NE Kansas (inc. 1859), the other (1990 pop. 435,146), Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties, NW Mo. (inc. 1850).  (MO) Star, February 22, 1998.

(59.) A. Green, "Bryant Schools Ponder Ways To Keep 'Unacceptable' Speakers Out," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, commonly abbreviated locally as the Dem-Gaz or Demgaz, is a daily newspaper published in Little Rock, Arkansas.

By virtue of one of its predecessors, the Arkansas Gazette
, February 6, 1999.

(60.) K. DeFresse, "Complaints Spur Review of Beech Grove Sex Ed," Indianapolis (IN) News, May 9, 1998.

(61.) Ross and Kantor, "Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Public School," p. 14.

(62.) H. Metzger, "Decision on Sex Education Delayed." Hendersonville (NC) Times-News, February 8, 1998.

(63.) A. Estes, "Bill Would Make Teachers Answer Students' Sex Questions in Private," Salt Lake City (UT) Standard Examiner, February 28, 2001.

(64.) M. Pinion-Whitt, "Sex Ed Voted Downy down·y  
adj. down·i·er, down·i·est
1. Made of or covered with down.

a. Resembling down: downy white clouds.

b. Quietly soothing; soft.

 Hemet (CA) News, November 14, 1997.

(65.) G. Chapman, "Board Votes Against Condom Scene for Inclusion in Secrets," Fremont (CA) Bulletin, December 17. 1999.

(66.) "Florida School Board Fires High School Teacher Who Gave Condom Demonstration," Associated Press, January, 31, 2003.

(67.) D.V. Chapman, "District Decides Against Condoms," Berkshire (MA) Eagle, March 27, 1998.

(68.) J. Smith, "Court: OK 1f Schools Hand Out Condoms," Philadelphia (PA) News, July 10, 1999.

(69.) L. Leslie, "St. Paul Schools Confront Birth Control," Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune For the Wyoming newspaper, see .

The Star Tribune (also Star trib or Strib, as it is often referred to) is the largest newspaper in the U.S.
, April 4, 1999.

(70.) R. Gottileb, "School Climes to Distribute Contraceptives," The Hartford (CT) Courant, July 11, 2001.

(71.) B. Laister, "Condom Proposal Before School Board," MetroWest Daily News, March 15, 2000.

(72.) "Board Blocks Students' Plans to Sell Condoms at Piedmont High School," Hayward (CA) Daily Review, November 11, 1999.

(73.) S. Palmer, "Students Distribute Condoms in Protest," Eugene (OR) Register Guard, February 15, 2001.

(74.) T.S. Mills-Faraudo, "Woodside Considers Condom Handout," The San Mateo San Mateo (săn mətā`ō), city (1990 pop. 85,486), San Mateo co., W Calif., on San Francisco Bay; inc. 1894. It is a commercial and retail center with some high-technology manufacturing. San Mateo, Spanish for St.  (CA) Times, October 24, 2001.

(75.) "Solon School Gets Calls, Cancels Program on Sexual Orientation," Cedar Rapids Cedar Rapids, city (1990 pop. 108,751), seat of Linn co., E central Iowa, on the Cedar River; inc. as a city 1856. The second largest city in Iowa, it is named for the surging rapids in the river.  (IA) Gazette, November 15, 1995.

(76.) H. Metzger, "Decision on Sex Education Delayed," Hendersonville (NC) Time-News, February 8, 1998.

(77.) C. Hubbard,"Board to Approve Sex Ed Video," Clayton (GA) News Daily, January 12, 1998.

(78.) Policy 6541, Rescission The abrogation of a contract, effective from its inception, thereby restoring the parties to the positions they would have occupied if no contract had ever been formed. By Agreement  of Policy 6540, June 6, 1996, (Merrimack School District Administrative Procedures).

(79.) Mayer, "i996-1997 Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Public Schools," p. 25.

(80.) Kempner, "Fewer Debates About Sexuality Education" p. 13.

(81.) Ibid.

(82.) "2003 Legislative Report," SIECUS Public Policy Department, June 30, 2003, available at policy/legislative/lcgis0000.html, accessed on July 24, 2003.

(83.) "Alleged Gay Teacher Has Class Back," Associated Press, March 10, 1999.

(84.) G. Florio, "She's Out: Now Parents Want Her Ousted," Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, November 14, 1997.

(85.) CNN CNN
 or Cable News Network

Subsidiary company of Turner Broadcasting Systems. It was created by Ted Turner in 1980 to present 24-hour live news broadcasts, using satellites to transmit reports from news bureaus around the world.
 Student News, "Utah Court Rules in Favor of Lesbian Teacher," April 5, 2003.

(86.) E. Hayward, "lst Grade Teacher Tells His Kids He's Gay," Boston Herald The Boston Herald is a tabloid format newspaper, though not a tabloid in the traditional sense, and is the smaller of the two big dailies in Boston, Massachusetts (the other being The Boston Globe). , June 8, 2000.

(87.) Human Relations human relations nplrelaciones fpl humanas  Policy, Board of Education, Montgomery County, MD, pp. 1-2.

(88.) S.E. McAdams, "HCS HCS - Heterogeneous Computer System

A distributed system project.
 OK's Sexual Orientation Policy," Odensberg (NY) Journal, February 1, 2001.

(89.) K. Miller, "School Board OKs Protection for Gay Students," Palm Beach Post (FL), March 25, 2003.

(90.) K. Folmar and M. Espino, "Orange County School Must Allow Gay Straight Club to Meet," Los Angeles Times, February 5, 2000.

(91.) Ross and Kantor, "Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Public Schools," p. 11.

(92.) D. Gallianetti, "Board Opts For Opt-Out Sex Ed," Sheboygan (WY) Press, November 19, 1997.

(93.) J. Spielvogel, "Grossmont Rejects 'Opt-In' Sex Ed Proposal," The San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay.  Tribune, October 12, 2(101.

(94.) L. Harrison-Stone, "Legislator LEGISLATOR. One who makes laws.
     2. In order to make good laws, it is necessary to understand those which are in force; the legislator ought therefore, to be thoroughly imbued with a knowledge of the laws of his country, their advantages and defects; to
 Wants Parents Involved," The Springdale (,AR) Morning News, September 6, 2000.

(95.) Kempner, "Fewer Debates About Sexuality Education," p. 13.

(96.) Ibid., p. 14.

(97.) J. Toomer-Cook, "Nebo Sex Ed Plan Rejected," Salt lake City (UT) Desert News. February 2, 2001.

(98.) Ross and Kantor. "Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Public Schools," p. 13.

(99.) D. Kilnec, "Parents Take Sides Over Sex Teaching, s," The Elyria (OH) Chronicle Telegram, November 26, 1997.

(100.) Turk Leebaert v. Fairfield Board of Education, No. 3:99- CV-2046 (ruling and order on cross motions for summary judgment).

(l01.) Mayer and Kantor, "Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality Education," p. 9.

(l02.) S. Hall, "Committee Wants Sex Ed to End." Detroit (MI) News, January 12, 2001.

(103.) "Keep Lansing Out of Love. Marriage," The Detroit (MI) News, July 11, 2002.

(104.) See Massachusetts House Bill 1445.

(105.) Mayer and Kantor, "Trends in Opposition to Comprehensive Sexuality, Education." p. 6.

(106.) 72 Kornelson, "Sex Ed Program to Change," Tinley Park Tinley Park, village (1990 pop. 37,121), Cook and Will counties, NE Ill., a residential suburb of Chicago; inc. 1892. Its population grew significantly in the late 20th cent.  (ILl Daily Southtown The Daily Southtown is a newspaper of the Chicago, Illinois metropolitan area that covers the south suburbs of Chicago and the South Side neighborhoods of the city - a wide region known as the Chicago Southland. , January 26, 1999.

(107.) A. Friedrich, "Parents: Video Makes Kids Blush blush
A sudden and brief redness of the face and neck due to emotion; flush.

blush v.
," The Monterey (CA) County Herald, May 14, 2000

(108.) Toward a Sexually Healthy America: Roadblocks Imposed by the Federal Government's Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Education Program (Washington, I)C: Advocates for Youth and SIECUS, 2001) pp. 19-21.

(109.) B. Cook, Choosing the Best (1993 Edition), (Marietta, GA: Choosing the Best, Inc., p. 27.)

(110.) E. Hayt. "Surprise, Morn: I'm Against Abortion," The New York Times. March 30, 2003.

(111.) T. K. Hui, "Sex Ed Lessons Amended," News and Observer, Raleigh. NC, February 11, 2003.

(112.) "Superintendent Upholds Decision to Permit Gay Straight Group to Meet," Associated Press, November 27, 2002.

(113.) C. Connolly, "Texas Teaches Abstinence. with Mixed Grades," The Washington Post, January 21, 2003.

(114.) See: Arizona Senate The Arizona Senate is part of the Arizona Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Arizona. The Senate consists of 30 members representing an equal amount of constituencies across the state, with each district having average populations of 171,021 (2000 figures).  Bill 1142 and Washington House Bill 1178.

(115.) At press time California Senate Bill 71 had passed both Houses and been sidled by the governor.

(116.) See: Illinois Senate The Illinois Senate is the upper chamber of the Illinois General Assembly, the legislative branch of the government of the state of Illinois in the United States. The body was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818.  Bill 99; Rhode Island Senate The Rhode Island Senate is the upper house of the Rhode Island General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. State of Rhode Island. It is composed of 38 Senators, each of whom is elected to a two-year term.  Bill 863 and house Bill 6070.


In an effort to help parents, educators, and policymakers stay informed, SIECUS prepares frequent reports on both ongoing controversies and proposed legislation.

Controversy Reports. SIECUS' Community Advocacy Project creates monthly reports throughout the school year to help individuals track controversies as they are unfolding in communities. These reports contain the most up-to-date news on those communities considering changes to sexuality education or facing debates regarding this important topic. Controversy reports are available online at:

Legislative Reports. SIECUS' Public Policy Department continually monitors legislation introduced in the states on topics such as abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, comprehensive sexuality education, contraception access, HIV/AIDS prevention, medical accuracy in sexuality education, parental consent requirements, teen pregnancy prevention, and safe surrender laws. Legislative reports are posted whenever there is relevant legislative activity and are available online at: http:/ /
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Author:Kempner, Martha E
Publication:SIECUS Report
Date:Sep 22, 2003
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