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Sex Ed Round-Up: Virginia, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin

Rachel Hart,
Reproductive Freedom Project
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October 13, 2006

Virginia: The Loudoun Times-Mirror reports on the ACLU of Virginia’s efforts to ensure that an abstinence-only-until-marriage assembly at Loudoun County High School did not contain any religious content. The program was sponsored by Life Line Pregnancy Care Center in Leesburg, and a spokesperson for the school said the administration had done everything possible to ensure a secular presentation.Also in Virginia, a local ABC affiliate ran a segment on an abstinence-only-until-marriage program put out by the local chapter of the Alliance for Family and Children. You can watch the segment here. Does anyone know more about this program? The segment notes that AFC teaches the programs in local schools in Lynchburg.Utah: The Deseret News reports that the health department serving Weber and Morgan Counties received a three million dollar grant from the federal government to teach abstinence-only-until-marriage over the next five years. The article notes that 9 percent of teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in Ogden, a city located in Weber County, gave birth between 2002 and 2004, while the figure for the same age group statewide is 3.4 percent. The AP reports that programs funded by the grant money will be aimed at teens in grades 6-12.Washington: An article in The Olympian reports on efforts by the South Sound school district to comply with a state law regarding AIDS/HIV education in grades 5 through 12. Parents who want to opt-out their children from the class must review the material before they can do so. Maddy de Give, the executive director of Student Support Services at North Thurston Public Schools, says that few parents exclude their children from the classes. She further notes that the lessons are age-appropriate — teaching fifth graders about myths and misconceptions and stressing abstinence and prevention with high schoolers.Wisconsin: The Wisconsin State Journal published a letter-to-the-editor from a local mother who says that parents need to take an active role in educating their children about sex instead of leaving it entirely up to the schools. She also notes that it isn’t hypocritical to encourage abstinence but provide information about protecting one’s self from STDs and pregnancy.