Some Iredell residents upset over changes to sex ed curriculum - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Some Iredell residents upset over changes to sex ed curriculum

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STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

Some residents in Iredell County are not happy about a program that teaches students about safe sex being added to the regular school day.

Right now, Making Proud Choices, as the program is called, is taught on weekends and after the school day to students who choose to be in the program.

The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education had been considering making the program part of all 9th grade health classes.

At it's Monday meeting several parents spoke against the program on moral and religious grounds.

The program teaches abstinence as the best choice for students.

But some residents say that allowing students to place a condom on a wooden prop crosses the line.

Students also act out hypothetical situations they might find themselves in where they have to refuse sex or negotiate using a condom.

WBTV's David Whisenant spoke with the program's director on Wednesday.

"It really is unfortunate that it has turned into a political debate," said Program Coordinator Linda Rogers.

WBTV is not allowed to show you exactly what is in that curriculum but David Whisenant was allowed to look through it and he says some of the language in one part is quite graphic.

"I think it might be graphic language for adults," ROgers added.  "But I think if you're in the hallways and you're hearing what students are talking about, what they see on TV, the media, it's not really that graphic language."

Rogers says they are considering making some changes in that particular component, and that if parents are offended, they can opt out.

"There would always be alternatives for parents who do not want their students to take the curriculum."

Since the program was put into place teen pregnancy rates in Iredell County have gone from 56 percent to 37 percent.

Rogers said that on February 3 there will be supporters of the program speaking to the Board of Education.

Rogers also said that she is considering making some changes to the component of the program that has gotten the most attention.  It is expected that the superintendent may make a recommendation to form a task force to take a look at making the program more sensitive to the needs of the community.

The program was introduced nearly four years ago as part of a $4 million grant that the system won.  The grant included money for four fulltime staff and high school nurses.

 

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