Posted: Sep 15, 2010 6:46 AM by Marnee Banks
Updated: Sep 15, 2010 6:50 AM
HELENA - After receiving over 7,000 comments on a proposed health education plan that contained controversial sections relating to sex education, the Helena School Board has released a revised copy of the curriculum.
The draft revision addressed the controversial human sexuality section and now includes the district's entire harassment policy instead of singling out harassment due to sexual orientation.
The requirement for a student to name reproductive organs was moved from kindergarten to fourth grade.
The portion which would have taught that human beings can love people of both the same gender and opposite gender was taken out of the curriculum altogether, but it was added that a child should know that family structures may differ.
Teaching abstinence as the only way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases was added in grades five through 12.
During a Tuesday night meeting of the board, Helena High School teacher Don Pogreba said, "Some of the statements that were blown out of proportion and blown up by the media in negative ways should have remained and the distortions shouldn't have lead to changes in the curriculum."
"I thought there were some things that were taken out that were great. I also think that a lot of it was restated, that it didn't change a whole lot," added parent Mikal Wilkerson said,
The school board will take public comment on the curriculum at its next meeting on September 28th. Click here to view the revised curriculum on the school's website (PDF).