The textbook used by LPS is produced by Glencoe Publishing, and it is straightforward and helpful, but LPS adds additional content to its health curriculum that doesn't seem to be standard nationally and isn't included in the textbook. Specifically--and you can read this for yourself on the district's Pacing Guide, which guides teachers in how much time to spend on each topic--teachers are asked to teach "3 forms of intimate sexual contact": vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, and oral sex (page 17 of the Pacing Guide).
Many parents find this inappropriate for 12-year-olds (anal sex is certainly not part of human reproduction), but it's tough for parents to know that it's even going on, given the district's benign description of their health curriculum and their defensiveness when asked about course content. Additionally, this material is presented on the day slated to talk about abstinence, according to the Pacing Guide.
In other words, if you don't want your children to learn about anal sex at school in 7th and 8th grades, you need to opt them out of Abstinence Day under current guidelines for teachers.
CARE parents have asked teachers for the instruction materials for this course content as it isn't in the textbook, but we've been told by one teacher that there aren't available teaching materials outside of the Pacing Guide--just a mandate to teach it.
In addition to the "3 forms of intimate sexual contact," which is presented in both 7th and 8th grades, 8th graders learn about 13 forms of contraception, including the morning-after pill.
If/when you get the letter home about your child's middle school sexuality unit in health, ask to see the materials, including the Pacing Guide, so you can make an informed decision.
LPS is not being transparent about its middle school health curriculum. Without transparency, parents cannot make informed decisions about whether or not to opt their children out of this classroom content.
LPS has a standard letter that teachers can use at the beginning of their human sexuality units for 7th and 8th grade health. Teachers aren't required to use the letter but they can use the letter if they wish.
A copy of the letter is included at the beginning of this post. It assures parents that the material presented is "age-appropriate," but it isn't very specific or detailed about the content.
One CARE parent asked to see the health classroom materials, and when she showed up at the school to meet the teacher to look at the textbook, she was invited to sit down in a conference room with the teacher, the principal, and a district administrator--all of this because a parent wanted to review the curriculum.
Thank you to the anonymous person who sent this information to CARE. We contacted district administration with these concerns on November 20th and recommended making the parent letter more specific so that parents could make an informed decision as well as moving the "3 forms of intimate sexual contact" material out of the days slated for abstinence. The administrator assured us that the issues would be brought up in a curriculum committee meeting December 10th and that we would hear back. We have never heard back.
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