Monday, August 30, 2010

Comprehensive Sex Education Program


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cleveland school district is applying for federal money that, if granted, would extend the district's 4-year-old sex education program by five years.

District officials hope to secure $1 million each year for the five years, not only to make improvements in its existing comprehensive sex education program and to make it available to all 48,000 students, but also to track behavior change and create a model that other school systems can replicate.

Earlier this year, Congress approved more than $100 million for evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. It's a fundamental shift from the previous "abstinence-only" focus, on which the federal government has spent over $1.5 billion since 1996.

Since 2007 Ohio has not accepted any money from the federally funded State Abstinence Education Grant program because of its restrictions on how the money could be spent

Funding for the K-12 Responsible Sexual Behavior Initiative, the district's first comprehensive program designed for all grade levels, has fluctuated since it was launched in 2006 with an $800,000 block grant from Cuyahoga County.

One frequently heard criticism for any sex education program that starts in kindergarten is that it starts at too early an age.

But the curriculum that the Cleveland schools use is tailored to grade level. Elementary school students, for example, talk about good touch/bad touch. Instruction for the 'tweens includes abstinence and HIV. High school students talk about safer sex and condom use.

I Personally think its great that Ohio is trying to educate our children early and well. Hopefully part of their program includes who to tell and how to tell them if someone is sexually abusing you.

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