California School District Votes to Exclude ‘Explicit’ Sexual Material From HIV/AIDS Course
The Riverside, Calif., Alvord school board has unanimously voted to drop some "explicit" sexual material from the school district's new HIV/AIDS curriculum, the Riverside Press Enterprise reports. The board voted 4-0 to drop a sentence in the "Positive Prevention" curriculum stating that California residents ages 12 and older can access HIV, sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy services without parental notification. If the law "won't allow" the board to completely exclude mention of the services, board members plan to instruct teachers to inform students of their availability only in response to a question. In addition, the curriculum will not include a demonstration of condom use that involved a model of a penis or two fingers, nor will it contain a lesson for high school students that included "more explicit details" on sexual activity. A set of photographs, which include pictures of male and female genitalia with warts and pubic lice, will not be used "in its entirety," and microscope photos of diseases and herpes sores on lips will be shown only to students in eighth grade and above. The condom demonstration, photos and sexual material were optional parts of the six-week HIV/AIDS course. Alvord school board member Greg Kraft said that some of the material "encouraged minors to have sex illegally" and to access HIV and STD services without notifying a parent. However, Kim Clark, a professor at California State University-San Bernardino and co-author of the curriculum, said that the course "taps research, states the law and doesn't encourage teens to have sex" (Acosta, Riverside Press Enterprise, 11/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.