Neenah school board approves new sex education

NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - For the first time in a decade, the Neenah Joint School District is updating its sex education curriculum.

Thursday night, the school board voted to approve changes affecting every grade from kindergarten through 12th grade.

But they're changes that have been received with mixed reaction. Public comment lasted about two hours, with a majority of people speaking in support of the district updating its curriculum.

Until now, the district has taught abstinence-based comprehensive sex education with students also learning about contraception at the high school level.

The changes include more information about puberty given to students at a younger age and information on condoms starting in the eighth grade.

As Action 2 News reported earlier this week, school officials say 1 in 4 high school students say they're having sexual intercourse. The hope is the conversation will reduce teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

"I would say a pregnancy is not a problem in our district, but some of the people on our committee are nurses in the county and they reported to us what they called an epidemic in some STIs in the county," Susan Hull, director of curriculum and assessment for the school district, said.

However, some people disagree and say this is information that should be left to parents to discuss.

"They don't stand for abstinence, and they have... this is part of a nationwide attempt to destroy the family. And there's a saying that you can go have your kids, but if we teach them sex education we've got their hearts," Jim Dickson of Neenah said.

Parents who object can opt their children out of the lessons.



 
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