TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Changes are on the horizon for the way the Vigo County School Corporation handles sex education. This comes after the county school board approved a recommendation expanding options for students and parents.
For months now, Vigo County Schools’ sex education curriculum for 6th-9th graders has been a major topic of discussion.
“You could see that this topic was much divided. Where it was divided was over the use of that creating positive relationship curriculum,” said Dr. Rob Haworth, Vigo County Schools superintendent.
During meetings throughout the year, some parents and community members argued that the Creating Positive Relationships program or CPR was not comprehensive enough, while others spoke in favor of maintaining it.
Haworth recommended a new format to sex education to the county school board Tuesday.
The main option in this recommendation is that Vigo County teachers will use textbooks and supplementary materials to educate students, but there are also two other choices for families.
“One opt-out is CPR, if they make the needed changes that we ask for, being taught by our teachers. Then there’s an opt-out where the teacher would simply work with a parent to find out what health standards they would like their son or daughter to be taught,” Haworth said.
For the CPR option to move forward, Haworth says a committee made up of school education and health leaders must approve the curriculum.
“One thing that we will be looking for is medically correct information, we will be looking at the activities they bring to us,” Haworth said.
In a 4-2 vote, Haworth’s recommendation was approved with board members Joni Wise and Rosemarie Scott voting in opposition.
“CPR is missing the mark, we have years of this and and the outpouring from the community that I have heard from is to move on,” Scott said.
Haworth says moving forward, he believes the school board will benefit in the long term for having discussions like they did on Tuesday.
“Our board will only be stronger as a result of answering some of these tough questions because there’s going to be tougher ones that are coming down the road,” Haworth said.
He says these changes are expected to take effect next fall.