Washington state public schools back off Planned Parenthood sex ed after parents revolt

DCNFGrace Carr, DCNF

Washington state public schools won’t adopt Planned Parenthood’s sex education program after they had been set to implement the program.

A group opposing Planned Parenthood, which supports the Trump administration’s position on federal funding for the organization, gather behind a barricade in New York, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017. AP Photo/Julie Walker

“What we are proposing is that we continue that historical practice of looking at each topic individually,” Adam Swinyard, the Spokane’s head academic officer told the board according to The Spokesman-Review.

The Human Growth and Development Citizen Advisory Committee for Spokane, Wash., had been considering using the abortion giant’s “Get Real” program if it got an ok from the advisory committee, according to KXLY News, but after significant backlash from parents and community members, the board decided that Spokane public schools would not adopt the program.

“It’s disappointing but it’s not surprising,” said Rachel Todd, Planned Parenthood’s education director. “It almost felt like they didn’t trust what we were doing,” she said, adding that it felt like a slap in the face.

Planned Parenthood’s sex ed program curriculum teaches sixth through eighth graders, pairing school lessons with assignments that students take home. The program includes topics such as STI prevention, condom usage and sexual decision-making. As of 2014, “Get Real” was taught in 150 schools in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Texas according to Time Magazine.

Some community members expressed support for the program, however, others weren’t so sure. “Spokane, you know, we are a wonderful community that is very family oriented, we need to do it in a way that actually teaches to who this community is,” Joanna Hyatt told KXLY. As a sexual educator, Hyatt doesn’t oppose sex education, but doesn’t agree with the way “Get Well” teaches information to kids.

“This program does meet the state standards. What it doesn’t meet is the local standards,” Spokane pastor John Repsold also told the outlet.

The program was set to begin at nine middle schools in Cumberland County, N.C., but was halted after parents complained. “I just don’t think that’s appropriate for a 12-year-old, whether it be a boy or a girl, to be teaching them that,” parent Nick Quello told WRAL in October.

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