Monday, March 17, 2008

Parents Petition for Broader Sex Ed

An online petition is calling for comprehensive sex education in the Pittsburgh Public School district. The petition, started by parents and supported by several women's health groups, has close to 300 signatures so far. The petition says that "teens aren't receiving the information they need to make healthy and responsible life decisions." The school district's sex ed curriculum is abstinence-only.

Ilene Schwartz says what's taught actually varies from school to school. Schwartz is the Vice President of Development and Communications at Adagio Health, which works with parents and some school districts on comprehensive sex education. She says she would like to see state legislation requiring all school districts to take a more comprehensive approach.

Schwartz, who has a 14-year-old son, says parents should talk with their kids about sex. But she says many parents want schools to supplement what they're teaching at home. Schwartz says parents can always opt out if they're not comfortable with what schools are teaching.

The Pittsburgh School Board last year said a task force would study the issue. No one has been named to the task force yet.

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