The Davis School Board gave final approval Tuesday night to an amended form that parents must sign before their children can learn about condoms in district schools.
The proposed form had drawn criticism from board members three weeks ago when it was first introduced because they felt it didn't adequately describe just what students would learn. The revised form says that parents must give their permission for students to learn about condoms in a segment of the AIDS-related "Healthy Lifestyles" curriculum that deals with the myth of "safe sex.""I have had a lot of parents call me. I tried to explain to them it is really such a small part of the curriculum. Is it about half of what they learn in one class period. Parents should know what we are really talking about are the myths about the spread of AIDS. That is really all we are teaching," Board Member Henry Heath said.
Students in grades seven through 12 will be given the instruction, many before the end of the year.
The parental release form says, "One portion of the curriculum deals with with the use of contraceptives (condoms) as a means of preventing AIDS. The point is emphasized that the term `safe sex' is a myth and that the use of condoms is no guarantee of safety.'
If the parents do not give permission, students will be given an alternate assignment away from the condom discussion.
"The health education curriculum stresses moral lifestyles, the importance of marriage and family, and abstention from sexual activities outside of marriage," the form says.
The school board also amended written procedures that must be followed in implementing the AIDS curriculum. It now says AIDS curriculum training for teachers will include how to handle students' questions with discretion and sensitivity. Board members wanted the language added because they felt that special attention needed to be given to students who could not attend the condom instruction.
The board also made it clearer that principals were responsible for telling parents of their right to review the state-mandated AIDS curriculum.