Local News

Wake Students, Teachers Sound Off On Sex Education Policy

Posted February 16, 2004

— When the Wake County School Board voted 5 to 3 in January to expand its abstinence until marriage policy to include every grade level, it meant the final advice students would hear about sex would be abstinence.

Friday evening, students gathered to give the school board some advice of their own.

"The whole idea that abstinence only or contraceptives only or homosexuality only or heterosexuality only is not enough. We need to hear the other side," student Jay Gwalteny said.

"While adults are arguing students are getting pregnant," meeting organizer Rachel Craft said. "I think students voices should be heard, because we are the ones affected by this."

The policy also affects teachers.

"I don't think it's fair that the school board corporation tells me that I can't relate to a student on a level they are comfortable with," teacher Jodi Acker said.

School Board member Beverly Clark was in the audience taking notes.

"Two words really stuck out to me tonight ,and that was respect and reality. I will take those ideas back to my colleagues," Clark said.

The school board is scheduled to revisit the sex education policy in July. In the meantime, organizers of Friday's meeting said they are considering circulating a petition against the abstinence policy.

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