Parents, trustees discuss CCSD sex ed curriculum issue for hours

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The new school year is only about a month in, but that’s not slowing the conversation about sex education.

The discussion over the Clark County School District’s sex ed curriculum picked back up Tuesday night, and it was just as heated as ever.

“Sex ed saves lives,” demonstrators chanted as they tried to make its point with a lesson outside of the Las Vegas Academy Tuesday night.

“We’re modeling what CCSD didn’t give us,” said Caitlyn Caruso, a UNLV student.

The demonstrators are pushing for more sex ed for all students in the Clark County school district.

“Sadly, at UNLV, I’m picking up the pieces,” said Dr. Amanda Morgan, UNLV professor.  “I’ve got  22-year-old students that don’t know how to use a condom properly.”

According to a guide developed in 1981, the curriculum for CCSD students is abstinence based.  The guide that teaches students in 5th  grade, 8th grade, and high school hasn’t been revised since 2010.

However, in a meeting Tuesday night, parents expressed their opinions on what should be taught in CCSD schools. 

“If people would start going back to church, the churches teach abstinence, and I think that’s the best solution,” said Jimmy McNamee, grandparent.

Many parents fought to keep the opt-in policy.  They have to give the district permission for their kids to learn about sex in the classroom.

“Nobody is a better advocate for my kid than me,” one parent said.

School board trustees have decided to keep the opt-in policy for now.

“What I’m hoping for is that we can just have a conversation about what are the options that we can look at and include in that so that there’s no change at all,” said Carolyn Edwards, Trustee with the Clark County School Board.

The meeting that started at 6 p.m. ran until the early morning hours as people in the room heard testimony after testimony, but in the end, board leaders moved forward with a couple of changes.

Fifth graders will now learn about cyberbullying and the dangers of sexting.  Students from eighth grade on will learn about contraception, statutory rape and the age of consent.

More public input meetings are expected to be scheduled.

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