DORAL, FL – Sex education became, once again, the main topic of conversation within the most recent Miami-Dade School Board meeting held Thursday.
Specifically, the board discussed whether or not to keep its decision taken last week to remove two sex education textbooks aimed for middle and high school students. Back then, on July 20, board members voted 5 to 4 to not allow the books.
But yesterday that changed. Now the books, that talk about abortion, emergency contraception, natural methods like withdrawal, gender identity and sexual orientation, will be present in classrooms after a 5-4 vote in favor of allowing the books.
However, the board instructed the district’s superintendent to make sure that parents who disagree with the decision know they can opt their children out of learning through such textbooks.
The controversial decision has its adepts and detractors. On one hand, people who are in favor of keeping the books within classrooms say its in the kids best interest.
“I think people have gotten to a level where they think and they feel comfort that our school board is going to make the right decision for our children, and this last week the decision that they made contradicted that,” former PTA president Gina Vinueza said.
She also said these books are “state mandated” and “part of the curriculum” not to mention its importance health-wise. “Miami has such a high rate of STIs and all kinds of things, so students need this information. We need to give them the tools that they need to make life choices.”
Her point of view matches with that of “Parents for Children”, a group of parents in Miami-Dade that presented more than 2,500 signatures toward saving sex education in Miami-Dade public schools, and that of a vast majority of speakers that showed up Thursday to condemn the vote to remove the textbooks.
But some parents and activists continue to be against keeping the textbooks arguing they are concerned about those titled, “Comprehensive Health Skills.”
“It goes into details about medical procedures such as abortion,” said Alex Serrano, the county director for County Citizens Defending Freedom, the conservative organization that has mentioned several examples in the textbooks they believe are inappropriate for middle school-aged children.
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