Early yesterday morning, Alpena Public Schools Board of Education met to discuss a few different proposals that would aim to better the comprehensive learning experience of students. One of the proposals requested a change to the health curriculum from abstinence–only education to abstinence-based education: something the board has been working on since this summer.
Typically students in grades 6–8 receive this education during P.E. classes from a representative of Catholic Human Services. However, in light of an alarming increase in STD rates in the past year, the board feels it is in the students’ best interest to provide a quarter–long health class designed to inform students of options other than abstinence.
An abstinence-based education would still teach abstinence as the best method for avoiding STD’s and unintended pregnancy, but would also give students age–appropriate information about contraception as well.
Two advisory meetings were held this year with attendees ranging from parents to clergy to health professionals. It was unanimously decided at both meetings to move to the abstinence-based curriculum.