Whatever Happened To...?

Will the Lufkin Independent School District change the way sex education is presented to students?  Earlier this year, we told you about Lufkin ISD's decision to re-examine the way sex education is presented to students. Currently, the district teaches abstinence only, but in an online poll on KTRE.com this year, roughly 60 percent of you said that Lufkin's program should be abstinence plus education about safe sex.  So, "Whatever happened to the school's decision on what should be done?"

Planned Parenthood in Lufkin saw more than 700 patients under age 19 between September of 2006, and August of 2007.

"One in four teen girls between the ages of 14 and 19 has at least one sexually transmitted disease. Here in Angelina County, our teen birthrate is higher than the Texas average," said April Snelling, Lufkin Planned Parenthood Education Coordinator.

Statistics like that are part of the reason that the Lufkin ISD administration is taking a closer look at the way that kids learn about sex.  In February of this year, a curriculum called Big Decisions was introduced to the school and community by the school health advisory council.  While abstinence is encouraged in the curriculum, it also teaches students about condoms and other types of birth control.

But according to LISD assistant superintendent Lynn Torres, the district is looking for a curriculum that can be introduced to students in sixth grade.

She said, "The Big Decisions curriculum did not really have a component that would be viable for middle school.  It only deals with the high school level.  We are looking for a unified approach that will grow with all of the grade levels."

Torres also said that could mean finding a similar curriculum for use in the middle school, and using "Big Decisions" for high school.  It could also lead to the district picking and choosing lessons from different types of curriculum, and using them to write a unique plan for Lufkin.

But whatever the district decides, Torres stressed that the committee in charge is consulting with members of the community.  After a recommendation is made to superintendent Roy Knight, public meetings will be held before any new curriculum is introduced.

If you have questions about the school district's decision, or to suggest a curriculum, contact assistant superintendent Lynn Torres.  If you'd like to take a look at the curriculum used in the Big Decisions program, click here www.bigdecisions.org.