Friday, March 09, 2001

Sex ed on agency agenda


Curriculum for schools under revision

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        EDGEWOOD — A call to remove birth control pills and other contraceptives from the region's health clinics will not be discussed at a March 28 public hearing.

        But Northern Kentucky Independent Health District officials still expect a large crowd at the hearing. They will present proposed changes to the sex education programs and classes the district offers to area schools.

IF YOU GO
    Members of the public will be given an hour to speak at the meeting, to begin at 7 p.m. March 28 at the Four Seasons Country Club on Thomas More Parkway in Crestview Hills.
    Speakers will have three minutes each to address the district's board. Those wishing to speak can sign up by:
    • Calling the health district at 341-4264.
    • Logging on the the district's Web site, www.nkyhealth.org, and then sending an e-mail.
    • Visiting the district's offices at 610 Medical Village Drive in Edgewood — near St. Elizabeth Medical Center — and registering to speak.
    Written comments will also be accepted the night of the meeting.
        The board wants input on the curriculum drafted by its Human Sexuality Education Committee. Then it will decide whether it will be used in school and other education programs, said health district spokeswoman Peggy Patterson.

        The proposed changes stress abstinence as the best way for teens to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The curriculum also includes information about birth control.

        Drafters of the curriculum believed the existing sex education programs encouraged teens to be sexually active.

        The board is not expected to vote on the changes at the March meeting, Ms. Patterson said. That vote probably won't take place until June, she said.

        An agenda item requested by board member Robert Hay, a Boone County commissioner, was taken off the agenda at his request, Ms. Patterson said.

        At past meetings, Mr. Hay has attempted to persuade fellow board members to remove contraceptives from clinics operated by the health department in Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties.

        Mr. Hay has said he believes all birth control pills are abortifacients, or agents that cause abortion.

        District health officials say science does not support Mr. Hay's beliefs.
       



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