Changes to sex education curriculum proposed

The Oxford school district’s sexuality and reproduction curriculum may be changed for the first time since 2008.

A committee consisting of local clergy, nurses, teachers, parents and students has been heading the research and revisions for the last year and a half.

“Our belief is we need to have parent-teacher relationships. We’re not looking to come in and challenge values, change cultural values, or change beliefs. We’re here to give information (to our students),” OHS Physical Education Teacher and committee member Dave Brown told the board at an April 25 meeting.

Sex education is currently taught at three points during a student’s time in Oxford Community Schools— in fifth grade, seventh grade and in high school.

At the fifth-grade level, aging class materials and videos will be updated to reflect current statistics and facts during lessons on puberty, according to Brown. There are no proposed content changes for this level.

In seventh grade, proposed changes include the addition of sections on gender identity, sexual orientation and gender stereotypes/equality.

At the high school level, new sections have been proposed which would include LGBTQ-plus definitions, along with a lesson on genderbread, an infographic that breaks down gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation.

“It will be a very small portion (of the lesson),” said Lakeville Principal Kristy Gibson-Marshall, who is part of the committee. “I think kids are sometimes made fun of because we don’t understand what it is (LGBTQ students) are saying they are. We’re taking away that mystery so that maybe kids will be less likely to bully (LGBTQ students).”

A video on consent will also be incorporated into the high school curriculum.

“We want students to understand, really, ‘no is no’ and how people can and can’t consent,” Brown said.

Updated statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations will also be incorporated into the sex ed curriculum at every level.

According to Gibson-Marshall, the committee received feedback from over 500 families throughout the district through a survey issued in February 2016.

Of those respondents, 87 percent agreed with the addition of LGBTQ-plus topics into Oxford’s sex ed curriculum.

Three public hearings were held throughout April to allow further feedback from members of the community.

Gibson-Marshall said the committee also used data provided by Oxford High School juniors through the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MIPHY) surveys, which were issued last year.

The surveys are an online student health survey offered by the Michigan Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to support local and regional needs assessment.

In a later interview, Gibson-Marshall stressed that district parents are encouraged to make all major decisions when it comes to the education of their children.

“I think it’s important to note that we allow parents to opt their student out (of) any lesson or any unit… We think our parents are the primary sex educators for their children. They should be. We want them to be. If they choose to opt out of any lesson or any content, they have that right. We don’t penalize the student in any way for the opt-out,” added Gibson-Marshall.

According to Gibson-Marshall, the proposed changes will be submitted to the board of education for final approval by the end of the current school year.

If approved, the changes to the curriculum would be implemented in the 2017-18 school year.

 

3 Responses to "Changes to sex education curriculum proposed"

  1. Marion Culver   May 9, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I have sent two emails, and left 3 messages for Ms. Gibson Marshall. Still have not received a response. I understand that she may be a busy woman. There seems to be holes in this Proposed Change….The exact information as to what the changes are, written word, do not seem to be available or posted for ALL Oxford Parents to review. What exactly were the “questions” taken in the Michigan Survey and answered by students. Do parents have a say in what the 15 year old’s are learning? That in itself is concerning. Wondering who initiated the changes and what the purpose is, and if anything other than the basics need to be taught outside of our own homes is really just a minority of individuals’ “Social Agenda” meant to “plant seeds and confuse our children”? Is this parent/administration, or state driven and suggested for all MI public schools? Not being Anti-Anything – but curious as to what the actual “goal and purpose is”. Wondering how many total families are in the Oxford District – and if they were all part of the “survey”, and how were those families selected? Also – is there an issue with bullying targeted at a SPECIFIC group of students in the Oxford district, or just the LGBT? I guess these are issues the Board will hopefully review…….

    If we all begin to Propose our own belief system into the Public Education, then you ARE taking away the rights of others who do not agree or see things the same way. And to say that it is an “option” is a cop out – because it is still discussed among our children, when some families prefer that it is not. So, I guess we should respect every-one’s rights … or a vote of the ENTIRE district should take place and respect THAT outcome:)

    Reply
  2. Marion Culver   May 9, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Just to clarify – students will indeed discuss, but this does not need to be initiated in our schools. That IS up to the parent. Public Schools are not meant to impose belief systems/social agenda’s on our students. And again, the “option” is a slippery way in the back door.

    Reply
  3. Concerned parent   May 10, 2017 at 8:53 am

    An update: I did, indeed receive a response yesterday evening (after posting concerns on this site) from Ms.Gibson-Marshall. She was extremely cooperative and helpful in directing me to the proposed information which is on Haiku (link was not listed on Peachjar school flyer) If you were not in attendance at one of the “guidelined meetings” , you would miss this. Also, It was stressed to me that the Michigan Guidelines have been met and there was 72 hours to submit opinion/concerns.

    Not every family has attended forums, but I highly recommend that you review the proposed Sexual Orientation (Blue or Pink or are they?) suggested for seventh grade students. And the LGBTQ curriculum proposed for the 9th/10th graders. It is extremely charged and suggestive, favoring a one-sided belief system and Social Agenda. This is not about being, wrong, right, or non-politically correct. This is about imposing ones own opinion into the classroom where it does not belong. Please email Ms. Gibson-Marshall so that she can send you the link to review the information that should have been provided to all Oxford school families. (not a selective”survey of 500′”. This way you can make up your own mind on whether the subject matter belongs in the Public Schools – because if so- keep in mind that there are many others that may not be in agreement and should be included as well. This is not state proposed, nor voted on by an entire community – and most of the material is about feelings/opinion (not facts or biology) with a created Genderbread man depicting all sex links (men, woman, and otherwise) that was created by a self proclaimed “metro sexual” comedian. His name his Sam Killerman. This touches on subjects that are the right of every family to discuss/teach in their OWN homes (like any personal faith/values and belief would be) . It is not the Public Schools right, (it is, in fact blatantly infringing on others) or responsibility. I recommend watching Sam’s u-tube-since it is in direct line with what is suggested being taught to seventh graders. This curriculum specifically tells the instructor to mention religion, and Catholic Priests, while not using “his” “he”, “she”, “her” in the classroom – the “instructor should use “non-gender nouns/pronouns”. Was not successful in pulling up the LGBTQ suggested curriculum-but I’m certain that it is equally as slanted, suggestive, and confusing. One groups’ point of view does not belong in the PUBLIC classroom. If so, then we need to incorporate other families “Pastors”, morals/values, and opinion-based material in the classroom as well:) Ms. Gibson-Marshall can send the appropriate links to you. Her email is kristy.gibson-marshall@oxfordschools.org. She is the principal at Lakeville.

    Listed below is what I received:

    Thank you for contacting me. I hope this information helps. This site has a time limit. You will have 72 hours to preview.

    Here is a link to the preview page: https://oxfordschools.haikulearning.com/gibsok01/growthdevelopmentsexuality/prva/cms_page/view/28978914?first=1

    Here is the link to the feedback form: https://goo.gl/forms/uhiD78QK4uWs9mlC3

    Kristy Gibson-Marshall

    Principal

    Lakeville Elementary

    Reply

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