Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) invited community members from the district to overhear a discussion on the thoughts of Planned Parenthood introducing a new-based curricula to sex education in each of the seven high schools.
The curricula is formulated around three different programs: “The Family Life and Sexual Health,” published by Public Health of Seattle/King County; “Our Whole Lives (OWL),” published by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations; and “It’s All One,” published by the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Each of the three curricula was presented to members of the TUHSD’s Sex Education Committee in a 90-minute presentation Tuesday by Viki Hadd-Wissler, director of education at Planned Parenthood of Arizona, showing how they align with the National Sexuality Education Standards.
The goal for the National Sexuality Education Standards is to provide clear and consistence, straight forward guidance on the essential minimum of core standard content for sexuality education that is developed mentally and age appropriate, Hadd-Wissler said.
Hadd-Wissler’s presentation highlighted that the three curricula will be: relatively inexpensive or free, provide flexibility in lesson planning, could be implemented in more than one grade level, offer opportunities for cross disciplinary collaboration, and need to be supplemented with information regarding local resources and state laws.
The three curricula rubrics categorizes seven different topics that focus on anatomy and physiology, puberty and adolescence, identity, reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases, healthy relationships and personal safety.
Although Hadd-Wissler tried to make her point ring throughout her discussion, the majority of the audience members took a stance of opposition towards Planned Parenthood’s curricula being integrated across the district.
The concerns of community members were that many did not want the district to be affiliated with a nonprofit organization that condones with providing contraception to youths and known for providing abortions to their patients.
Some community members took measures to protest their thoughts of the matter, which were to hold signs outside of the district’s office opposing Planned Parenthood’s agenda.
Ralph Sheldon, a protestor who had a son graduate from Mountain Pointe High School, said he feels uncomfortable having an organization whose primary function is providing abortions.
“We found out that Planned Parenthood was going to be doing a presentation to the board to potentially provide sex education classes for the high school students, and that’s just not something we think is appropriate,” he said. “That’s the kind of organization with that type of philosophy that we don’t want teaching our kids about sex.”
Natalie Decker, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, also took a stance of opposition about the matter, saying children deserve a positive education that is not dictated by Planned Parenthood’s abortion driven agenda.
“This is a very serious decision this committee needs to make, and I’m optimistic based on what I’ve heard that they are willing to carefully review and make a decision that is in compliance with Arizona State law,” Decker said. “I think it would be a big mistake for the district to allow Planned Parenthood to teach sex education, train their teachers, and also facilitate the decision-making process.”
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