The Norman Transcript

Headlines

January 26, 2014

Sex education varies among Okla. school districts

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Comprehensive sex education includes medically accurate information on topics such as relationships, human development, abstinence, the benefits and side effects of all contraception, disease prevention and how to avoid unwanted sexual advances, according to the sexuality council. HIV/AIDS education includes a discussion of the spread and prevention of the disease.

Oklahoma law requires school districts to send notes to parents informing them of all sex education and HIV/AIDS-prevention classes. Parents can opt out if they don't want their children participating. In many districts, some required classes, such as health or biology, cover the basic biological facts of reproduction.

Here's what Oklahoma Watch found in its checks with school districts:

Largest Districts

Norman Public Schools does its sex education as an event outside of regular classes in middle school. Students in grades six through eight learn about body image, body parts, relationships, pregnancy, STIs and puberty all with a focus on abstinence, spokeswoman Shelly Hickman said.

* Oklahoma City Public Schools had a comprehensive sex education program about 20 years ago, but has since phased it out due to the need to spend more time focusing on college preparedness and standardized tests, said Susan Johnson-Staples, college career readiness and guidance services director.

Now high school students get some related information in biology and anatomy classes and in elective health and family classes, she said.

“I think over the last many years, there has been this tremendous emphasis to make sure our kids are academically prepared when they leave school,” Johnson-Staples said. “I don't think it is that there isn't a need (for sex education). I don't even think it's a case of people perhaps don't recognize a need. The focus is just over here (on academic subjects).”

* Tulsa Public Schools partnered with several local organizations to start teaching comprehensive sex education and pregnancy-prevention in the fall - something never done before in the district. The classes started in two middle schools and two high schools, said Jim Walker, Tulsa Youth Services executive director, who is helping with the initiative. Because the curriculum was successful in the fall, Tulsa Public Schools will introduce it in all high schools this spring, Walker said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Briarwood Elementary Briarwood, Plaza Towers buildings set to open for school year

    MOORE — Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary students and teachers will no longer be visitors in the hallways and classrooms of their temporary schools this 2014-2015 school year. Displaced and forced to relocate after the May 2013 ...

    August 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • Cooler summer comes after dry spring statewide

    August made a gentle entry this year — no triple-digit temperatures or out-of-control wildfires. Instead, a bright sun slowly cleared the clouds and warmed the day back to summer weather after a few days of what had felt like an early ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Former teacher adores ‘Red Rudy’ Impala

    For some, transportation needs to be more than just a boxy vehicle that takes you from place to place. Former Norman High School Spanish language teacher Kelly Adams is one of those. In addition to her daily driver, a big SUV, she also ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Inmate health costs rising, forcing prisons to scramble for solutions

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Taxpayers forked over nearly $1 million last year to buy inhalers to treat asthma and emphysema among inmates in state prisons. In the meantime, the state also paid for 530,647 inmate prescriptions....

    August 2, 2014

  • Town changed, even with girls’ killer behind bars

    WELEETKA — Folks once settled in this sleepy central Oklahoma town to get away from the crime and hubbub of big-city life. Many residents didn’t bolt their doors or draw their shades at night. Most here never worried about people like ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Teachers from Spain begin arriving in Oklahoma

    TULSA — Teachers recruited from Spain by a Tulsa school district have started to arrive in Oklahoma for the new academic year. The Tulsa World reports (http://bit.ly/1rS1Q2a ) four of the 11 expected educators arrived Thursday in ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Driver killed after container falls on truck named

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Police have identified the person killed after a shipping container was knocked from an Oklahoma National Guard vehicle and landed on a pickup truck....

    August 2, 2014

  • Fire chief in central Oklahoma city resigns

    EDMOND — A fire chief in a central Oklahoma city has submitted his resignation....

    August 2, 2014

  • Judge continues action in sexual assault case

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A judge has found probable cause to continue criminal proceedings against an Oklahoma man accused of sexually assaulting boys and girls in Kenya. Nineteen-year-old Matthew Lane Durham, of Edmond, is accused of sexually ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Trial postponed in Duncan baseball player death

    DUNCAN — The trial for a man charged in the fatal shooting of an Australian baseball player has been postponed until April....

    August 2, 2014