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Broward School Board Voting on Updated Sex Ed Curriculum

Broward School Board members are set to vote on whether the county should update its public school's sex education curriculum.

Proponents of an update say that Broward's students are lagging behind the rest of the nation when it comes to sex ed. As it stands now, the county's sex education curriculum has not been updated in a decade.

Broward has consistently been a county with a high number of HIV/AIDS cases in recent years -- especially among young people.

One School Board member, Robin Bartleman, says the current curriculum doesn't properly prepare teens to live where there is a large number of HIV/AIDS cases.

More than 17,000 county residents have been living with HIV since 2011, according to the Broward Regional Health Planning Council -- including 146 cases under the age of 24.

"This is a matter of life and death for some of our teens who are not getting this information," Bartleman told Local 10.

Some estimates say that 60 percent of HIV-positive young people don't even know they have the virus.

Moreover, according to a 2011 Centers for Disease Control survey, more than 47 percent of teens say they have had sex, with 15 percent saying they have had sex with multiple partners.

The School Board will be voting to have the Family Life and Human Sexuality curriculum taught in Broward's public schools. The curriculum was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "to establish, promote and support health-enhancing behaviors for students in all grade levels--from pre-Kindergarten through grade 12."

Planned Parenthood, as well as parents and some in the medical community, have been working on a new sex education policy for the past two years, hoping to get Broward students up to date on sexual health and sex education.

"The Family Life and Human Sexuality policy ensures all students are receiving the same level of education as their counterparts in other parts of the country; sexual health education that truly works to help stem the tide of high HIV and AIDS cases in our community," said Planned Parenthood via a statement.

If the curriculum passes, teachers will be trained over the summer on teaching teen students about sex health, as well as education on HPV vaccines, plus sex abuse, date violence, sexting, social media, and abstinence.

Anatomy and personal safety would be taught from grades K through four.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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