Sexual Health Education OK’d by AAPS

Two sexual health programs have been given approval by Ann Arbor Public Schools trustees. One is designed for preschool through 2nd graders. The other is a 15-minute video about puberty designed for 5th through 8th graders. Approval came after a second of two required public hearings at the board’s Oct. 10, 2012 meeting.

No one spoke at either of the two required public hearings – the first held at the Sept. 19 board meeting and the second at the Oct. 10 meeting.

The program for younger children – preschool through 2nd grade – is called Body Safety Training. A sample lesson provided in the board packet highlights the concept of “Boss of Body” – e.g. “Who’s the boss of your body?” “Me!” The lesson focus on teaching children a “Body Safety Rule” which they apply to decide if certain touches of their private parts are okay.

The program for the slightly older children – 5th through 8th grade – was updated in 2011. According to the staff memo in the board’s information packet, that makes the video more recent than any puberty video that has been previously approved by the board. The district’s Sexual Health Education Advisory Committee (SHEAC) described the video in positive, but not entirely uncritical terms: “The video used relatable teens but the dialogue was a bit ‘cheesy’ and I think youth will pick up on that. … I appreciate how the video points out the positive side of puberty. … Information is clear. It’s presented well even if it is a little stilted at times. It’s much better than most I’ve seen.”

This brief was filed from the board room of the Ann Arbor District Library in downtown Ann Arbor at Fifth and William. A more detailed report of the meeting will follow: [link]