N.M. parents urge school district to halt abstinence courses
May 14 2004 12:00 AM ET
Parents from the Albuquerque Public School District on Thursday urged an advisory committee to halt sex education provided by a religious-based organization, Best Choice, until the group's practices are reviewed. For the past three years Best Choice has presented abstinence-only workshops at no cost in 25 public middle and high schools. The workshops show graphic images of male and female genitalia damaged by sexually transmitted diseases and include details about abortion procedures and a picture of a fetus. The group, which has the support of APS administrators, removed a speaker in response to district officials' concerns over the content of her lectures, said Lynn Pedraza, the district's health services director. Parents are asking the district to determine whether the group meets curriculum requirements. "It is quite important to provide kids with real education about what the alternatives are," parent Jim Starzynski said during a meeting of the district's Del Rio Citizens Advisory Committee. Pedraza said a committee of community representatives recently met with APS officials on how to balance the health curriculum. (AP)
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