Maine officials reject abstinence program

BY admin

August 26 2005 12:00 AM ET

The Maine
Department of Education has informed all district school
superintendents in the state that the curriculum offered by
the abstinence education group Heritage of Maine does
not meet the state’s minimum comprehensive sex
education requirements and cannot be the only sex
education program taught in Maine schools, the Portland
Press Herald
reports. In a two-page letter to
school superintendents, Greg Scott, the education
department’s legislative coordinator, says Heritage
of Maine’s abstinence-only focus—and any sex
education program that discusses only
abstinence—fails to meet state health education
guidelines. Maine law requires that sex education programs
offer instruction on abstinence, birth control, and on
using condoms to prevent HIV and other sexually
transmitted diseases. Scott says the letter is not a
judgment of Heritage of Maine or its programs, but simply a
clarification of Maine state law. Heritage officials said
they were disappointed with the Department of
Education’s decision, and say their programs
are needed to stem a growing epidemic of STDs among Maine
youths.

Tags: Health

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