GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The Gwinnett County school board on Thursday night delayed a vote on a proposed new health and sex education curriculum.
The action was a unanimous decision to remove from the meeting agenda the item dealing with whether or not to buy new HealthSmart textbooks and other materials.
Thursday night’s school board action comes after the Georgia Department of Education Superintendent earlier this week sent Gwinnett County Public Schools leaders a letter asking to delay the vote to change the sex education curriculum.
State Superintendent Richard Woods sent the letter to Gwinnett County Superintendent Dr. Calvin Watts and Gwinnett County Board of Education asking that they pause and re-evaluate adopting a new sex education curriculum.
For the past 22 years, GCPS has used abstinence-center Choosing the Best for sex education.
“Gwinnett’s current curriculum presents itself to be better aligned with the emphasis on abstinence in accordance with state standards and law, as well as State Board of Education board rule,” Woods wrote in his letter this week prior to the school board meeting. “I understand that the Gwinnett County Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the proposed adoption at its board meeting on Thursday. I respectfully request that the board delay adoption to give the district time to ensure compliance in the proposed curriculum with state law, standards and board rule.”
Woods highlighted the following as concerns and reasons why the vote should be delayed:
1. Some of the proposed curriculum’s content is not included in Georgia education standards.
2. The curriculum would be taught within grades K-5; state law only requires age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention.
3. Curriculum specifically labeled “Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning,” which is not recognized or adopted by the Georgia Department of Education of State Board of Education.
A teacher review committee recently submitted recommendations for the district to move toward a more inclusive curriculum to align with state standards.
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