Baldwin Sixth- and seventh-graders in the Baldwin school district will learn about more than just the birds and the bees next year in their health classes.
In a 7-0 vote, the school board adopted a new health curriculum that includes such topics as contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and homosexuality.
A curriculum plan that was two years in the making, the new health program addresses a wide range of health-related issues, said Supt. John Nuspl.
He anticipates the class will be taught by both a male and a female instructor. Some class discussions would then be broken up by gender for more in-depth discussions.
He noted the only opposition of the curriculum by parents was to subjects that dealt with sex.
The main concern by parents was that the class might take the responsibility of discussion of sex out of the home, Nuspl said.
To ease this fear, the board agreed to offer the class in an opt-in/opt-out basis that will allow parents to decide if they want their child to take the course. A weekly lesson plan also would be sent home to allow the parents to "opt-out" their child if they find the weekly class topic objectionable.
Additional material cannot be added to the course unless it first is approved by a committee comprised of 17 parents and faculty members.
It seemed to be the best solution, Nuspl said.
"We feel that with the opt-in/opt-out program, we're giving parents the final say," he said.