Jul 8, 2010 12:02 PM by Marnee Banks (KXLH-Helena)
A new health curriculum under consideration in Helena Public Schools is causing quite a controversy.
The document covers everything from nutrition to injury prevention, but the section titled "Human Sexuality" is drawing the most concern.
It lays out sex education topics for each grade, K through 12. In the first grade, children would be taught that human beings can love people of the same gender; in second grade, kids are taught not to make fun of people by calling them "gay" or "queer."
By fifth grade, they are taught there are several types of intercourse, and by the sixth grade, the draft document states that students should, "Understand that sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral, or anal penetration; using the penis, fingers, tongue or objects."
Helena resident Noah Genger noted, "There are some things that are more controversial in nature, that are more personal, and also for most people religious views, and I think the school went a little too far in drafting when they crossed those lines."
Another Helena resident, Carol Carpenter, said, "It is a health curriculum, it is not just a sex ed curriculum, and there are some wonderful points in it. The areas that some people have concerns with are areas that can be discussed in the home. I don't think that it should be thrown out or totally voided because of a few language issues."
The school board will hear public comment on the issue at their regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 13th; all area residents are welcome to attend.
What do you think - are the topics suitable for the grades indicated, or do you think they are inappropriate? Leave a comment below, or visit the KXLH Facebook page to let us know what you think.