Health & Sex Education Hot Topic of Discussion

The sometimes controversial subject of health and sex education was the hot button issue Tuesday evening.

Parents and school officials met to discuss what curriculum will be taught in health and biology classes.

It's all a part of a program called Hot Topics and Tuesday was the preview day for four area elementary schools.

Parent from Crockett, Haynes, Lamar and Houston, met at the education center on broad street.  This was the first in a series of previews for parents.

Since 1992 Wichita Falls ISD has stuck to the same curriculum when it comes to sex education and the district has no plans of changing that.

"We want to convey a consistent message to all of our students here in Wichita Falls," said Kathy Baldwin, Hot Topics Coordinator.

The district stresses abstinence only education and parents we spoke with hope it stays that way.

"I think just ignoring abstinence as just something that's not going to happen is not going to happen," said mother of three, Cindy Thomas.

"I'm a Christian, so I think you should save yourself until you're married," said mother of two, Aleta Martinez.

Tuesday marked the first preview date for the discussion of the Hot Topics health education program.  Coordinator Kathy Baldwin says the program is more than health education.

"The main push is just really about the whole child it's about making good choices, self respect, and also feeling good about themselves," said Baldwin.

For fourth graders the topic is mostly targeted on growth and development and how they're body will be changing in the coming years.

"Fifth grade is for sexual contact in reference to the AIDS virus.  In sixth grade we go a step further into the gestation of the birth of the baby as well as the birth process," said Baldwin.

Ultimately the decision falls into the hands of the parents on whether their kids learn the information, as parents have the option to have their kids opt out.

Baldwin says 98 percent of children participate in the program and estimates less than 100 kids do not.

The Hot Topics program is taught during the childs physical education course, one day a week for five weeks.