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The Sanpete Messenger

NSSD eyes community council for human sexuality committee

NSSD eyes community council for human sexuality committee

 

Daniela Vasquez

Staff writer

11-24-2016

 

  1. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete High School (NSHS) Community Council might end up as the district’s Human Sexuality Committee, a committee required by state law to approve human sexuality curriculum in district schools.

The school board met on Tuesday, Nov. 15 to discuss who will sit on the state-mandated committee.

“Since we have so few schools, we will simply add a few members to the high school community council, as this committee has approved our curriculum in the past,” Superintendent Sam Ray said.

The committees are in place to make sure parents and the community are comfortable with how teachers present human sexuality in classes.

This means a committee must approve the maturation program in elementary schools, the biology and health classes in secondary schools, and even the child development classes in the high school.

The committee is required to meet once a year, but only if there is going to be a change in the curriculum. Ray says there might be years when there is nothing to approve so the committee would not have to meet that year.

The NSHS Community Council preapproved the current high school curriculum. The middle school has not made any changes to its curriculum in a couple of years, and the school board itself approved the curriculum long ago, Ray said.

Ray said a law professor at the University of Utah sent a request to the district to answer questions about the district human sexuality curriculum and to return a copy of the policy.

Since the district didn’t have a policy, leaders reviewed a Utah School Board Association sample policy and turned to their attorney for direction. The attorney advised the school board to revise the current policy and to have a nurse, a health teacher and additional parents join parents already serving on the community council.

“That seemed to be a much more in line with what we have been doing, and it will be much less of an administrative burden to faculty than to create a whole new committee,” Ray said.

The board went through the first reading of the revised policy with all of the attorney’s recommendations at the board meeting and plan to discuss the topic further at the next meeting.