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Parents should be part of the process

Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2007

For the last couple of years a group has been developing a new health curriculum for our schools. I have attended and given my input at a public meeting, along with many other parents. Our input was considered in an early draft for the curriculum, but the group threw out our concerns and suggestions.

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The new curriculum can be viewed at www.jsd.k12.ak.us by clicking on "Skills for a Healthy Life Curriculum update" and then selecting "View pdf document."

The Skills for a Healthy Life Curriculum Committee deleted a section requiring family notification before discussing sensitive and moral issues such as sex education, sexual abuse and family configuration (alternative lifestyles), as well as notification before Outside agencies make presentations to our children.

I feel that removing this section is not acceptable. I would like to be able to review what is being presented and determine its appropriateness for my children.

For example, Page 14 of the curriculum shows that an Outside group would teach second-graders to "list rules for safe riding with impaired drivers." My wife and I don't drink and teach our children that it is never safe to ride with impaired drivers. We would likely have our children sit out of that presentation and use the time to work on math or English skills.

On Page 9, first-graders are to be taught about "all types of families" (alternative lifestyles). Once again, we would review the material and determine if our child should be included in the presentation. Notification of parents would prepare us for questions our children will undoubtedly come home with.

I urge parents to review the curriculum and let your views and concerns be known before final adoption by the Board of Education. Parental notification needs to be included. Keep the parents involved in our children's education.

Aldon Zellhuber

Juneau



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