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Previously, districts were only mandated to provide HIV-prevention education in middle and high school, though middle school science teachers in Palo Alto Unified said they have long taught their own sexual-health curriculum.
Using a single curriculum -- Health Connected's -- "ensure(s) consistency of information to all students" and compliance with the updated law, the district said in a statement.
The nonprofit said it has addressed all "minor modifications" identified through the review, which is posted on the Health Connected's website.
Teen Talk uses interactive activities, group discussions and homework assignments in 12 sessions over the course of two to three weeks.
The first activity of the course asks students to walk to one side of the room, each labeled "agree" or "disagree" in response to statements like, "All young people should learn how to cook, clean, and do laundry, regardless of their gender" and "You should be in love with a person before you have sex with them." They discuss the statements as a class.
In Palo Alto middle schools, Teen Talk has been taught mostly in science classrooms.
Parents formed a group and started gathering information about the topic before launching the petition, which has since collected about 1,200 signatures.
The parents leading the effort have told the district that they will "resort to immediate legal action" if the district continues to offer Teen Talk in the middle schools.• Watch a discussion about the controversy The California Healthy Youth Act states that sex education must be "integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased" as well as age appropriate, medically accurate and inclusive of all genders, races and sexual orientations.The law aims to provide students "with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect their sexual and reproductive health from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and from unintended pregnancy" as well as to "develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships, marriage, and family." The California Department of Education has purposefully not endorsed any one curriculum, according to Health Connected, to allow local school districts to select one that best fits their community.Palo Alto Unified middle school students learned about human reproduction, abstinence and healthy relationships this spring in a new sex-education program that now has some of their parents threatening legal action if the school district doesn't take steps to address what they say is age-inappropriate, graphic and even harmful content.The Palo Alto school district asked Redwood City nonprofit Health Connected, which has for about six years trained the high schools' Living Skills teachers as well as district nurses in sexual health education, to teach its curriculum to seventh-graders this year.Karlin-Resnick said this is included because the law requires any curriculum to explain all methods by which people can contract sexually transmitted infections and to be inclusive of all sexual orientations.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating