“It is important that we provide students of all ages with accurate and appropriate information so they can make healthy choices in regards to their social interactions, behaviors, and relationships,” Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in the CPS announcement about the policy. “By implementing a new sexual health education policy, we will be helping them to build a foundation of knowledge that can guide them not just in the pre-adolescent and adolescent years, but throughout their lives.”
In its announcement, the CPS explained that in the earliest grades students “will focus on the family, feelings, and appropriate and inappropriate touching, while students in fourth grade will learn about puberty, including the physical, social, and emotional changes that accompany it, and the causes and transmission of HIV infection.”
After that, instruction gets more intimate, said the announcement, with content in grades five through twelve including “information appropriate for each grade level on human reproduction, transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), healthy decision-making, sexual orientation and bullying, and contraception, including abstinence.”
The announcement emphasized that “as is the case under the current CPS policy, parents and guardians are able to opt out of having their children participate in the sexual health education instruction.”
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