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Key Issues Forum

These are topics of importance to our community and parents which were brought to the Board for discussion. 

Current Key Issues

2019-2020 - Sexuality Education

Bulloch County has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the state and incidents of sexual abuse, sexual assault and unhealthy relationships, especially online among teens are of grave concern. As a result, Bulloch County Schools sought to introduce new curriculum to sixth through ninth-grade Health classes which features a 10-day unit on sexuality education. Parents will have an opportunity to review the curriculum prior to instruction, and they have the right to opt their child out of sexuality instruction.

These are key points to know about Bulloch County Schools' sexuality education program:

  • An initial district committee formed in 2016, collaborated with the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University to choose course topics and curriculum, which are based on national and state health education standards. 
  • An additional Board-of-Education-Appointed community committee met to review and develop the proposed curriculum from October 2019-December 2020. A list of these committee members is listed below, along with their proposed list of topics, and a presentation to the Board of Education about their review process.
  • State law and Bulloch County Board of Education policy now require implementation of a sexuality education program.
  • The sexuality education program is for grades 6-9 and focuses on sexuality definitions, sexual violence prevention, and preventative health measures. It does not teach sexuality choices and values, that is the responsibility of the individual student and family.
  • Curriculum can be reviewed by parents and parents have the option to opt their child out of the 10-day unit.
  • Definitions related to gender identity and sexual orientation will not be taught at this time. If the district committee recommends these lessons in the future, the curriculum will go back to the Board of Education for approval.
  • Abstinence is the basis of all lessons; however, facts about contraception are provided to students in grades eight and nine.
  • The curriculum does not influence values or choices related to sexuality. Those are the responsibility of the individual students and their families.. If students have questions about topics which are not covered in the curriculum, teachers will refer students to a trusted adult (parent, counselor, school nurse) to have a one-on-one conversation.
  • The topics, while sensitive, are meant to give students age-appropriate terms and factual information to help them understand what they are already seeing and experiencing in the world around them.  
  • National research and input from local sexual assault and support agencies have confirmed that gender identity and sexual orientation are a major underlying factor in sexual assault, bullying, and suicide cases among teens. For this reason, the school system believes this topic should not be absent from the curriculum; however, at this time they have been removed from the proposed curriculum.
  • If a student is enrolled in a sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth-grade Health class, the parent will receive a letter and a telephone call out at least two weeks prior to the sexuality education unit being taught. This will provide parents an opportunity to review the curriculum at the school or choose to opt their child out of the instruction.  Each middle and high school principal may also choose to communicate to parents in additional ways as well.
  •  If you have specific input or questions, email Teresa Phillips or Debbie Sarratt
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