Modesto Board of Education Votes to Ban Discussion of Teen Pregnancy, Abortion in Human Relations Class
The Modesto City Schools Board of Education on Tuesday voted 4-3 to prohibit discussion of teen pregnancy, contraception and abortion in a human relations class, "saying such talk belongs in a health class where abstinence is the key message," the Los Angeles Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 5/30). Sharon Froba, who teaches a human relations class at Modesto High School, had planned to invite representatives from Planned Parenthood, Teen Life Challenge and the Modesto Junior College Students for Life club to discuss reproductive health issues with her students. Several parents and students had asked Modesto City Schools to expand the outline of the class to allow the discussion. Board member Kate Nyegaard said that a human relations class would provide the "perfect" forum for a discussion on teen pregnancy, a "contentious" issue that "people need to think about." However, several board members said that the "touchy issues" of pregnancy and abortion "should not fodder for debate in a class that is supposed to focus on diversity and conflict resolution." Kristina McKibben, a 17-year-old student selected to represent Froba's class, told board members that "students need to debate the matter openly so they can make appropriate decisions" about their reproductive health. According to the Modesto Bee, 187 infants were born to teens at Modesto High School last year. "Obviously it's a big issue in our community," McKibben said (Herendeen, Modesto Bee, 5/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.