Parents Given Overview of Sex Education

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Parents had a chance to preview what their children are being taught about sex.

The Washoe County School district held an open house to discuss the SHARE program.

What did the parents think?

For the most part, they reacted well.

Parents told us they feel more comfortable knowing what their kids are learning in school, and what they still need to learn at home.

There were a few giggles and raised eyebrows in the classroom as parents learned what their 4th, 5th and 6th graders are learning about the birds and bees.

"It gives parents an idea of what they can expect their kids to be learning and it gives them the option of whether they want their kids to learn that," said one concenred, Stever Cortez.

SHARE, an acronym for Sexuality, Health and Responsibility Education, starts in 4th grade and continues through freshman year.

"We learn about puberty growing up and learning to say no and deal with peer pressure," says SHARE teacher Sandra Currie.

Students also learn about body systems, the ABC's of STD's, and the biology of sex.

Parents had a chance to review the curriculum firsthand - but not everyone agreed sex ed should be taught in school.

Says one parent: "I oppose the program. This is a private issue that should be taught at home."

Other parents said they're glad trained educators are addressing the subject of sex.

"Maybe it will cut down on teen pregnancy," says one mother, MindyLisosky. "It helps children respect their bodies. They can say no."

Educators say SHARE can only teach information about sex - not the emotional or moral issues that go along with it.

"Parents are children's first school, first church. We're here to supplement," Currie says.

And they hope that supplement gives parents and students a starting point to talk at home.

School budget cuts almost eliminated SHARE. The program is now being taught by about nine teachers instead of 15 - and course hours have also been cut.

For parents who don't want their children to take SHARE courses, the district does offer alternative health education classes for students.