The Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education approved a new, more inclusive reproductive health curriculum at a school board meeting Thursday.
The new curriculum, titled “Rights, Respect, Responsibility,” includes lessons on consent, dating violence, sexting and gender identity. Other topics include abstinence, anatomy and reproduction, bullying, condoms and birth control, consent, pregnancy, sexual abuse, LGBTQ people and sexually transmitted diseases.
The district is not an “abstinence only” district, meaning it can teach other sexual choices than abstinence. But state law requires that schools “emphasize that abstinence from sex is a positive lifestyle for unmarried people.”
This change to the district’s sex education curriculum is the first in more than 10 years, according to Nkegne Bergan, director of student services.
The curriculum was developed by a national organization called Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based organization focused on youth reproductive and sexual health.
In April, state Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing) introduced a bill that would require schools to teach students consent, dating violence and sexual assault. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Education and Career Readiness, but it hasn’t moved.