School district supplemental materials addressing sexual education are up for public review

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:18 PM AKDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2021 at 4:22 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Health materials addressing sexual education are up for review and public comment on the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FBSB) website.

During Tuesday night’s regular school board meeting, a report was provided to the FNSB school board on the proposed materials. These materials are scheduled to come before the board for approval at its November 2nd, 2021 Regular Meeting.

Six proposed items submitted by two teachers are up for review.

“Number one, these are supplemental. We have our normal health materials, which include sexual education materials,” Chane Beam, the FNSB Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, explained at the school board meeting. “Typically, teachers use what we ask them to use, but then sometimes they might want to add in some supplemental things.”

Beam added that in other areas, a teacher may add in supplemental at their discretion - but because of the law, anything dealing with sexual education has to come to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board.

Beam said it is typical for only the teacher who submitted the materials to be the one to use them.

“It doesn’t mean every teacher will be using all of these items,” Beam said. “Just like other supplemental items, some teachers use them, and some don’t.”

Beam explained families could opt-out of sexual education. “I believe that each teacher before they [teach the sexual education course] needs to send something home, and then let the parent know what they are going to be doing. Then the parents can opt-out if they choose to.”

The six items up for review include a packet of printed materials titled ‘Comprehensive Sex Education and Sexual Health,’ a website article titled ‘10 Dating Safety Rules that Could Save Your Life,” an article from the Cleveland Clinic titled ‘Birth Control Options,’ and three YouTube videos: ‘Mama Doctor Jones videos on YouTube Channel,‘Contraception for Adolescents – Pediatrics’ and ‘How the Morning After Pill Works and Stops Pregnancy.’

The proposed additions to the health/sexual education materials are available for review and public comment in two ways.

You can view them online at the FNSB School District website under the Fall 2021 Proposed Additions to the Health/Sexual Education Materials list, and submit your comments using the online form.

You can also view the items in person at the FNSBSD Administrative Center (520 Fifth Avenue, Teaching & Learning) by contacting (907) 452-2000 ext. 11422.

The entire health curriculum can also be found on the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Website.

HB 156 and Alaska Statute AS 14.30.361 require that materials or guest speakers addressing sexual education, human reproduction education, or human sexuality be approved by the school board before use.

Previous approvals include 35 supplementals from 2017 and eight supplemental items in 2018.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board is expected to vote on each of the items separately at their next regular meeting on November 2nd, 2021.

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