Ann Arbor Public Schools to review new sexual education materials
New sexual education materials could soon be in the classrooms of young students enrolled in Ann Arbor Public Schools.
The district’s Board of Education will be reviewing two programs at its 6 p.m. meeting Wednesday, one for students in preschool to second grade, and another for students in fifth to eighth grades.
Both programs have been reviewed and recommended for adoption by the district’s Sexual Health Education Advisory Committee, as well as by Lisa Cope, the district’s departmental chairwoman for Health and Physical Education.
For the youngest age group, the school board is considering adopting a body safety training program.
The training would be presented to children in 15-minute lessons once a day for two weeks. The program is designed to prevent child sexual abuse by reinforcing right and wrong situations when it comes to who is allowed to see their private parts, and includes explanation of the terms penis, vagina, breasts and buttocks.
The lesson plan teaches children that they are the boss of their own body, and that it’s only OK for “big people” - defined as doctors, nurses and parents - to look at their private parts if they get hurt or sick, or need help.
The plan also includes sample situations for children to decide if the actions are acceptable or not, and encouragement is given for the correct answers.
For the middle-school age group, a new educational video explaining the puberty process is under consideration.
The 15-minute-long video updated in 2011, named “We’re Just Around the Corner,” would be shown to students in fifth to eighth grades. The current board-approved materials for that age range are older productions.
The video covers physical and emotional changes that come with puberty, reproductive systems, conception, pregnancy, fetal development, decision-making, hygiene and healthy habits. Teen subjects are included in the video, which the committee found to make it relatable to students.
“Information is clear. It’s presented well even if it is a little stilted at times. It’s much better than most I’ve seen. It is a more updated puberty video with very straightforward, accurate information presented in an age appropriate and non-judgmental manner,” according to the committee’s review of the video.
Public comment will be accepted during the Wednesday meeting and at an Oct. 10 meeting on the adoption of the video and body safety program.
- View a preview of the video from the production company, Marsh Media.