Public Schools in Battle Ground, Washington will stop teaching sex education to high-schoolers after the school board voted in favor of scrapping the curriculum at a Monday board meeting.
The Battle Ground school district had been in the process of restructuring its sex-ed program, which included a unit focused on sexual orientation and gender identity.
But the revamped curriculum sparked an outcry amongst parents and community members, who feared it would “promote promiscuity,” according to the Columbian. Eighteen percent of people polled in a district survey reportedly feared the board members were attempting to “promote an LGBTQ agenda.”
Responding to the parents’ concern, a motion was made at Monday’s board meeting to end the policy of teaching sex education entirely. The board members came down 3-2 in favor of scrapping the requirement.
Board president Troy McCoy said there were likely some surprised audience members as the new curriculum had preliminary approval.
McCoy, one of two board members who voted against ending the program, said he felt the decision hampered parents’ ability to choose what was best for their child.
“I believed that the opt out provisions gave our parents who didn’t want that curriculum that option,” he said. “By changing that policy I believe we took away the freedom of those parents that wanted that curriculum to have it.”
Nevertheless, he said, “the board has expressed their will” and the current sexual health curriculum slated to take place at the end of the semester in Battle Ground high schools will be scrapped immediately. Schools will still teach HIV and AIDS prevention, which is required by state law.