Several school board members have raised their own concerns over a Wesleyan-based sex education group, following a complaint made by a parent this week over the group's recent visit to Coginchaug High School.
On Wednesday, Patch which stemmed from an April 13 11th-grade health class involving members of AIDS and Sexual Health Awareness, a student-based group that provides workshops on sexually transmitted diseases to local high schools.
After the class, a parent who asked not to be identified, said that her daughter had come home upset over the material covered in the workshop.
On Wednesday night, the complaint was discussed by members of the Board of Education, including Elizabeth Gara, who called some of the material covered by the group "inappropriate."
"My recommendation is not to use this group," Gara said. "I don't see any benefit or value to them doing this particularly when it is making some students uncomfortable."
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Gara said she felt the school's two certified health teachers were "more than qualified" to teach the curriculum. The teachers are also more familiar with the students, Gara added, and therefore would be in a better position to handle controversial subjects.
Superintendent Susan Viccaro reiterated what school officials told Patch earlier this week — that much of the discussion during the workshop was led by students' curiosity on the subject.
"Students were generating topics they wanted to talk about and there were some topics that came up that certainly were very controversial," Viccaro said. "I think the health teacher handled it well in her response.
Board member Merrill Adams suggested that questions coming from students be written down and asked by a teacher, who could first determine whether the question was appropriate.
Gara added that she worried that the school's opt out policy might make the person who opts out even more uncomfortable.
"I think we need to have further discussion here," Viccaro said. "We really need to look at the benefit of having another group in."