Students at Osseo High School in suburban Minneapolis are seeing a new choice as they register for fall classes. In addition to the standard "comprehensive" sex-education class, they are being offered an "abstinence-only" course.
The school board recently approved the nation's first two-track program by a 4-to-2 vote. Curriculum selection and teacher training are taking place this spring.
Osseo parent Jeri Gort served on the parents' advisory committee that proposed the two-track system. "The abstinence until marriage curriculum says you need to abstain from sex until you are married," she explains. "The other curriculum says you should remain abstinent until you're 'more mature,' or until you're 'ready.' "
"This is really something that's leading edge," says Focus on the Family's Peter Brandt, who also works with the National Coalition for Abstinence Education.
Gort credits the change to persistent parents—and prayer.
At a January rally sponsored by dozens of churches, the Minnesota Coalition for Adolescent Health, and pro-life activists, national youth speaker John Crudele warned students not to fall for the "use a condom" message of traditional sex education. "If you're using protection, you're just selling out the dignity of who you are," Crudele said. "Make choices that reflect your goodness."
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