Broward Schools asking for parents input ahead of sex education classes

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Sex education will be back in Broward County schools this spring, but before then, parents are being asked for their input about the proposed curriculum.

Parents are being asked in an online survey where they stand on what should be taught in the classroom when it comes to sex, reproductive health and disease prevention.

Local 10 News’ Hatzel Vela sat down with Broward Schools Superintendent Peter Licata, who said so far more than 6,000 parents have filled out the survey.

“It’s very important,” said Licata. “We want to make sure that this range of educational approaches is tailored to what our audience wants.”

The survey wants parents to weigh in on the age appropriateness of teaching:

  • Body parts, including genitals
  • Sexual abuse, domestic violence
  • Puberty, menstruation
  • HIV, sexually transmitted diseases
  • Contraception, pregnancy
  • Sexual orientation, gender identity

The latter two, sexual orientation and gender identity, are banned by law from being taught in grades kindergarten through eight.

They can be taught in high school as long as it is part of a class related to health and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Historically, we don’t teach reproductive health and disease prevention till the fourth quarter of the year,” said Licata.

Which is why the survey is going out right now. Officials believe it will help them put a curriculum in place that will then be submitted to the state for approval.

“We want to provide the best well-rounded education within the standards,” said Licata.

The superintendent says it’s vital information kids should be learning.

“We want to make sure that even though our parents are equipped to this and are welcomed to do this on their own, that we are providing those resources as well for our parents that trust us,” he said.

As a father of three, he said it’s something he and his wife openly talked about.

“You touch on everything as a parent because that’s really our role is to make sure our kids are ready for the real world,” Licata said.

Wendy Sellers is a certified sexuality educator and registered nurse who has been working for more than three decades in the field.

“The majority of parents support sex ed in schools,” she said. “Yes, we need to talk about all those topics and we need to do it in an age-appropriate way.”

Sellers believes the education needs to start early, in elementary school, and then you build as they get older.

“If we started math in high school, we would not have good mathematicians,” she said. “So, the philosophy is is that you start with developmentally appropriate messaging in elementary and you build through high school.”

To view the survey, click here.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.