School board says 'no' to sex skits

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By Thea Skinner

Triplicate staff writer

The Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Education voted down a peer-to-peer theatrics classroom presentation about sex on Thursday.

The district's Family Life Committee originally considered the Six Rivers Planned Parenthood Spare Change Theater troupe's alternative sex education skits.

Those on the committee approved the script and suggested the school board do the same.

andquot;I received six written responses and none recommend that (the board) approve the skits,andquot; said Don Olson, the Del Norte Unified School District's assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

Olson, also the chair of the Family Life Committee, indicated that disagreement about the skits occurred during the board meeting.

After patiently waiting about an hour-and-a-half, residents and former residents voiced their concerns about the skits at the board meeting. Only about two out of eight of those who spoke out advocated the skit.

andquot;We are elected by you (the public),andquot; said board member Bob Berntwiz. andquot;You speak through us. I thought perhaps we could present it and offer an opt-out, but then those not exposed could be singled out.andquot;

andquot;We have to consider the pulse of the community. We have heard that you do not agree, so we have to represent you. Therefore, I am changing my position. I don't think it is worthy of our time.andquot;

Faith Crist, Del Norte Unified School District board president, said, andquot;I feel sex should be presented privately. These skits present sex frivolously.andquot;

andquot;The district does have a sex education program and if they are not presenting it the right way they should be told to do it differently,andquot; she said.

andquot;Maybe social services or some group could show it in town, and then people would have a choice. I can not do it,andquot; Crist said.

Olson pledged that the Family Life Committee will be more effective.

andquot;We are going to redefine our job as a Family Life Committee. We will be a better screening agent,andquot; he said.

Reach Thea Skinner, economics and youth reporter, at tskinner@triplicate.com

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