Parkway parents get preview of new sex education curriculum

CHESTERFIELD, MO (KPLR) – There was a great deal of debate before the Parkway School District adopted a new sex education curriculum for the 2016-17 school year.  The new curriculum was approved in March.  Parents had another opportunity to see those changes Monday.  They were invited to an open house at Parkway Central Middle School to see exactly what their children are learning.

“I’m just reviewing the health curriculum,” said one parent attending the open house.

The district is allowing students to opt of lesson plans parents find objectionable.  Assistant Superintendent Lisa Merideth said Monday’s event will help parents make their decisions about the curriculum.

“My personal opinion is that they’ve done pretty well,” said Martin Sidenstricker, parent.  “Some of the things I think are maybe a little extreme but not too bad.”

We’ve reported on the controversy surrounding changes to the curriculum.  Some parents felt the changes were too reflective of Planned Parenthood programs.  The district says the curriculum is abstinence based.  Supporters believe the new curriculum is more inclusive of issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Parents we talked with Monday night said they appreciated the opportunity to see first-hand what their children will be learning.

“It helps me to communicate with them, when I know what they’ve already been told by the school,” said Angela Gillespie, parent of 3 Parkway students.

“We value parents being a partner with our school system to educate their children.  Parents are their first teachers, and one of the best ways we can do that is to make sure that they are informed about what is in the curriculum,” said Merideth.

The district evaluates changes in each curriculum area every 6 years.  Whenever changes are made, the district hosts an open house so parents can see the changes.