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Community pushback delays Tucson Unified vote on new sex education program

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 15:29:15-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Pushback from the community has delayed a vote on a controversial topic at Tuesday's Tucson Unified board meeting.

The board was expected to vote on a new Family Life curriculum in time for the start of the school year. Sex education falls under that category.

It was a packed house at the meeting and all but one speaker in the public comment period were against the new curriculum that's being proposed.

Changes to the Family Life curriculum at TUSD have generated a lot of talk in the community. The updated curriculum would teach students about healthy living, personal safety, and making informed decisions.

But there's debate about exactly how sex education and gender identity would be taught in the classrooms. And that has some in the community concerned.

Some people who spoke said the changes would confuse students, more than provide clarity. Many urged the board to delay the vote.

If the curriculum is approved, it would be offered every year to students in fourth grade through high school.

At the heart of the public outcry was the community wanted a chance to go over what exactly would be taught, before the board made any final decision.

Though the board discussed a 60 day extension, they voted 3-2 to delay the vote until Aug. 13. The information will be made available to the public on August 1.

The board now has until Aug. 13 before this comes to another possible vote. The Family Life curriculum will be added as a study and action item, which means the board doesn't necessarily need to make a decision that night.

There was also talk about a couple of public hearings being held to discuss the changes, but there were no concrete details provided.