School board refuses to ban 'Secrets' Panel 'comfortable' with sex-ed play

January 24, 1993|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Staff Writer

Harford's school board has refused to consider banning the controversial sex-education play "Secrets" in county high schools.

"I very seriously doubt the board will ever back down on 'Secrets'; we feel very comfortable with it," board President Anne D. Sterling said last week.

The play, condemned by opponents as racist, inaccurate and immoral, was performed for the last time this school year at Aberdeen High School Thursday.

Decisions about the play could now be left to the school system's Family Life Committee, being expanded from seven to 15 members, possibly next month, school system officials said. Committee members are charged with reviewing materials and programs on human sexuality and making recommendations to the school board.

Superintendent Ray R. Keech said the school board had made the right decision in refusing to look at the subject again. "The school board voted unanimously on the play last spring and they have no plans for taking another look," he told the Harford County Council of PTAs Thursday night.

Last year, the board decided that the play, produced by Kaiser Permanente Health Systems and performed by a troupe of young actors, could be shown only to 11th- and 12th-graders.

Also, the board ruled that parents could see a videotape of the play before allowing their children to see it.

The play includes candid talk about AIDS, as well as condoms, homosexuality, bisexuality and premarital sex.

Lee Blake, first vice president of the Harford County Council of PTAs, said the executive board of the council backed "Secrets" and wanted it shown to ninth- and 10th-graders. She said the PTA council had received only two negative letters about the play.

Mr. Keech said further decisions about "Secrets" should be made by the Family Life Committee and the Curriculum Committee.

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