Sex education, harassment videotapes OK'd for schools

June 09, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

The school board unanimously approved seven videotapes yesterday for the family life and human sexuality courses, including one tape on sexual harassment that received some mild criticism.

Gary Bauer, a school board candidate and parent activist, said that "Out of Bounds," a tape on sexual harassment, was not appropriate for seventh- and eighth-graders. The tape is one that would be shown during a presentation by an educator from the Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County.

Board members did not agree, apparently, and approved it along with several other tapes.

Rose Bryson, one of the Rape Crisis educators who speaks in the schools, said a tape on sexual harassment is appropriate for middle school children.

She said that among the students she already has spoken to, many have said they have encountered or witnessed sexual harassment among students through derogatory comments, looks or touching.

"They say it's happening in the elementary school," Ms. Bryson said.

Her presentation teaches children what does, and does not, constitute sexual harassment, she said.

"Kids learn that even innuendo and looks do constitute sexual harassment," she said.

In other business, the board approved a list of about 115 textbooks, novels and other books that teachers have asked to use in the next school year in other subject areas.

The books had already been screened by teachers and the Curriculum Council, a group of parents, students and community members who vote each spring on books to send to the school board for approval. This year, the council sent all the books, including "If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King Jr."

The council had rejected that book last year, after some parents thought it unfairly stereotyped whites as not supporting the civil rights movement. Several teachers and administrators who disagreed asked this year's council to reconsider. The book passed 30-7.

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