Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Rolly: Utah school district shelves health books because of sex talk

By PAUL ROLLY

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Feb 06 2014 09:25 pm • Last Updated Feb 28 2014 08:59 am

Canyons School District bought new health textbooks for its five high schools intended for use this school year.

Alas, the textbooks are sitting in storage rooms and likely won’t be used until 2014-15.

Photos
At a glance

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

After the books were delivered, a whole section on sexually transmitted diseases caught the attention of health teachers because state law and district policy forbid them from discussing STDs in the manner they are dealt with in the texts.

District officials thought they had a solution. They gathered all the books and snipped out that section, Pages 398 to 417. But they left in the section’s summary page, which recapped the discussion, along with the section quiz, which did the same thing.

Even after removing the objectionable pages, though, teachers raised other concerns.

Page 146, for example, talks about gay and lesbian partnerships. Pages 147 and 148 discuss gay and lesbian alternative paths to creating a family, as well as artificial insemination. District policy states that "advocacy of homosexuality" shall not be taught.

Page 149 contains a chart about sharing sexual histories and practicing safe sex. District policy states that "advocacy of contraceptive methods" shall not be taught.

Pages 151 through 153 address topics such as sexual identity, sexual orientation and gay and lesbian relationships. District policy states that "advocacy of homosexuality and the advocacy of sexual relations outside of marriage or sexual promiscuity" shall not be taught.

Page 158 discusses human sexual response, including sexual experiences from different partners and "stimulation by a partner or self-stimulation." Those topics are also no-nos, according to district policy.

Even so, the cover of the textbook says it is a "custom edition for Canyons School District."


story continues below
story continues below

The textbook was published by Pearson Learning Solutions, whose website says it is an "innovative learning company that collaborates with institutions and educators to provide customized and personalized educational solutions and services that help to improve student outcomes."

An email from one curriculum adviser to the health teachers apologized for the confusion, noting that "in providing the publisher with specifics about edits, we failed to communicate clearly the edits for Chapter 13."

District spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook says the reviews and ultimate shelving of the books are just part of the editing process.

The publisher sent 315 books, as classroom sets, to the district for a total cost of $24,000.

The publisher will make the changes necessary to abide by state law and district policy before releasing the full order of books for about 3,000 students.

The district hoped to begin using the books in January, she said, but now might not use them until next school year.

Collateral damage » Uintah Elementary in the Salt Lake City School District has received hundreds of derogatory and profane emails from around the nation since news reports said that dozens of children had their school lunches thrown away because their parents were behind on their meal fees.

But it’s not the only one.

Vernal-based Uintah School District has gotten more than 100 nasty emails in a case of mistaken identity. The eastern Utah district has posted a notice on its website that it is not the party that threw away the lunches. It refers commenters to the Salt Lake City School District site.

And Weber County’s Uintah Elementary also has received a number of mean emails. It, too, has posted a disclaimer.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.