Utah districts warned on sex ed slide show

April 13, 2011 at 6:47 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, April 13 (UPI) -- Utah school districts have been warned by state education officials against using a state-prepared presentation on contraception.

The Utah State Office of Education junked the rough draft after it was criticized by abstinence advocates who saw it as advocating birth control and by other critics who said it did not provide enough information, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The Salt Lake City district and the Granite district outside Salt Lake City were planning to use the sex education slide show but have been warned off.

The office sent a letter to school districts Tuesday.

The 21-slide presentation describes different methods of contraception with failure rates and potential side effects or risks. It says abstinence is the only thing that never fails and is completely safe.

The state developed it in an effort to help teachers wary of discussing contraception because of a state law banning its advocacy in school.

Ron Burnside, a curriculum specialist in the Granite district, helped write the presentation. He said the district may be able to use the material without actually using the slide show.

"In a touchy subject such as this, you have some teachers who aren't sure what they should and shouldn't say," Burnside said. "With this, it goes through it, so they don't feel uncomfortable in what they can and can't present."

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