Cumberland County Schools remove controversial sex-ed class

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Cumberland school district drops controversial Get Real program.

A controversial sex-ed program is getting the boot. Cumberland County Schools are saying "get out" to the "get real" sex-ed curriculum.

It's been a hot topic for months. ABC11 first told you about the controversy back in October when CCS put the program on hold to take a second look.

Tuesday morning, a group of parents showed up to the school board looking for action. "Cumberland Protects our Students" rallied at the school board to make their voices heard.

"We don't want our children to be taught there are various ways to have sex. We don't want them being taught that sex is appropriate," said Judy Cannady, CCS parent.

Tuesday the Cumberland County School Board's curriculum committee nixed the class altogether, but not without addressing the parent group's concerns.

"There was a comment in there today that the school's job is to come up with content, and that it's the parent's job to come up with values. I want to make it very clear, you cannot have content without establishing values," said Craig Jackson.

Content has been the main controversy. The program's curriculum deals with sexual identity, abstinence and sexually transmitted diseases, but program advocates say it was never to the point of encouraging students to have sex.

"The program is really focused on decision making and self-esteem. The content is age appropriate so it means it's been created to make sure that teens are getting all the information that they need in terms of their puberty, reproduction and use of contraceptive methods in later ages," said Tania Connaughton-Espino.

Shift-NC recommended the program to Cumberland County Schools and say the program has produced great results. Surveys found 85 percent of students who took the course said they were less likely to have sex.

Either way, that topic is something some Cumberland County parents say they'd rather teach at home.

"Today was a victory. We appreciate our school board and what they've done," said Kelly Bullard.

Cumberland County will go back to a less explicitly program that has been in place since 2009
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