Textbook Prompts Ire over Sex Education Biology Class Is Wrong Place for Contraception Talk, Board Member Says

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Byline: Melissa Jenco Daily Herald Staff Writer

The Naperville school board should create a comprehensive policy on sex education, even if it rejects a proposal to remove a high school biology textbook that touches on contraception, one member said Thursday.

Jim Caulfield said he plans to propose a policy to restrict contraception discussions to health classes where parents can have their children opt out.

Under his proposal, any exceptions involving textbooks or curriculum would require approval by the Naperville Unit District 203 school board.

He also wants the board to make parents more aware of their right to take their children out of classes during such discussions.

Caulfield plans to submit his proposal when the board meets Oct. 17.

"We have to understand some parents do not want their children being educated in things like contraception by strangers," he said.

Caulfield asked the board Monday to consider removing the current enriched molecular biology textbook, "Biology: A Guide to the Natural World" by David Krogh, in part because it addresses contraception in detail.

Administrators say that while the topic appears in the textbook and curriculum, teachers rarely have time to address the issue in biology class. Most leave such discussions to required health classes.

"They're very willing to remove from the curriculum document any of those contraception objectives," said Jodi Wirt, assistant superintendent for curriculum and staff development.

But if students have questions about contraception in biology class, teachers will respond, she said. Most students taking enriched molecular biology, however, already have taken health.

Several area high schools said they also leave contraception issues to health classes. …