ROUND ROCK, Texas -- A fast-growing community and rising number of sexually transmitted illnesses is causing Round Rock Independent School District officials to re-examine their current Worth the Wait program for eighth graders centered around strictly abstinence.
At the last school board meeting held in early October, board members discussed adopting the Abstinence Plus sex education course, which includes a section on contraception. The section would focus on various forms of birth control by explaining uses of each type accompanied by photos.
Tere McCann, a challenger for Place 2 on the Round Rock School Board has recently openly opposed the potential switch in curriculum, which has been endorsed by his opponent -- current Board President Chad Chadwell. McCann calls the approach "too extreme" and says it has no place in Round Rock's conservative community.
District spokesperson Joylynn Occhiuzzi explained the need for updated curriculum. "We really want to ensure that our students are safe," she said. "We don't want our students to have STDs. We don't want students to have unwanted pregnancies. So as educators, we are obligated to make sure our students have the facts."
Last year doctors reported 219 gonorrhea cases in Williamson County. Round Rock's 103 is more than the next two highest cities of Georgetown and Cedar Park combined.
The new curriculum will go to a final vote before Round Rock School Board at their next meeting slated for Nov. 15.