State superintendent asks Gwinnett schools to delay vote on new sex education curriculum

The Georgia Department of Education Superintendent sent Gwinnett County Public Schools leaders a letter asking to delay the vote to change the sex education curriculum.

State Superintendent Richard Woods sent the letter to Gwinnett County Superintendent Dr. Calvin Watts and Gwinnett County Board of Education asking that they pause and re-evaluate adopting a new sex education curriculum.

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For the past 22 years, GCPS has used abstinence-center Choosing the Best for sex education. Now, school leaders are discussing adopting a new curriculum, including sex education.

“Gwinnett’s current curriculum presents itself to be better aligned with the emphasis on abstinence in accordance with state standards and law, as well as State Board of Education board rule,” Woods wrote. “I understand that the Gwinnett County Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the proposed adoption at its board meeting on Thursday. I respectfully request that the board delay adoption to give the district time to ensure compliance in the proposed curriculum with state law, standards and board rule.”


Woods highlighted the following as concerns and reasons why the vote should be delayed:

1. Some of the proposed curriculum’s content is not included in Georgia education standards.

2. The curriculum would be taught within grades K-5; state law only requires age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention.

3. Curriculum specifically labeled “Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning,” which is not recognized or adopted by the Georgia Department of Education of State Board of Education.

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A teacher review committee recently submitted recommendations for the district to move toward a more inclusive curriculum to align with state standards.

“It was not free of bias or inclusive of our current population of students that we’re providing instruction to,” said Dr. Tasha Guadalupe, Director of Health and Physical Education for Gwinnett County Schools, told Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson.

GCPS is expected to discuss the curriculum Thursday night at their board meeting.