ACLU files Update in Clovis Unified sex education lawsuit

August 8, 2013 2:47:00 PM PDT
A long-running legal battle between Clovis Unified School District's sexual education program and the American Civil Liberties Union is nowhere close to getting resolved. On Thursday, parents and physicians filed an update to the lawsuit against the district's revised sex education curriculum.

The school year at Clovis Unified is less than two weeks from getting underway and incoming freshman will have new learning tools when it comes to sexual health.

But some parents say it still doesn't go far enough. "They did revise it but it's not good enough," said Aubree Smith. Smith says her child was taught "abstinence-only" education while at Clovis High.

Smith, along with the ACLU filed a lawsuit opposing the curriculum they call medically inaccurate, non-comprehensive and biased. "Clovis has failed all their students in sex education. My daughter and her friends and all the kids of her community have not received the education that they should have," said Smith.

In June, Clovis Unified's governing board voted to adopt a revised program to include information about condoms and contraceptives. But the ACLU says the changes failed to comply with state law. "Rather than take advantage of an opportunity, they held on to a textbook that doesn't even mention contraception or condoms," said Novella Coleman with the ACLU.

On Thursday, the ACLU filed an update to the lawsuit against Clovis Unified. "We are asking the court to really consider that the district is still putting student's health at risk and this is really important because the school year is starting and there will be another class of students who do not receive the health information that they need," said Novella.

The district is now firing back. In a written statement, Clovis Unified spokesperson Kelly Avants said, "It is almost as if the ACLU attorneys are choosing to misrepresent and misinterpret the content of our curriculum and how instruction is structured, all to serve their special interests. Today's action is just another step to unnecessarily prolong litigation based upon their special interests and financial motives."

There is a court hearing scheduled for early September on the matter. A trial date isn't likely until 2014.


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