Thank you to everyone who attended our meeting yesterday with Dr. Josh Saefkow concerning the proposed changes in the Health & Physical Education Curriculum for Fayette County Public Schools. Sex education is a small but very important part of the Curriculum. Dr. Saefkow is senior pastor of Flat Creek Baptist Church and is on the selection committee that will make a recommendation to the Board of Education (BOE) for a new Curriculum. During the meeting he stressed his belief that pastors should be involved along with parents and other concerned citizens in promoting biblical sexuality whenever and wherever possible. This decision, ultimately to be made by the BOE, is critical and will determine if our local schools will continue to reflect the values regarding human sexuality that we hold and that are promoted by our organization. (See the Mission Statement of FPRC)
Pastor Josh explained that Choosing the Best, the current curriculum used by Fayette County for sex education, is not one of the curricula being considered. One of the reasons given for its exclusion is that it is not digitized. He explained that rather than being a detriment, he sees this as a positive so that students are not guided to links that can be inappropriate. Workbooks are used and parental involvement is encouraged. Choosing the Best is a curriculum that promotes abstinence (or sexual risk avoidance) and positive character traits. It has long been recommended/used by pregnancy help centers that provide sex education instructors for public schools. Statistical charts were shared in the meeting that show the success in lower rates of teen pregnancy and STDs of abstinence programs compared to comprehensive sex education. All of the alternatives being considered are comprehensive, and – if abstinence is presented – it is de-emphasized merely as an option.
Pastor Josh was joined by Judi Wilson who is also on the committee and Noelle Kahaian of Protect Student Health Georgia (http://www.protectstudenthealthga.com ) All emphasized the need for citizens of Fayette County to be active. Noelle gave examples of other counties where poor decisions were avoided or corrected because concerned citizens took a stand. Here are their suggestions:
- Be informed. There is a meeting tonight at Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church at 6:30. There will be thorough information there on this issue and advice on how to speak out.
- Write BOE members and the Fayette County school officials. Superintendant of Schools.
Fayette Board of Education — Phone: 770-460-3535
District 1 – Barry Marchman – email@example.com
District 2 – Roy Rabold – firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3 – Scott Hollowell – email@example.com
District 4 – Leonard Presberg – firstname.lastname@example.org
District 5 – Brian Anderson – Anderson.email@example.com
Public Relations – Melinda Berry-Dreisbach – firstname.lastname@example.org
Superintendent – Jody Barrow – email@example.com
K-12 Coordinator of Science, Health & PE – Patricia Morgan – firstname.lastname@example.org
Coord. of Counseling and Career Dev. – Lakisha Bonner – email@example.com
- Attend the next BOE meeting and make your voice heard. Whether you speak or not, your presence will encourage your friends who do speak and send a message to the board members that this is an important issue.
Monday, February 24th
Agenda Review at 6:30 p.m. – Meeting at 7 p.m.
LaFayette Educational Center, 205 LaFayette Avenue, Fayetteville, GA 30214
What should we ask of the BOE:
- Slow this process; it is moving too quickly. The goal to have a new curriculum in place by August is rushing the issue. Wait for the proposed state guidelines to be determined before considering a change. (Reference is being made to those guidelines as if they are already approved.)
- Consider the effectiveness of the current curriculum. Charges that Choosing the Best is antiquated are baseless.
- If consideration of curriculum must take place, revise the criteria for selection so that Choosing the Best can be considered.
Pastor Josh also encouraged us to vote and consider the BOE elections carefully. The five members on the Board have a lot of authority and influence on our children and grandchildren. (Three of the board members have indicated they are not running when their current term ends. Pray for godly people to run. Maybe God will call you!) He also encouraged everyone to talk with your children and grandchildren about biblical sexuality, our identity based on being created in God’s image, and the purpose of marriage as God designed it. He further encouraged everyone to talk with your pastor and encourage involvement. (One of our volunteers told me this morning that she has already spoken with her pastor and encouraged him to speak out!)
If you want to stay informed, join Concerned Parents of Fayette County on Facebook. If you want to write Pastor Josh with comments or just encourage him, his email address is JoshS@flatcreekbaptist.org . If you missed the meeting you can watch a video of it on the FPRC Volunteers Facebook page. If you are not yet a member of this closed group please request to join and then you will have access to staff/volunteer information posted on the page. Here is the link to the video of the meeting. https://www.facebook.com/amy.rivalsi/videos/10100686082767356/