Jun 07
2009

ACLU vs Free to Be

Posted by: Bruce Robinson

Bruce Robinson

Free To Be, a  Santa Rosa-based sex education program, is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union for violating California's ban on abstinence-only teaching in public schools.

 Although we were not able to reach a Free To Be representative to be interviewed for this report, their website describes a program that "motivates and equips youth to live an abstinent life-style, encouraging healthy choices for a healthy future." They explain their educational approach in greater detail here.

Prior to 2004, explains Phyllida Burlingame, Sex Education Policy Director for the ACLU of Northern California, the state's rules governing how and what schools could teach as Sex Education were a confusing jumble. That's one reason her organization helped update the California Education Code to the standard that is in place today.

 One significant difference between the current federal policy, a lingering holdover from the Bush administration, is that while the federal law supporting abstinence-only sex education programs explicitly prohibits favorable treatment of other forms of pregnancy prevention, California's law also requires that abstinence be taught, but as part of a broader array of possible options.

Below is a list, compiled by the ACLU, of Sonoma County Public Schools that have used Free To Be. They have been asked to confirm, before the end of this month, that they will not continue to use the program in the coming school year.

 
 

 

District

School

Forestville Union

Forestville Academy

Healdsburg Unified

Healdsburg High School

Healdsburg Unified

Healdsburg Junior High School

Kashia

Kashia School

Petaluma Joint Union High

Petaluma High School

Petaluma Joint Union High

Casa Grande High School

Rincon Valley Union

 

Santa Rosa City High

Santa Rosa Middle School

Santa Rosa City High

Comstock (Hilliard) Middle School

Santa Rosa City High

Montgomery High School

Santa Rosa City High

Santa Rosa High School

Santa Rosa City High

Cook (Lawrence) Middle School

Santa Rosa City High

Piner High School

Santa Rosa City High

Maria Carrillo High School

Santa Rosa City High

Slater (Herbert) Middle School

Santa Rosa City High

Rincon Valley Middle School

Santa Rosa City High

Elsie Allen High School

Sebastopol Union

Brook Haven Middle School

Sebastopol Union

Park Side School

Sonoma Valley Unified

Gateway Community Day School

Sonoma Valley Unified

Sonoma Valley High School

Twin Hills Union

Twin Hills Middle School

West Sonoma County High

El Molino High School

West Sonoma County High

Analy High School

Wilmar Union

Wilson (J. X.) School

Windsor Unified

Windsor High School

Windsor Unified

Windsor Middle School

Wright