Cherry Hill: Board Of Education Adds Mental Health, Relationships to Curriculum

Sources: Sun Papers/Cherry Hill News

They Cherry Hill township board of education meeting saw the approval and adoption of the updated and controversial health and physical education curriculum, along with a promise to alert parents about how and when the curriculum will be taught and what it will involve.

Changes include students looking at the differences between boys and girls, gender stereotypes and expressions by the end of second grade, learning the reproductive system and variations in bodies by the end of eighth grade, and will get lessons on preventing pregnancy and becoming a teen or young adult parent by the end of 12th grade.

High-school representatives Aidan Rood and Lizbeth Reyes voiced their support at the meeting for the new content, given how they and their peers get much of their information about sex through unreliable social media sites.
Changes include students looking at the differences between boys and girls, gender stereotypes and expressions by the end of second grade, learning the reproductive system and variations in bodies by the end of eighth grade, and will get lessons on preventing pregnancy and becoming a teen or young adult parent by the end of 12th grade.

High-school representatives Aidan Rood and Lizbeth Reyes voiced their support at the meeting for the new content, given how they and their peers get much of their information about sex through unreliable social media sites.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there and sex is not going away,” Rood said. “Gender identity is not going away. People may know I identify as nonbinary, and … people like me are not going to stop existing either way.

“There are people of diverse genders, sexualities, all kinds of identities,” Rood added. “ … If we didn’t include these things in the curriculum, that creates more opportunities for not understanding each other, which can create discrimination.”
At the elementary-school level, if parents choose to opt out their students, it would be for the entire curriculum because the lessons build off each other. At the secondary level, health is a requirement to graduate, so while parents cannot opt their students out of the entire curriculum, they can opt out of specific lessons by emailing a student’s principal or finding a third-party, certified health class online to meet the graduation requirement.

Fleisher also clarified that the board will be able to continue using its current selection process for finding student representatives, clearing confusion about another state-mandated policy requiring student representatives on the board.

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