Committee Recommends the OK on LGBT Topics - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Committee Recommends the OK on LGBT Topics

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SUSSEX COUNTY, De. - The debate continues over sexual orientation in the classroom at the Indian River School District. A subcommittee has been combing through a new health curriculum, deciding what should stay and what shouldn't. At Monday night's meeting, after three months of debate, the committee is recommending that LGBT terms be included.

The debate all began with Shaun Fink, a board-member, and a member of the Committee. In September, Fink raised concerns at a meeting over the use of these LGBT topics, something which created an uproar in the gay-lesbian community.

"When we start to introduce things like it's ok to be gay," Fink told WBOC in a September interview. "When we introduce things like here's how we use a condom, what we are doing is we are departing from the idea of public education as a transfer of knowledge to public education becoming surrogate parents."

Finks comments lead to dozens of people showing up in protest at the following meeting. Sussex Central High School senior Cole Haden distributed a petition against the cause. On Tuesday, WBOC met up with Haden, who said the decision to keep the terms was a positive one.

"I think it's a LGBT victory," he said.

Haden said he had concerns with one part of the recommendation. The committee recommended that the parents have the right to opt their kids out of the lessons on sexual health, something which Haden said is defeating the purpose.

"It's important to provide a safe environment for all students," Haden said. "And to give everyone an equal opportunity to learn about themselves and safe-sex practices. So it's important to include all of the terms."

On Tuesday, Fink told WBOC that he also supported the recommendation, despite maintaining his religious beliefs on the subject.

"Considering what the curriculum looked like when this journey began," he said. "And taking the requirements of state into account. I am satisfied with the results."

On January 22, there will be a public hearing on these recommendations at the Millsboro Middle School at 7:00. The committee is then expected to submit the final recommendations to the board on the following Monday.

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