NC district temporarily removes sex ed from middle schools

FAYETTEVILLE, NC– Cumberland County school leaders are taking sex ed out of the curriculum for now.

Educators have suspended the class for the next 30 days.

Cumberland County school leaders say they started a sex education program for middle schoolers across the district two years ago because of teen pregnancy. But that all came to an end because of parents’ concerns.

Brinique Francis is just 11 years old, but says her friends in school already know about a very adult issue – having sex

“You hear some kids talking about they’ve done stuff with other people,” said Francis. “It’s like, weird. Like why are you doing that? it doesn’t make sense.”

Her mom says she’s OK with the discussion as long as it’s coming from someone like her, a parent, or a teacher.

“It’s an issue out here anyway, so there’s no going around it,” said Francis’ mother Andrea Johnson. “Although parents talk to them about it, the school also helps with different questions that they’re uncomfortable talking to parents about.”

But the Cumberland County school district said they are suspending the sex education program for middle schoolers.

“We had some parents with some questions about the content and in honor of their requests we’re taking review of the curriculum,” said Shirley Johnson, Cumberland County Schools Health Services director.

Shirley Johnson said some concerned parents are getting the wrong idea about the “Get Real” sex education program because it was developed by Planned Parenthood.

“We do not promote kids participating in sexual activity, we teach them first of all to be abstinent, and then if we choose those and then with comprehensive sex education if they choose options we make sure they’re informed about the consequences,” said Shirley Johnson.

Parents can still opt out of the program when it’s time to have “the talk” with kids, according to Shirley Johnson.

County school leaders said they plan to review the program and consider what to do next.