LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- A new education movement is gaining attention in Lexington. A group that goes by Lex Ed called on the Fayette County School Board at its meeting Monday night to bring comprehensive sex education to the district. The group made an impression in purple t-shirts, artfully decorated with a bird and a bee.
The group says sex ed in Kentucky does not do enough. Organizers say the Bluegrass State ranks number seven in the U.S. for unintended pregnancy. Fayette County has double the rate of STI’s compared to the rest of the state. Lex Ed members say it is one reason they want to start making change at home in Lexington.
For many of us, week nights mean homework. For Dominique and Galadriel Olbert, Monday night’s homework is taking a field trip to the Fayette County School Board meeting.
“This is something that I think is very important,” Dominique Olbert said.
She was talking about sex education. Olbert is part of a new group called Lex Ed.
Organizers say they are at the meeting to ask the school board to adopt curriculum guidelines that would support comprehensive sex ed, including information on condom use and sexual orientation.
“There is no one standard. That’s the problem,” Olbert said.
By state law, Kentucky requires schools teach abstinence as the most effective way to prevent disease and pregnancy. Aside from that, Lex Ed says it isup to schools to decide what to teach, or what not to.
“Not every child has a parent to teach them about sexual education,” Olbert said.
Galadriel says her mom has talked to her, but it is important classmates have the opportunity to learn. Lex Ed says half of Kentucky high school students have reported having sex.
“Students are going to have sex whether you want them to or not so you might as well give them the information so they can make more informed decisions,” Galadriel Olbert said.
Board members responded, explaining they get standards from the state. Change might be harder than one night of homework at the board meeting.
“We’re a little limited here of what we can do because it’s against the law for us to tell a site based council what to do,” Board Chairwoman Melissa Bacon said.
Lex Ed members told the board they think it is legal to at least provide curriculum guidelines even if they cannot dictate what a school teaches. The group says it had success with that recently in Jefferson County. Fayette County board member Doug Barnett asked to see a copy of what Jefferson County approved.