Missouri school district refashions curriculum after FFRF notice

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A Missouri school district has stopped using faulty sex-ed materials after a Freedom From Religion Foundation warning.

FFRF sent out letters in early April to 15 Missouri public and charter school districts objecting to school-sponsored sex education being conducted by Thrive St. Louis. Thrive's "Best Choice" sex education curriculum only promotes abstinence, offering little information other than shame and risks that await sexually active students. Thrive requires that its employees "be committed Christian[s] who demonstrate a personal relationship with Jesus Christ." Clearly the aim of the organization is to win over Christian converts to advance its spiritual mission. Missouri public schools must not allow this anti-science evangelism into secular classrooms, FFRF emphasized.

"It is inappropriate for a public school to allow an organization widely reputed for pushing a religious agenda to speak to a captive student audience, especially when coupled with inaccurate and potentially dangerous medical advice," wrote FFRF Legal Fellow Ryan Jayne

FFRF urged that these Missouri public school districts stop using dubious outside materials to teach sex ed to their students. One district has already listened. The Warren County R-III School District has indicated to FFRF that it will revamp its syllabus.

The curriculum "is not consistent with district policy and Board-adopted curriculum standards," Superintendent Jim Chandler responded. "Accordingly, the district will halt use of outside consultants with respect to sex education instruction to further review curriculum, effective immediately." 

FFRF is gratified that it provided the impetus for the change.

"We're pleased that Warren County R-III School District modified its policy with alacrity," says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. "We are hopeful that at least a few others among the more than a dozen other school districts we contacted in Missouri for using a similar faulty curriculum will follow its lead."

The Freedom From Religious Foundation is a nationwide nonprofit organization that works to protect the constitutional separation of church and state. It represents more than 27,000 nonreligious members across the country, including 300-plus in Missouri.

 

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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