How much should your child be taught about sex in school? That was the question parents and New Hanover County administrators dealt with last night. New Hanover County Schools' Family Life Education teachers met with families to discuss two sex curricula last night. The first course, "Sex Can Wait," is a course that focuses mainly on abstinence. The second course called "Stepping Stones to Better Living and Responsible Decisions" promotes abstinence, but also ventures into contraception and deeper discussions about sex. Parents had mixed reviews about the choices. Parent Ginger Richardson said, "If my son came and asked me questions about certain things I may not know about it." Richardson said times have changed since her day, and she's not prepared to answer her son's questions. However, Denise Merritt doesn't feel the school should educate her child about sex. Merritt said "She's learned things that a twelve year old has no business knowing." She said she believes it's the parents who should be teaching their children about sex, and that information shouldn't come from other people. But Jane Emma, a New Hanover County Life Education teacher, said, "Parents often times don't feel comfortable talking about sex education at home." Parents can choose the course they want their child to learn and neither course is mandatory. Parents also have the choice to opt out. For those who do, educators offer this tip for parents when the birds and the bee's question comes up: "Be open and honest with their questions," Emma said. "Answer what they asked you and don't go much beyond that, because you need to be within age appropriate response."
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