Muskegon Public School board meeting on new sex education curriculum changes, 3/20/2012. (Photo by WZZM 13's Clayton Cummins)
UPDATE AT 8 P.M. (WZZM) -- Muskegon Public School board members have approved changes to the district's sex education curriculum.
The board voted unanimously in favor the changes.
"It needs to be educated in our classes," said board member Tasha Bibbs-Oakes before the vote. "But we need to make sure the materials that are share in the discussion are handled the right way and in the right fashion."
The school board held two public hearings on the new elementary school sex-education curriculum.
The plan will permit teachers to answer fourth graders when they ask questions about sex.
Fifth grade boys and girls will attend sex-education classes together and learn about abstinence, masturbation, anatomy, behavior, disease and sexual orientation.
"They are not ready for this curriculum in the fourth and fifth grade," says opponent Elizabeth Showers. "It's too steep."
"They are going to learn about it one way or another," says curriculum supporter Joshua Eldenbrady. "It's important that we give them accurate information."
"I think the teachers who have to teach the curriculum are knowledgable about the subject, knowledgable about their students and will deliver it in a professional manner appropriate for school," says teacher's union president Sally Purchase.
The revised curriculum will take effect in the next school year.