By Shannon Kantner
Lansing, MI (WILX/CNN) - A school district in Michigan held a meeting to discuss new sex education curriculum for elementary and middle school students.
The students haven't had any sex ed classes for the last three years, so parents are asking a lot of questions about the changes.
"One of the biggest concern is just, what is taught when. At what ages do we introduce children to what topics," said Bethany Simmons.
Lansing's sex education advisory board is made up of parents, clergy, nurses, and students. IT has the answer to that in the proposed curriculum.
"It's not just imparting the knowledge to the kids, but really helping them develop skills, and looking at actually developing a plan for themselves, that they want, a plan that they can follow when they're dealing with some of these big decisions in their life," said project coordinator Patricia Bednarz.
More specifically, elementary students would learn abstinence and anatomy through a program called "Puberty - The Wonder Years."
"It focuses on helping young people respect the changes in themselves and in their peers that occur in puberty, and it also includes family homework assignments," said Wendy Sellers, Regional Comprehensive Health Coordinator.
Eighth graders would learn from a curriculum called "Growing Up and Staying Healthy," a state model for HIV prevention, focused on communication and setting personal limits while still being realistic.
"Teachers talk about how to use a condom, and demonstrate the proper condom use method. So that at the point in time when young people do become sexually active in the future, they have had information from a reliable source about how condoms work and how they don't work," said Sellers.
But if none of this sounds like the birds and the bees you want your child to learn, there are many options for opting out, whether it's completely or "If they look at the curriculum and they think, well, I like five lessons out of this year's curriculum, but I'm not really comfortable with this one lesson, then they can just opt their student our or child out one lesson, too," said Bednarz.
The school plans to hold another public meeting for parents to continue discussing the new curriculum.
But the school board will have the final say on whether the new policies will be enforced.
If all goes well at the meetings, that decision could come as early as next week.
And if the curriculum is approved, we could see it in schools starting this spring.