Schools OK sex education videos Tapes stress abstinence


Without so much as a shred of the controversy their vote aroused last year, the Carroll school board yesterday unanimously approved five videotapes for use in sex education classes.

The new videotapes all stress abstinence and say there is no such thing as "safe sex," except in a monogamous relationship with a non-infected partner.

Approved for middle-school use are "AIDS/HIV: Answers for Young People (Second Edition)" and "Sex, Lies & the Truth."

In high school, teachers may use "No Second Chance," the video touted by last year's critics of "Teen AIDS in Focus" as an alternative, and "KNOW HOW: A Video on Abstinence for Teens," featuring comedian Kim Coles and scenarios showing how teens can say no to peer pressure to have sex.

Last year, loud opposition arose to a video that the Carroll County Health Department proposed using in schools. The school board voted not to use the tape.

Critics had said last year's video, "Teen AIDS in Focus," emphasized condom use at the expense of promoting abstinence as the only sure way to avoid HIV infection.

The board also approved "If You Are Pregnant," a 30-minute program by WJZ-TV on the high infant mortality rate associated with teen pregnancies. The documentary showed several high school students who toured the University of Maryland Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

The hard-hitting images include a teen-age girl overwhelmed after seeing some of the premature infants in the ward.

Former board member Cheryl A. McFalls, who voted against last year's video, praised the school officials this year for using two of the videos community members had suggested last year -- "No Second Chance," and "Sex, Lies & the Truth."

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