A civil suit was filed Tuesday morning at the Fresno County Courthouse. Clovis Unified School District Officials tell us the news of the lawsuit came as a pretty big surprise.
Those who filed the complaint say the district's "abstinence only" message is a huge disservice to students, and it's putting them at higher risk for STD's and unwanted pregnancies. They say the district is failing to provide important information; thus breaking the law.
The proof is on the paper, according to Phylidda Burlingame of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Burlingame says, "The textbook that the Clovis High School's use for sex education contains no information about condoms at all, even in chapter relating to HIV and AIDS. The list relies exclusively on abstinence in suggestions like respect yourself, get plenty of rest and go out as a group."
It's just one example given to defend a civil suit slapped onto the school district by two mothers, a pediatric group, and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.
Burlingame says, "Additional materials compare a woman who is not a virgin to a dirty shoe and suggests that men are unable to control themselves once they become sexually aroused."
This is a district wide lawsuit over the sex education, or as some argue, the lack of it, being taught at all five Clovis high schools. A parent who filed suit says the district sets high standards in so many areas, and health should not be one it lacks in.
Aubree Smith filed the lawsuit and says, "Sex education in Clovis schools is providing misinformation that can put young peoples health at risk. We would never teach inaccurate math. Why would we allow the schools to teach inaccurate sex education?"
An ACLU Staff Attorney says material focusing heavily on one form of birth control, in this case, abstinence, is a violation of state law.
"That has to be medically accurate and comprehensive meaning that it must include information about all FDA approved methods of STD transmission reduction and pregnancy," says Elizabeth Gill, ACLU Staff Attorney.
The Clovis School Unified District protects it's position, saying it has not been in violation.
Kelly Avants, Clovis Unified School District says, "It appears to us that from initial review of the document that the concern raised in this lawsuit stems more from a question of differing interpretations of what the California content standard contains."