Each of the four Lowcountry school districts has not complied with some aspect of the state's sex and health education law, and a new report recommends more accountability and sanctions for schools.
A series of forums is being held across the state in response to the study, “A Sterling Opportunity: 25 Years after the Comprehensive Health Education Act,” and one of those will take place at the College of Charleston this week.
The New Morning Foundation, a reproductive health advocacy organization, released the report in January showing Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester 2 and 4 school districts each had at least one area where local schools were not following the state Comprehensive Health Education Act.
The study showed the majority of districts statewide aren't in compliance with the reproductive health education aspects of the law.
“The current structure of the (Comprehensive Health Education Act) is inadequate to ensure that (South Carolina) students receive medically-accurate and age-appropriate reproductive health instruction,” according to the report.
The Berkeley County School District did not respond to any of the study's requests for information. Charleston and rural Dorchester 4 schools were cited as not in compliance for failure to teach middle school students about sexually transmitted disease and AIDS prevention.
Dorchester 2 schools were cited for failing to have a health education advisory committee with the 13 members required by law.
Panelists for the local forum will be Trish Hutchinson, co-founder of Girlology; Michael Miller, member of the Charleston County School Board; Phyliss Thornthwaite, coordinator for health and physical education in Berkeley County schools; and Doug Taylor, chief program officer of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
Reach Diette Courrégé Casey at @Diette on Twitter or 937-5546.