Roman Catholic schools in Rhode Island will adopt state guidelines for teaching about AIDS, Bishop Louis Gelineau of the Diocese of Providence has announced. But such lessons will stop short of teaching that condoms are a means of preventing the spread of the disease, he added.
Bishop Gelineau, who spoke on WPRI-TV's "Newsmakers'' program, which was broadcast last week, said including instruction on condoms would violate church doctrine against using contraceptives, according to diocesan officials. They said he also praised the state guidelines because they emphasize teaching young people to avoid sex until marriage.
The Rhode Island Board of Regents in April voted to require public schools to teach about acquired immune deficiency syndrome, beginning next September. (See Education Week, June 3, 1987.) In Rhode Island's 70 parochial schools, a spokesman for the diocese said, AIDS education will be included in existing "family life'' classes.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has set July 9 as the date for oral arguments in the appeal by the Hawkins County, Tenn., Public Schools of a decision that allowed children from seven fundamentalist Christian families to "opt out'' of the district's reading program.
U.S. District Judge Thomas G. Hull ruled in October that the parents who filed the suit could teach their children reading at home because the schools' reading textbooks contained themes that offend the families' religious beliefs. (See Education Week, Nov. 5, 1986.)