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Calif. District Agrees To Offer AIDS Education

A group of parents has settled a lawsuit against the Hemet, Calif., school district in return for the district's agreement to teach state-mandated AIDS-education classes.

The district agreed last month to offer a basic and an expanded AIDS-education course to middle and high school students. Parents can enroll their children in either class or exempt them altogether.

The parents had argued that the district's AIDS-education course failed to include important health information, such as the use of condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The plaintiffs had originally charged that the district's sex-education curriculum violated a state law that required such courses to be medically accurate. In an effort to end the controversy, the district suspended the teaching of sex education altogether. (See Education Week, March 29, 1995.)

"Parents involved in this lawsuit are gratified that they can now choose an appropriate AIDS-education program for their children based on sound educational principles," said Debra Fischer, the plaintiffs' lawyer.

Hemet Superintendent Stephen C. Teele, said he was pleased to see an end to the suit.

Change of Plans

A rural Michigan school district that considered switching entirely to charter schools has shelved the idea for now. The district conceded that it could not meet a self-imposed July deadline. (See Education Week, Jan. 10, 1996.)

Officials in the 1,200-student Montabella district in Edmore said they were still interested in the concept but realized they would have to move more slowly to meet the requirements and foster community support for the change.

Under state law, schools that win the designation receive state aid but work under relaxed regulation as part of a performance contract.

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