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Judge Rules Clovis Unified's Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Violated State Law

May 13, 2015

The American Civil Liberties Union took part in the suit against the Clovis Unified School District filed in 2012.
Credit ACLU

In a recent court decision that some are calling historic, a Fresno County judge ruled that Clovis Unified School District’s abstinence-only sex education classes violated the state law.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Donald Black found that the district’s abstinence- only curriculum failed to provide students with information that’s complete, medically accurate and free of bias.

Phyllida Burlingame with the ACLU says the ruling is a huge victory, and not just for students in Clovis.  

“This is the first time that a judge has said that denying students information that they need about STD prevention including information that is inaccurate or biased based on sexual orientation or gender is in violation of the law and should not be taught in California schools.”

"There were a number of videos that included egregious content, for example there was a video that compared a women that was not a virgin to a dirty shoe." -Phyllida Burlingame

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by a group of parents back in 2012. They claimed the district’s high school sex education classes taught abstinence as the only way to prevent pregnancy and ignored the topic of contraception.

“There were a number of videos that included egregious content, for example there was a video that compared a women that was not a virgin to a dirty shoe,” Burlingame says.

In 2013, the district changed its policies. In the ruling, Judge Black said "medically accurate sexual health information is an important public right."