The following were among actions taken at Monday's meeting of the Montgomery County Board of Education. For more information, call 279-3617.
SEX EDUCATION -- A citizens committee recommended that the board allow students in grades eight through 12 to examine birth control devices as part of their biology and sex-education classes. The current curriculum does not address the topic.
The report reflects the sharp differences parents and educators often have about sex education.
Some members of the committee opposed the recommendation, contending that exposure to birth control options would encourage sexual activity among youths. Some parents speaking at the meeting said the school system should teach only abstinence, but others stated that if the students are already sexually active, teaching abstinence has little effect. Advocates of the proposal said displaying birth control devices in the classroom would make instruction more effective.
Superintendent Harry Pitt will now consider the proposal and decide whether to recommend that to the school board apprve it. No action on the proposal is expected for months.
School system figures indicate that few county students take an elective course on family life and sexuality. About 600 of Montgomery's 26,000 high school students sign up for the class each year.
Virtually all high school students in the county are taught about contraceptives during a five- to 10-day section in biology and general science classes. As required by the state, a student must receive parental permission before enrolling ining any sex-education classes.
BALLOT QUESTIONS -- The council voted to oppose four proposed amendments to the county's charter limiting county property taxes and spending that will appear on the election ballot Nov. 6.
One proposed amendment would tie property tax increases to 75 percent of the annual inflation rate, while a less restrictive proposal would tie the property rate to the full annual inflation rate. Other proposed charter amendments would bar the council from raising the property tax rate beyond its fiscal 1988 level and prohibit the county from spending funds on projects that are considered the state's responsibility.
Pitt said the amendments could harm school funding in a period when enrollment is expected to grow by one-fourth by 1995.