Words can't express how exasperating it is to read articles that refer to the proposed Virginia Family Life Education program as a "sex education plan."

For the enlightenment of Post reporters Lee Hockstader and Sandra Evans {Metro, Jan. 15} and other uninformed persons, 63 percent of the projected material is not usually referred to as "sex education," according to W. L. Lemmon, chairman of the Virginia State Board of Education.

The approved program is much more comprehensive than course work commonly thought of as "sex ed." The stated goals of Family Life Education include understanding family roles, personal attributes that strengthen family life, physical and emotional growth, as well as developing a positive self-concept and decision-making skills and a wholesome attitude about sexuality. While sexuality education is an important component of Family Life Education, it is certainly much more than "sex ed."

Although concern was expressed by General Assembly Delegate J. Paul Councill Jr. about the state's usurping local authority in mandating the curriculum, the proposed guidelines provide local authorities with substantial flexibility. Local systems will select individuals to teach the curriculum and determine when co-ed classes would be appropriate; teams from the community will assist in the development and implementation of the program. Parents in each locality will have an opportunity annually to pull their children out of the program.

JEAN A. TANNEY Alexandria