Central Valley teenager Taylor Ghimenti learned in her 9th grade sex education class that HIV-AIDS could be spread by kissing — a medically inaccurate statement. In the 2009 class, her mother said, Taylor was taught only about abstinence as protection against sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies and given no information about condoms or contraception.
That launched a quest by her mother, Mica Ghimenti, to change the Clovis Unified School District's high school sex education curriculum. On Tuesday, Ghimenti joined a lawsuit that alleges that the district is violating state law by teaching only about abstinence.
The lawsuit against Clovis Unified, which serves 39,000 students in Fresno County, alleges that the abstinence-only curriculum is risking young people's health by denying them accurate information about how to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
"I want there to be medically accurate, scientifically based education for all youth in Clovis Unified," said Ghimenti, a health education instructor. "If we don't give them the information, they won't be able to make good, healthy decisions."