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Parents, students criticize Gwinnett County group’s sex education teaching

About two dozen Gwinnett County parents and students asked school board members Thursday evening to apply greater oversight over a Lawrenceville-based organization’s sex education training.

The students and parents say the Pregnancy Resource Center of Gwinnett has used crude measures and outdated beliefs to encourage abstinence.

“I ask that you stand with me and don’t let anyone teach our children having sex before marriage makes them damaged, sullied or disgusting,” Tamara Ashley, a Brookwood High School parent who organized the critics that came to the meeting, told board members.

Robin Mauck, the center’s executive director, defended her organization’s work in her remarks to the board. She also thanked the critics for conveying its concerns.

"Our main purpose is to assist and work with the school system and with the parent to empower our children and improve the health and future of the next generation of our leaders in our community,” she said.

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Mauck declined after the meeting to address the specific allegations made by the critics.

Gwinnett is one of several area school districts that uses an abstinence-based curriculum called “Choosing The Best.” Gwinnett has used the curriculum since 2001 and a committee reviews it annually, school district officials said. Mauck said the center has worked in Gwinnett schools since 2002, serving about 30,000 students.

The IMPACT Abstinence Program, which is an outreach program of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Gwinnett, has had four complaints since it was implemented in 2002, school district officials said. Ashley said she has made complaints about the program before but Gwinnett officials haven’t acted on her concerns.

Several school board members said they were unaware of the concerns and said they’d review the complaints.

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