NPFC member remarks as delivered to NUSD Board on 1/14/03 in regards to "That's a Family"
January 14, 2003
My name is Pam McCart. I am a Novato resident, a parent, a nurse, and have taught Family Life Education in this county for about 12 years that includes two years in this district. This was during the time that the nurse presented Family Life Education. I will be brief. Based on my experience I want to share one of my concerns related to the video, That's a Family, which is to be piloted in May. Previously the Family Life Education program concentrated on content related to puberty - physical, emotional and physiological changes that occur as one matures. For some children the title alone, "Family Life", created anxiety for them. Every year some children made it clear that they did not want to be in the class to talk about their families and family matters with their classmates. They felt it was too personal. To relieve their anxiety it was necessary to explain that the program was informational about normal changes that occur during puberty. With this new video, That's a Family, which is about the constitution of different families and their issues, I would anticipate that some children will have the same concerns I have shared with you. For children who may be experiencing difficulties and stress in their own home, this may create more stress for the child. For some children this may raise or introduce issues? I hope that prior to the May presentation to the children, every family will be given a copy of the handout from the discussion/teaching guide that was available at the parent preview last week. With more comprehensive information parents can then decide if this video and the class discussion afterward is appropriate and in the best interest of his/her/their child. If a parent feels any aspect of this is not appropriate, the difference of opinion should be respected, honored and noted in the final evaluation of this pilot. I am concerned about what is in the best interest of all children and families. Thank you for consideration of this concern.