STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – The Bulloch County School System is making some changes to the way it teaches sex education in sixth through ninth grade classrooms.

Educators will be rolling out courses that teach students about sexuality, staying healthy and sex crime prevention. 

“Sexual assault or sexual abuse education is because we’re seeing more and more of that not only in Georgia but in Bulloch County…So it’s imperative that we include those lessons as well,” Debbie Sarratt, Academic Support for the school system said. 

Sarratt said the classes will be abstinence-based, but they will teach eighth and ninth grade students about forms of contraception.

The courses will also touch on a relatively new topic in schools, gender identity. But, this will happen in phases with ninth graders being taught it in 2021, and then in 2022 it will be introduced to grades seven through nine.

“It will be fact-based. It will focus on terms, definitions, and then a couple of activities to help them understand where we have lack of respect for others around us, and that we need to build respect,” Sarratt said.

Parents are also chiming in on the new policy. Some told me off camera that they agree with the way Bulloch County plans to teach sex education. While others didn’t think it was appropriate for their child to learn about gender identity in school. However, educators hope to put parents at ease.

“We certainly aren’t teaching values, that’s for our parent to do. We want parents to be the foremost in their education…we’re just giving the health education of sex education,” Sarratt said.

She also added that if parents don’t want their child to take the course there is an opt-out form they can sign.