FREMONT -- School district leaders are considering delaying the adoption of a health textbook after parents complained that its presentation of frank sexual topics is inappropriate for ninth-grade students.

Superintendent Jim Morris has recommended putting on hold the use of "Your Health Today" until Fremont Unified employees can work with the book's publisher to make it more "age-appropriate."

Meantime, school board members on Wednesday will consider using last year's health textbook for the short term.

"I ... recognize and respect the concerns of some of our families," Morris said, "and believe this recommendation is a great compromise that will address those opinions while still working toward ultimately providing the best curriculum possible in our schools."

The controversy started June 25, when Fremont school board members voted 3-2 to buy copies of the book. But parents objected to the book's sections that talk about sexual education topics. A petition on the website Care2 has nearly 2,200 signatures calling for the book's removal.

School district leaders say they decided to delay using the new textbook after receiving feedback from parents, health teachers and others in the community. Morris said that Fremont health instructors' primary goal is to teach the state standards in an age-appropriate, accurate, objective and sensitive manner.

"This goal was at the forefront in adopting the (new) textbook as well," he said." It will remain our goal when working with the publishers to make revisions to the text."


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Staff writer Doug Oakley contributed to this report. Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.