Newsmaker: Lita-Marie Townsend, Responsible Sexual Behaviors Supervisor, Cleveland Municipal School District. The Cleveland public schools announced a new sex education program this week aimed at curbing high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Unlike the current program, which offers sex education to middle and high school students, this one will reach grades as low as kindergarten with material school officials say is appropriate for young age groups. Among the options to be shared with students will be abstinence.
Roundtable: Chris Sheridan and Kevin O’Brien, editorial writers for the Plain Dealer; Mike Roberts, freelance journalist.
Sex Education: Following the interview with Ms. Townsend, Mr. Feagler will ask the panel to weigh in on the topic of sex education.
Lundgren Execution: The state of Ohio this week put to death its most notorious mass murderer. Jeffrey Lundgren was executed by lethal injection for the 1989 killings of Dennis and Cheryl Avery and their three daughters, members of a religious cult which regarded Lundgren as a prophet. The Supreme Court rejected a stay of execution that would have made Lundgren a party to a lawsuit challenging lethal injection as cruel.
Public Land Deal: City and Cuyahoga County officials are mulling over the wisdom of a multi-million dollar purchase of land by CMHA. The housing agency bought the land from a developer who cleaned it up using mostly public funds while claiming he planned a commercial project that would create jobs. Instead, the land will house the new headquarters of CMHA, create no new jobs and the agency will pay no taxes.
Charter Schools/Pre-Schools: The Ohio Supreme Court ruled this week that the state’s system of charter schools is constitutional. The high court overruled teachers unions and educators who claimed the framers of the constitution intended the state to operate public schools not fragmented by the presence of private for-profit schools. In another education development this week, Cuyahoga County announced plans to start a pilot program of pre-schools that would eventually be offered to all 3, 4, and 5 year olds.