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Published February 15, 2013, 06:44 PM

NDSU researchers happy to move on after controversy

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Those researchers say they hope the controversy is behind them, and that a voluntary sex education project can move forward. As we told you Thursday, the North Dakota attorney general issued an opinion that the federal research grant should move forward.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Those researchers say they hope the controversy is behind them, and that a voluntary sex education project can move forward. As we told you Thursday, the North Dakota attorney general issued an opinion that the federal research grant should move forward.

Researchers Brandy Randall and Molly Secor-Turner never imagined a program to prepare local teens for the reality of relationships would stir the legislative, higher-ed and public opinion pot. With Thursday's Attorney General decision, families can now voluntarily enroll their teens into the sex education program.

Brandy Randall – NDSU Researcher: “The kids benefit. Kids are entitled to accurate, evidence based information; education that we know will help teach them the skills needed to keep them healthy.”

The program will use evidence and science based teaching, an effort to delay sexual activity and decrease risky behavior.

Molly Secor-Turner – NDSU Researcher: “What we have is a program that can help adolescents. We can help prevent pregnancy. We can help them make healthy choices and we can give them skills that benefit them into adulthood. During all of this I kept thinking, ‘we are talking about adolescents and the health of adolescents,’ and we all should think that is important.”

The program is not taught in schools, and, actually, sex education is a small part of it. Part of the focus is good decision making, and consequences of unwanted pregnancies.

The grant is for a three year project. To sign up your teen-ager send an email to ndsu.rotond@ndsu.edu

NDSU's President has called the $1 million research grant compelling and impressive.

President Dean Bresciani today would not comment on the controversy involving the grant and program, but he did tell us, a land grant research university like NDSU is successful because of faculty and staff that are allowed to engage in study and science based research that benefits society without barriers.

Dean Bresciani – NDSU President: “Research universities are what catalyzes the economy in the community quality of life around us and it is important to recognize that and that academic is the core and to abridge that hurts everyone we serve.”

Earlier, President Bresciani denied bowing to political pressure for freezing the grant after some legislators questioned the partnership of Planned Parenthood in the project.

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