For months, parents, grandparents and concerned residents have packed meetings of the Orange County Board of Education to express alarm over stories they’ve heard, including that students in sex education classes are being taught how to use sex toys and given links to explicit internet sites.
They blame the California Healthy Youth Act, the groundbreaking state law passed in 2015 mandating that schools teach “medically accurate” and “age appropriate” comprehensive sex education. Among other things, the law delves into specific issues regarding the sexual health and development of LGBTQ students and addresses issues relating to HIV prevention, relationship abuse and sex trafficking.
“I don’t know why we feel the need to sexualize our kids,” said Becky Angel, who described herself as a parent and concerned citizen, at a meeting in May. “They should be learning about reading and writing and spelling and history and all that stuff, not learning how to use sex toys.”
Such assertions that sex toys are being promoted in the curriculum are inaccurate — apparently the result of a misunderstanding that went viral on the internet. The references to sex toy materials that sparked the controversy were described in booklet produced for The Adolescent Health Working Group, a San Francisco-based consortium of health clinics. These materials are not being used for sex education in schools.
The California Department of Education relies on the Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group, a collaborative of governmental and non-governmental organizations, to review and approve sex education curricula. The confusion arose because the acronym for this group (ASHWG) is very similar to that of the San Francisco health clinics (AHWG), according to attorneys with the ACLU.
Furthermore, officials with the Orange County Department of Education said there is no evidence of teachers directing students to inappropriate web pages. Finally, the law includes a clear provision allowing parents to opt their children out of a district’s comprehensive sex ed curriculum.
“Certainly, there has been a lot of misinformation on what is and isn’t in the law, and unfortunately some of the false narratives went viral,” said Ian Hanigan, a spokesman for the county department of education, which largely plays an advisory role to districts in the county and has no jurisdiction over how an individual district implements the law.
Ken Williams, the county board’s current president, is among those who oppose the law — calling it the “California Unhealthy Youth Act” during the May meeting. In an email to EdSource, Williams claimed state-approved teaching materials contain “medically inaccurate statements” that are “taught in classrooms and potentially negatively impacts our children.”
The situation in Orange County represents an extreme reaction to the law, say state and local officials and civil rights advocates. The vast majority of large urban districts have implemented the law with little controversy.
“We’ve had a few pockets where the implementation has been a little rocky,” said Sharla Smith, the California Department of Education’s comprehensive sexual education consultant. “But overall it has been flowing nicely.”
However, Smith acknowledges that the state provided no funding for a comprehensive survey of districts for compliance with the law. This has led to concern among civil rights and LGBTQ advocates that the uproar in Orange County and in a handful of other places could give smaller districts in outlying areas a reason to delay implementation.
A robust law
California has long been a nationwide leader in adopting sex education. It first began mandating that HIV prevention be a part of sex education classes in the 1990s, and in 2003 Gov. Gray Davis signed the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act, which required teaching materials to be objective and appropriate for use with students of all races, genders and sexual orientations.
Yet, while that law required districts to teach HIV/AIDS prevention, it did not mandate comprehensive sex education. And for districts that did offer sex ed, the law’s requirements regarding a number of issues, specifically those relating to bias, sexual orientation and gender identity, were vague, said Ruth Dawson, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California.
The Healthy Youth Act, which was authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, covers a broader array of sexual health issues and is considerably more specific than the previous law. For example, it allows abstinence to be taught as a birth control option but requires that other forms of birth control also be taught. In addition, lessons must cover abortion, include material specifically geared toward transgender students and teach students the meanings of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The law allows “age appropriate” sex ed to begin as early as elementary school. It requires that comprehensive lessons, which typically total between 10 and 13 hours, be given to students in 7th grade and then again in 9th grade. A bill that would expand the law to cover charter schools is currently on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
Several of the state’s larger unified districts — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego — had already began overhauling their sex-ed programs before the law was passed. And except for some outcry in San Diego, officials in these districts say the pushback from parents and community members has been minimal.
Areas of resistance
Dawson and other civil rights advocates claim much of the resistance is tied to anti-LGBTQ sentiment. They added that conservative groups that espouse religious freedom are offering support and providing information to parents who speak out against the law.
These efforts have contributed to decisions in recent months by school boards in two Orange County districts — Capistrano Unified and Orange Unified — to delay implementation indefinitely.
Last year, more than 1,000 San Diego Unified parents signed a petition objecting to that district’s curriculum, which starts in the 6th grade, as being too graphic and inappropriate for younger students. Similar petitions were signed by 1,600 residents in Palo Alto Unified and by 4,300 people in Cupertino Union.
Both San Diego and Palo Alto kept their curriculums despite the outcry. But in Cupertino the board voted to scrap the original curriculum aimed at middle schoolers and adopted a new one at the end of last year that parents were more comfortable with.
In recent months, boards serving Oceanside Unified in San Diego County and Fremont Unified in the Bay Area responded to public pressure by voting to suspend sex ed programs in the elementary grades.
San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten said even with the attention generated by the petition in her district, “fewer than 1 percent” of parents have opted their children out of the instruction.
“There is a very small group of people who just flat out believe that we not only shouldn’t teach sex ed to their own children but other people’s as well,” Marten said. “It’s a permanent opposition…when you try to get into a substantive conversation with them about what they object to, there really is no answer.”
Kevin Snider, who is chief counsel for the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative nonprofit law firm based in Sacramento that supports those who oppose the law, said the objections mostly revolve around districts implementing the curriculums without proper disclosure to parents. The Healthy Youth Act requires districts to allow parents to review the curriculum and class materials.
“We’ve heard about a lot of pushback from districts when it comes to allowing parents to review and copy the materials,” Snider said. “They will often make claims regarding copyright issues…we often find them to not be legitimate claims.”
Snider demurred when a reporter asked to be pointed to specific instances of this happening. He also repeated the claims regarding teachers providing students with links to sexually explicit web sites but would not provide specifics.
Much controversy and confusion revolves around whether parents can opt their children out of instruction focused on sexual orientation and gender identity. While they can opt out of the sex ed classes in their entirety, both the Healthy Youth Act and federal anti-discrimination laws prohibit parents from opting their children out of sexual orientation and gender identity sections selectively.
The laws also prevent parents from opting their children out of lessons regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and the rights of LGBTQ people that are taught in another context — in, for example, a history class or as part of an anti-bullying presentation.
ACLU lawyers and other advocates say that, despite the pockets of opposition, they haven’t reached the point where they feel the need to begin filing lawsuits to force districts to comply with the law. The plan now is to continue reaching out to districts and offer support where needed.
But, in many respects, they face an uphill battle because the Healthy Youth Act is an unfunded mandate — legislators provided no money for compliance when they passed it in 2015. And programs that were once in place for state audits were largely gutted during the recession years.
Krystal Torres-Covarrubias, who is education policy manager for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, worries that resistance may be yet to come in rural districts. “I assume that the reason we haven’t heard of any pushback in some places is because the current boards haven’t implemented it,” she said.
Battle continues in Orange County
The controversy shows no signs of slowing down in Orange County. In July, the county board of education voted in favor of holding a town hall forum, which is scheduled for Sept. 26, that Williams says will be a “civil public discourse on public policy and state laws.”
“We live in a democracy where free speech and free moral agency is critical to the survival of our nation,” Williams said in his email to EdSource. “This community forum advances the interests of our constituents and informs our community of governance and laws passed by state elected leaders.”
That’s not how the local LGBTQ community sees it, said Laura Kanter, director of policy advocacy and youth programs for the LGBT Center OC. Kanter says the forum is being pushed by Williams and other conservatives on the board who are not interested in an honest dialogue.
“It would be great to have a forum to help people better understand the Healthy Youth Act curriculum,” Kanter said. “But that’s not what this is about — it’s really a forum for certain people to have a platform to share their anti-LGBTQ opinions…no thanks, we’ve already been there.”
Al Mijares, Orange County’s superintendent of schools, is a member of the EdSource board of directors. Board members have no input into EdSource’s editorial content.
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Larry 4 years ago4 years ago
This article says nothing about valid objections or the consequences of this curriculum. In practical terms it will result in the loss of students from public schools. Is this client sensibility?
Roberta Gonzalez 4 years ago4 years ago
The Cultural Marxist ACLU should have no say when it comes to the sexual education of young children . Neither should any LGBTQ group. These are our children and we will decide what to teach them and what not to. Some of the instructional materials are downright pornographic and totally inappropriate in a school setting .
Mindy lee 4 years ago4 years ago
We are not fighting LGBTQ people per se but their agenda that obviously is to create more of them by infiltrating the public schools. If a child is different in that way, I'm sure any loving parent would support them despite their religious beliefs. As a concerned mother in Orange County, I am very concerned by the graphic curriculum being taught in 7th grade. Planned Parenthood came in and showed a rape video and discussed … Read More
We are not fighting LGBTQ people per se but their agenda that obviously is to create more of them by infiltrating the public schools. If a child is different in that way, I’m sure any loving parent would support them despite their religious beliefs. As a concerned mother in Orange County, I am very concerned by the graphic curriculum being taught in 7th grade.
Planned Parenthood came in and showed a rape video and discussed how to deal with that kind of situation. Obviously abortion is being promoted here. Also, when people mistakenly say sex toys, they are referring to the dental dam that the speaker from Planned Parenthood pulled out to demonstrate oral sex with. This isn’t misinformation, parents were in the sex ed class being taught to their 7th graders. This is very real. Please investigate further before you write an article about something as important as the safety for our children and their sexuality.
Elaine Fondler 4 years ago4 years ago
I believe in age appropriate sex education for children; also covering gender identification topics.
However, the parents of children under high school age should have the opportunity to explore the curriculum, attend special classes so they understand the program completely, and have the option to opt out if their child is under high school age.
Desiree Ivey 4 years ago4 years ago
Wrong. Using dildos in a junior high class to show kids how to use a condom is wrong, having "guest speakers" from Planned Parenthood discussing flavored barriers is inappropriate in the Anaheim Middle Schools. Yes, inappropriate sex education is happening here in Orange County and the best I can get from the County Board of Education is that it is up to the individual districts.So yes, parents will be fighting this because you are … Read More
Wrong. Using dildos in a junior high class to show kids how to use a condom is wrong, having “guest speakers” from Planned Parenthood discussing flavored barriers is inappropriate in the Anaheim Middle Schools. Yes, inappropriate sex education is happening here in Orange County and the best I can get from the County Board of Education is that it is up to the individual districts.So yes, parents will be fighting this because you are leaving it up to people who do not have the same values.
Denise Pursche 5 years ago5 years ago
Please make sure to read the comments in the "comment section" of this newspaper article in The East Bay Times, linked at the bottom. Most important to understand, however, is that the recommendation from the superintendent/board is to move HIV lesson to middle school and not provide any HIV/STD information to our 10 and 11 year olds. I ask, wasn't our middle school program already in compliance of the law for their "family … Read More
Please make sure to read the comments in the “comment section” of this newspaper article in The East Bay Times, linked at the bottom. Most important to understand, however, is that the recommendation from the superintendent/board is to move HIV lesson to middle school and not provide any HIV/STD information to our 10 and 11 year olds. I ask, wasn’t our middle school program already in compliance of the law for their “family life” curriculum and already taught HIV in the middle school program? So, why would moving this lesson from 5th grade to middle school be a recommendation?
Our MDUSD Board/Superintendent already voted for middle school program, several years ago, and as far as I know that program was already in compliance with The Healthy Youth Act. MDUSD had already voted on the curriculum for both middle school and high school complying with the law a couple of years ago. Since the district already taught “gender identity and sexual orientation” and “HIV” as detailed in the law and was already in compliance for “middle school”, what was there to “move to middle school”? The answer? Absolutely nothing!
Lisa Ackerman 5 years ago5 years ago
Sad that the few detractors that this article is willing to site were handpicked because of their misunderstandings about what is in the curriculum, so it would look like only the ignorant would dislike this curriculum. I took the time to read what our District is offering, and it is not medically accurate in many places, and it does not do even close to an adequate job of explaining how certain sexual behaviors are … Read More
Sad that the few detractors that this article is willing to site were handpicked because of their misunderstandings about what is in the curriculum, so it would look like only the ignorant would dislike this curriculum. I took the time to read what our District is offering, and it is not medically accurate in many places, and it does not do even close to an adequate job of explaining how certain sexual behaviors are more harmful than others, but makes all practices and orientations sound equally safe. And yes, there’s an opt-out, but few parents know about it. How about switching it to an opt-in?
Dean Broyles 5 years ago5 years ago
As the attorney representing concerned parents in San Diego, I view this article as very biased, containing many factual and legal inaccuracies, including the following: The San Diego concerned parent petition currently has more than 8,000 signatures (online and paper). SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten is not telling the truth. My clients are not just a “small group” nor do they oppose the teaching of sex education. They merely oppose the graphic and extreme Advocates … Read More
As the attorney representing concerned parents in San Diego, I view this article as very biased, containing many factual and legal inaccuracies, including the following:
The San Diego concerned parent petition currently has more than 8,000 signatures (online and paper). SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten is not telling the truth. My clients are not just a “small group” nor do they oppose the teaching of sex education. They merely oppose the graphic and extreme Advocates for Youth (AFY-3RS) curriculum which is not medically accurate, is not age-appropriate, and does not align with community values. That is precisely why Oceanside recently, responding to parent and teacher concerns, pulled the K-6 AFY curriculum. The media, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union Tribune, KUSI and others covering SDUSD have been largely fair and sympathetic with my clients. My clients have done their homework and have made their concerns abundantly clear at many SDUSD board meetings and in conversations with board members. It is Ms. Marten who, in fact, has refused to meet with my clients and engage in substantive conversation with stakeholders. The SDUSD board has shamefully rubber-stamped her callous approach, blatantly ignoring legitimate parent concerns. SDUSD desperately needs new leadership—individuals who are authentic and responsive public servants–not activists imposing a radical sexual agenda on children and families.
The reporter extensively quotes ACLU attorneys, who are far from impartial arbiters of truth here but rather are activist promoters and apologists for radical CSE. The reporter gets the law wrong on several points.
First, California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) and other applicable laws clearly state that parents should be consulted partners in the process—including deciding what is age-appropriate, not ignored and maligned.
Second, the curriculum can’t target or discriminate against people of faith. However, most CSE curricula, in nakedly intolerant, un-inclusive, and bigoted terms, discriminate against and attack the religious beliefs and practices of our citizens.
Third, neither CHYA, nor any other applicable laws, mandate that parents can’t opt their children out of the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) lessons. While the sex ed. opt out is mandated by the law (and a SOGI opt out is not mandatory), school boards are free to adopt faith and family friendly policies to allow students to opt out of sexual orientation and gender identity lessons. In fact, it is our position that to not allow an opt out for SOGI is religiously discriminatory and coercive. School districts can comply with CHYA without forcing medically inaccurate, age-inappropriate, and culturally insensitive lessons on our children and families.
The reporter casts doubt on the credibility of parent’s concerns by focusing only on the straw-man “sex toy” concern and attempting to paint them as anti-LGBT. If he had interviewed informed parents and carefully looked at the applicable curricula, he would understand that they have legitimate concerns, based in fact as most curricula exceed CHYA and are “too much, too soon” (i.e. not age appropriate). The AFY curriculum does, in fact, have links to pornography and promotes pornography.
Ashley Bever 5 years ago5 years ago
While Cindy Marten, San Diego Unified's Superintendent likes to think she's the Dali Lama, this is yet ANOTHER example of her lack of integrity & honesty. We have NO problem with medically appropriate & age appropriate sex ed. We have a problem with "sex advocacy," and the aggressive attempt to change the benchmark on what is considered "age appropriate." This new wave of sexualizing children, is putting teachers & administrators in a … Read More
While Cindy Marten, San Diego Unified’s Superintendent likes to think she’s the Dali Lama, this is yet ANOTHER example of her lack of integrity & honesty. We have NO problem with medically appropriate & age appropriate sex ed. We have a problem with “sex advocacy,” and the aggressive attempt to change the benchmark on what is considered “age appropriate.” This new wave of sexualizing children, is putting teachers & administrators in a “lose-lose” situation and more importantly putting our children in HARMs way. We need a holistic approach to adolescent sexual health, one that will contribute to healthy relationships & sexuality!
Denise Pursche 5 years ago5 years ago
MDUSD (Mt Diablo Unified School District, Concord, CA) never discussed Advocates for Youth, 3Rs - Rights, Respect, and Responsibility, 5th grade curriculum for 2017/2018, last school year. This curriculum was implemented without board oversight. MDUSD Board never voted on this curriculum and most importantly never asked for parent input before implementation either. This curriculum was implemented without board oversight by two staffers (one of these individuals is no longer with … Read More
MDUSD (Mt Diablo Unified School District, Concord, CA) never discussed Advocates for Youth, 3Rs – Rights, Respect, and Responsibility, 5th grade curriculum for 2017/2018, last school year. This curriculum was implemented without board oversight. MDUSD Board never voted on this curriculum and most importantly never asked for parent input before implementation either. This curriculum was implemented without board oversight by two staffers (one of these individuals is no longer with the district, reason as to why were not provided). In fact, this age inappropriate curriculum was implemented and rolled out across our entire district for 5th grade “sexuality education”, all without board approval. How exactly that happened is still a mystery for school year 2017/2018. All 11 lesson, considered to be “comprehensive”, with 40 minutes devoted to each lesson (half of the teachers however, didn’t teach all of the lessons, according to documentation I was provided). Prior years, two 40 minute lesson in the years past. This new curriculum, all 11 lessons were stated to be “designated 7th grade/nationally taught in the 7th grade”, but yet, were rolled across our district and provided to 10 and 11 year old “children”. This district keeps calling them “children”. Do they not hear themselves? Some of the lesson and information in these lessons are not age appropriate for our children who are 10 and 11 years old, but sadly, after more than 7 months of public comments (twice monthly) that I have delivered, along with a few other parents, our board still have has refuses to vote on the curriculum. Two “reports” from staffers made to this board concerning the curriculum and still no vote. Though I do believe our board is concerned, I just ask why it has taken over 7 months and we still do have not have a vote scheduled. We do have one board member who is running for superintendent of Contra Costa County. I have accused this board of perhaps of waiting until after the election. Though I do not know if this is true, it makes me wonder about the delay after 7 months of public comments and numerous, to many to count emails. What could be taking so long? Perhaps they will vote on the curriculum at the next board meeting scheduled for September 24th, as I have been told they may bring it up for a vote? Who knows? In addition to that, this last summer I was invited to attend two district meetings in July (9th and 16th), where the discussion in the room at the July 16th meeting attended by 10-12 teachers/principals/and 1 union representative who was former teacher, where I was the ONLY parent in the room who wasn’t paid by either the district, or was a union rep, who stated’/paraphrased, “since the district has provided a definition of vaginal sexual intercourse, if they do not provide a definition of “anal and oral intercourse” they would be in violation of various discrimination laws and would be open to a law suit; and there are several organizations who would sue this district if the board doesn’t comply and provide a definition of both anal and oral sex. One teacher in the room then added that they had to provide the definition of anal and oral sex as 5th grade students were engaging in anal and oral sex in the bathrooms. Others in the room concurred. If the State Department of Education doesn’t amend the Healthy Youth Act, this is exactly where this curriculum is headed. Think we could get some sense and sensibility from our boards and our DOE? I have been told that laws don’t need to be amended because the districts have choice for elementary school age students (TK-6th), as the the law states “district may” include any or all of the topics for elementary school age student, but are not required under the law. I was told by the DOE (Stephanie Gregson and others) that our board must have “chosen to teach this curriculum, all 11 lessons, otherwise they wouldn’t have done so, because the law doesn’t require them to do it”. I asked in subsequent conversations with the DOE, if it were possible for a district to be sued by these organizations using “various discrimination laws” and was told they would get back to me with an answer (Glen Price) but I never hear back from him even after I left two other messages. I’ve also spoken with Sharla Smith and Lindsey Weiss. There seems to be no answer for parents from the Department of Education, nor our MDUSD board. Not even our local newspaper (The East Bay Times) who has also not published any information concerning this curriculum even after numerous phone calls to various editors and reporters. In fact, in August I spent over an hour on the phone with a reporter only to find out on Friday they were let go by our paper. I have talked to several reporters over the last 7 months and several of them are no longer working at the paper. I almost feel like I’m bad luck or something else is going. Why does’t our local newspaper report on this phenomena and how a district could implement this curriculum without board approval? Are they too waiting for the election results before they report out on the lack of action by our MDUSD Board and Superintendent? So many questions, too few answers. Regards, Denise Pursche
Denise Pursche 5 years ago5 years ago
Mt. Diablo Unified School District, like Fremont Unified, essentially has the same curriculum, along with the book, "It's Perfectly Normal" as a list of resources, provided on a handout and given to the children. Our lessons are slightly different between our two districts, but still as age inappropriate as Fremont Unified. Like Fremont Unified, our curriculum is from Advocates for Youth, 3Rs Curriculum, Rights, Respect and Responsibility. Our lessons span both 5th and 7th grade. … Read More
Mt. Diablo Unified School District, like Fremont Unified, essentially has the same curriculum, along with the book, “It’s Perfectly Normal” as a list of resources, provided on a handout and given to the children. Our lessons are slightly different between our two districts, but still as age inappropriate as Fremont Unified.
Like Fremont Unified, our curriculum is from Advocates for Youth, 3Rs Curriculum, Rights, Respect and Responsibility. Our lessons span both 5th and 7th grade. One lesson plan is designated 7th (I am Who I Am). We were told on parent night by the presenters, “that the curriculum was designated 7th grade and was national taught in the 7th grade”.
You can find a link to all 11 lesson at the bottom of this petition.
Our curriculum for 5th grade is not age appropriate for our “children.” However, perhaps the most age inappropriate lesson plan is titled, “What is Love Anyway” and the description of “sexual intercourse.” Here’s part of the script for 10 and 11 year old children, “How do you know whether you like or love someone? People have boyfriends, girlfriend, partners, or when they’re older, they may choose to live together or get married. Some people may want to have these types of relationship starting in middle school, and some aren’t interested until high school or later… when you get older, you might want to have sex with that person,” etc. No matter at what age we start having these feelings of love and wanting to touch, kiss, etc., most people experience these feelings at some point in their lives – often, for different people over the course of their lifetimes”.
Then of course, the book you mention, “It’s Perfectly Normal,” is also part of our curriculum (like Fremont Unified) and describes not only anal and oral sex, but provides information on various contraception including a condom demonstration and a list of “women’s” contraceptives including the IUD. The book covers the topic of masturbation, an entire chapter devoted to it and says, “even babies masturbate.” And, the book, “It’s Perfectly Normal,” discusses abortion in a chapter devoted to it as well. This book is part of our curriculum and includes “cartoon pictures” to help tell the story. NPR in a 2014 article, “It May be ‘Perfectly Normal’ but its Also Frequently Banned” is well worth the read. One of the most banned books in America, often on the top 10 list of most banned books yearly. Why would a curriculum provide this book as “age appropriate” for 10 and 11 year olds? Well, that’s because the book is slated to be “For Age 10 and Up.” I beg to differ. A book with cartoons showing various “cartoon couples” in various sexual acts is not appropriate for 10- and 11-year-old children.
On another note, our board suggested removing the lesson on HIV which I strong disagree at the last board meeting (Sept 12th). Our students need to understand risk. If you are going to provide explicit definition of vaginal sexual intercourse or even define it anywhere in the curriculum, (“The penis is inserted into the vagina”), then you are obligated to fully inform our “children.”
However, perhaps an even bigger issue with this lesson plan is that there is no information about the link between HIV/sexual intercourse and this lesson states, “Luckily, HIV is hard to get”, and only indicates that “HIV” can be transmitted during “sexual contact.” There is no mention of contracting HIV via “sexual intercourse” (though a previous lesson defines sexual intercourse). However, within the HIV lesson plan, is no information whatsoever on other STDs, including gonorrhea/syphilis and are described by the CDC as two of the most prevalent and it also described to an “epidemic” in youth age 13-24.
This is a story not told by the mainstream media and how The Healthy Youth Act doesn’t specify that other STDs should be discussed within the law and specific risk factors discussed based on gender or sexual orientations. Basically, the 3Rs curriculum, brushes aside any risk information that might inform our students including any information about abstinence. No, I’m only talking about “abstinence only,” I’m just talking about “abstinence” and the need for a discussion with this curriculum. Of course, Advocates for Youth, 3Rs curriculum, pans “abstinence” and lumps it together with “abstinence-only” curriculum. I believe a discussion about “waiting” is valuable for our students to consider.
This curriculum also doesn’t mention any information about “long-term committed relationships” and “waiting until you are an adult, or much older to engage in sexual relationships.” You see, the CDC says, the longer you wait the lower your risk! In fact, your risk is zero if you abstain and it’s nearly zero if you’re committed to a “mutually monogamous relationships” as well. Why doesn’t our curriculum cover this important topic as to risk factors, and reducing your risk, by engaging in “long term committed relationships, like those of marriage.” It’s almost like they have an aversion to mentioning risk and the factors that account for HIV and STDs.
Lastly, I’m sure everyone will remember the “safe sex” campaign? The CDC has all but abandoned that campaign because, you see, there is no safe sex! All sex comes with risk and that risk is defined based on several factors across gender and sexual orientations. STDs are considered epidemic according to the CDC for age range 13-24. Pregnancy is considered to be pre-1950s levels. Abortion is also at the very low levels too, and dropping each year over year. In addition to that, it seems our youth are avoiding any protections, using protections has decreased among our youth, perhaps because they believe there is a “safer sex”?
So, answer me this. How does pregnancy drop to all times levels below 1950s levels, abortion also at an all time low, and STDs are epidemic for age range 13-24? Something doesn’t add up except that perhaps our students are engaging in a anal and oral sex, instead of vaginal sex.
Another great article to read is “When Did Sex Ed Become Porn” (NY Times). Can’t remember the author of this article, but it is well worth the read. She sights a study from a university that indicates that anal and oral sex rates in college age students has increase dramatically and about 40% of all college age students are engaging in anal and oral sex. She also mentions that women think anal sex is violent and usually comply because they are trying to make the men in their lives happy, but they don’t like it. I suppose, that perhaps this might account for the increase in STDs among 13-24 because our youth are engaging in these behaviors without protection? Perhaps that explains the CDC STD epidemic results?
And, more importantly I believe, sexuality education curriculum downplays “RISK” or “RISK” factors. I’ve asked our CA Department of Ed to investigate this as an amendment to their healthy Youth Act. I have been told that The Healthy Youth Act doesn’t need amending because HIV is already included within the law.
I disagree, though HIV is included and specified in the law, other STDs are not specified, other than mere mention that other STDs exist, but they do not name any of them, or the most prevalent and the law doesn’t specify the need to mention these by name.
Defining “risk,” all of the risk, should be important information within the curriculum. Instead The Healthy Youth Act and various sexuality education curriculum, down plays the significance of other STDs and discusses HIV due to its life threatening issue, all the while pretty much ignoring the significance of other STDs. I ask, perhaps this is why we have an “epidemic”?
Again, we need to make sure we focus on risk as it applies to sexuality and across gender and sexual ordinations so as to not leave the impression to our youth that there is a “safer sex,” as 81% of all new HIV infections are transmitted via anal intercourse and 20% of all new HIV infections are due to condom breakage during anal sex for our youth 13-24.
To not provide this information “comprehensively” when discussion sexual intercourse at any level is to leave our youth vulnerable and is irresponsible policy.
Shame on 3Rs curriculum, MDUSD, CA Department of Education.
Daniel Wangchomchantra 4 years ago4 years ago
My understanding of the education code suggests that we can opt our children out of the entire curriculum. EC51937 and EC51938 both state that an OPT out for all or part the curriculum is within out rights. I sent my letter to the district legal dept - Deborah Cooksey, the teacher - Shelly Harrison and principle Julie L. Johnson of Silverwood Elementary. I've gotten push back from the principle saying that the OPT out only … Read More
My understanding of the education code suggests that we can opt our children out of the entire curriculum. EC51937 and EC51938 both state that an OPT out for all or part the curriculum is within out rights. I sent my letter to the district legal dept – Deborah Cooksey, the teacher – Shelly Harrison and principle Julie L. Johnson of Silverwood Elementary. I’ve gotten push back from the principle saying that the OPT out only applies to all or part of lessons 4,5,6. This seems contrary to the State. I’d love to discuss this further with any concerned parents. Over the phone. six-5-zero.three.one.5.one.3.five.7
Jim Chow 5 years ago5 years ago
Fremont parents are not against sex Ed, they are against 3R, which is a radical curriculum that sexualize our children. Looking for specific examples? Check out https://sites.google.com/view/fremont-parents/home/objectionable-content. More than 7000 parents signed the petition at http://tinyurl.com/Change3R. Also check out http://fremontparents.org for more information!
Arianna Barrios | Spokesperson 5 years ago5 years ago
The Orange Unified School District did not make a decision to “delay implementation indefinitely,” as your article indicates. The Board of Trustees, upon careful consideration and robust public input, voted to postpone implementation until Spring 2019 to ensure that additional parental outreach and education could be undertaken. In doing so, the District is working to ensure that parents and guardians within our educational community are made aware of their rights to review material and opt their students out of the curriculum.
Hilary McLean 5 years ago5 years ago
Great reporting about a very important subject. All students should have access to medically accurate information that will help them make safe choices and protect their health. Thanks David Washburn and Edsource for covering this.
Amy Haywood 5 years ago5 years ago
The quote by SDUSD's Cindy Marten is so telling. The San Diego parents are not anti-sex ed at all--and she knows that. They are for a scientifically accurate and age appropriate curriculum that can be acceptable to all in the community. Parents are against the extreme Advocates for Youth version of sex ed known as Rights, Respect, Responsibility. The SDUSD school board needs to be replaced (voted out) entirely as it has shown a total … Read More
The quote by SDUSD’s Cindy Marten is so telling. The San Diego parents are not anti-sex ed at all–and she knows that. They are for a scientifically accurate and age appropriate curriculum that can be acceptable to all in the community. Parents are against the extreme Advocates for Youth version of sex ed known as Rights, Respect, Responsibility. The SDUSD school board needs to be replaced (voted out) entirely as it has shown a total disregard for the concerns of parents (cultural, religious and scientific). Presenting gender identity ideology to children as if it’s scientific fact is absolutely wrong and irresponsible. We don’t present Creationism to children in schools, so why are beliefs about gender ideology presented? Proponents of both Creationism and gender ideology are absolutely convinced of the correctness of their theories; neither has been proven by science. BUT gender ideology is being promoted by SDUSD and many, many schools in CA and around the nation. Such a double standard.
Ryan Burris | Chief Communications Officer 5 years ago5 years ago
Capistrano Unified never made the decision to “delay implementation indefinitely,” as your article states. We did, however, decide to draft a curriculum that follows the law and has the support of students, teachers, and community members. We plan to implement our new curriculum in the spring of 2019, after community engagement this fall and winter.