CREDIT: Alison Yin / EdSource
The library at Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, Calif.

As a public educator for over 20 years, some changes in the proposed California Health Framework concern me. The new draft not only creates teaching guidelines for health education, but could also impact Social Studies and English Language Arts through new concepts and book recommendations.

Brenda Lebsack

Since few people will read the nearly 1,000-page draft, which unfortunately is only available in English, I am sharing below some examples that parents and educators may be especially interested in. Because the California Department of Education is inviting public comment on the draft, I urge all California residents to review the framework and provide input.

The draft includes controversial teaching about sexual relations, sexual orientation and gender. In Chapter Five, Line 925, it states, “Some students may be non-monogamous and the term ‘partner(s)’ may be used to be more inclusive.” According to one resource for LGBTQ terms and definitions, recommended by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), the polyamorous sexual orientation is defined as “the practice of, desire to, or orientation toward having consensual non-monogamous relationships (i.e. relationships that may include multiple partners). This may include open relationships, polyfidelity (which involves more than two people being in romantic and/or sexual relationships which is not open to additional partners), amongst many other set-ups.”

In Chapter 3, Line 1847, the draft recommends the book Who Are You? for pre-K–3rd graders as a “guide” to develop their gender identity. This book introduces young children to the idea that gender is a spectrum. This means genders are unlimited and ever-expanding, rather than confined to two biological genders. In the book, gender is described as, “boy, girl, both, neither, trans, genderqueer, non-binary, gender fluid, transgender, gender neutral, agender, neutrois, bigender, third gender, two spirit…” In Chapter 5, Line 643, the draft introduces sexual orientations as a spectrum as well. LGBTQ+ is defined as an ever-changing spectrum with expanding concepts to include “queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, allies and alternative identities (LGBTQQIAA).” Other sexual orientations introduced in Chapter 6, Line 938 include “pansexual and polysexual.”

Many parents have never heard quite a few of these terms before and many of them are not in the English dictionary. While parents may assume they can opt out of this instruction, as they can with sexual health education and HIV prevention, this simply is not true. Instruction about gender or sexual orientations that is implemented through the adoption of the framework is exempted from parent notification and opt out requirements (California Education Code 51932b). According to The California Safe School Coalition, state law provides that “instruction or materials that discuss gender, sexual orientation, or family life and do not discuss human reproductive organs and their functions” are not subject to parental notice and opt-out laws.

Controversial instruction that offends parents could lead them to choose alternatives to public education or even leave the state. This would be disastrous for school districts, such as mine, facing declining enrollment and teacher layoffs.

Similar contentious instruction caused a parental uprising in Toronto, Canada, where parents organized a sit out. On the first day, 34,762 students were absent (double the average absenteeism rate) and over 90 percent of the students were absent in one elementary school. Parental opposition was heard and Canada reverted to the old curriculum, promising to consult with parents in fashioning new curriculum.

Adopted California state frameworks are very important because they can influence school instruction for many generations. While they are typically adopted on an eight-year cycle, the last health framework in California was adopted in 2002. And, according to the California Department of Education, while curriculum frameworks cover the K–12 educational program, their effect can be seen in preschool programs, child-care centers, adult education programs, higher education instruction and university entrance requirements. Although the framework will not be considered for adoption by the State Board of Education until May 2019 (after two 60-day community input phases), books such as Who Are You? with lesson plans have been provided to teachers and students through a free digital library, which can be accessed by public school teachers and administrators.

The California Department of Education is inviting input on the proposed health framework draft. The deadline to give input is January 11, 2019 and those interested may provide input by emailing here and may use the optional public input template as a guide. This framework will potentially have more impact on parents, schools and our culture in general than any other adopted in the past.

•••

Brenda Lebsack is a member of the Orange Unified School District board of education in Orange County and a physical education teacher for special education students in Santa Ana Unified School District. 

The opinions expressed in this commentary represent those of the author. EdSource welcomes commentaries representing diverse points of view. If you would like to submit a commentary, please review our guidelines and contact us.

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  1. Venita Johnson 10 months ago10 months ago

    I fell this material should only be presented to the children by their parents if the parents desire to do so. If not, then the material should not be forced upon the student. There definitely needs to be a choice to opt out of this material.

  2. Harold 10 months ago10 months ago

    Curious – EdSource noted Ms. Lebsack’s role as a board member and occupation as a teacher. Why not also mention her important role as a senior pastor?

  3. Michael Bowen 10 months ago10 months ago

    California has no rights to further educate a child, especially ours (mine and my wife) on identity, gender and sexuality at the financial costs to this state that is over burdened overtaxed. We the parents and families of our children are in a better position to determine the growth and identities of our child or children than a person(s) that is directed by the governing state. Every living being is created in their own right. Let … Read More

    California has no rights to further educate a child, especially ours (mine and my wife) on identity, gender and sexuality at the financial costs to this state that is over burdened overtaxed.
    We the parents and families of our children are in a better position to determine the growth and identities of our child or children than a person(s) that is directed by the governing state.
    Every living being is created in their own right. Let kids be kids, they will find their own way.
    Education is learning how to spell, write, math and history and reading skills needed for any subject along with Great Books and the Bible.
    Kids don’t need to be told to read or hear about relationship from a book or a class room teacher; it will come to them on their own and their parents; we can teach our children to respect anyone’s identity.
    This state needs to worry about more important items such as reducing the tax structure and becoming state friendly in business and for its citizens.
    Stay on the path of what you were elected or hired for and leave the raising our children to us parents. We will teach our children about waiting until they find the right “person” that comes into their life that they want to be with forever.
    A concerned parent that is moving our family and company out of California.

  4. Veronica 10 months ago10 months ago

    I am against this proposed new curriculum. I as a parent of an elementary age student feel that its going to confuse children about who they are. Its my job as a parent to teach him about sexuality. This is not something that should be implemented. I don't understand how could the majority of parents not be aware of this. Should we not have a say in how our children are being taught? I will … Read More

    I am against this proposed new curriculum. I as a parent of an elementary age student feel that its going to confuse children about who they are. Its my job as a parent to teach him about sexuality. This is not something that should be implemented. I don’t understand how could the majority of parents not be aware of this. Should we not have a say in how our children are being taught? I will keep my child out of school if this new policy is implemented.

  5. Andy Mathews 10 months ago10 months ago

    It is important for students to be taught about differences from an early age. It helps them to learn to understand those different from themselves. It will help them be more well-rounded, and it will help the students who fit into a category different from the mainstream to have a voice and hopefully receive less bullying. The suicide and self-harm rates are extremely high for students who identify as something different than the majority of … Read More

    It is important for students to be taught about differences from an early age. It helps them to learn to understand those different from themselves. It will help them be more well-rounded, and it will help the students who fit into a category different from the mainstream to have a voice and hopefully receive less bullying. The suicide and self-harm rates are extremely high for students who identify as something different than the majority of their peers. Education will help these students to love and accept themselves as well as loving and accepting each other. I think it is absolutely necessary to change the lessons taught.

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 10 months ago10 months ago

      Andy, I can only speak for myself. When I was a child I was a tomboy. Instead of playing with barbies, I played pirates and cops and robbers. I went through a phase when I just wore motorcycle t-shirts. My parents did not make a big deal about it. I never doubted I was a girl, but deep inside I wished I was a boy, because I thought boys had … Read More

      Andy, I can only speak for myself. When I was a child I was a tomboy. Instead of playing with barbies, I played pirates and cops and robbers. I went through a phase when I just wore motorcycle t-shirts. My parents did not make a big deal about it. I never doubted I was a girl, but deep inside I wished I was a boy, because I thought boys had more fun. I looked and acted so much like a boy sometimes, that if I was in an unfamiliar environment, I would get kicked out of the girl’s bathroom. As I grew up, I changed.
      I’m still not a prissy girl, but that does not make me any less female. All I can say is, speaking for myself, these teachings would have caused me psychological damage and major confusion. As a 9 year old when I heard about female menstruation for the first time, I freaked out. It sounded like the most horrific thing in the world (and sometimes it is, LOL!).
      But as a child with an immature perception, I would have thought…”If there’s a way to get out of this, then I want it! Puberty blockers or whatever it takes.” This is just me, because I know how I thought as a kid.
      I’m grateful my parents just accepted me for who I was and did not put a label on me. I’m glad they did not use gender stereotypes to define me. Although I am now a wife and a mom, I still don’t fit in many of those feminine stereotypical roles, but isn’t that what accepting a person for who they are all about?

    • Brenda Lebsack 10 months ago10 months ago

      Andy, I can only speak for myself. When I was a child I was a tomboy. Instead of playing barbies, I played pirates and cops and robbers. I went through a phase when I just wore motorcycle t-shirts. My parents did not make a big deal about it. I never doubted I was a girl, but deep inside I wished I was a boy, because I thought boys had more fun. I looked and acted … Read More

      Andy, I can only speak for myself. When I was a child I was a tomboy. Instead of playing barbies, I played pirates and cops and robbers. I went through a phase when I just wore motorcycle t-shirts. My parents did not make a big deal about it. I never doubted I was a girl, but deep inside I wished I was a boy, because I thought boys had more fun. I looked and acted so much like a boy sometimes, that if I was in an unfamiliar environment, I would get kicked out of the girl’s bathroom. As I grew up, I changed.
      I’m still not a prissy girl, but that does not make me any less female. All I can say is, speaking for myself, these teachings would have caused me psychological damage and major confusion. As a 9 year old when I heard about female menstruation for the first time, I freaked out. It sounded like the most horrific thing in the world (and sometimes it is, LOL!).
      But as a child with an immature perception, I would have thought…”If there’s a way to get out of this, then I want it! Puberty blockers or whatever it takes.” This is just me, because I know how I thought as a kid.
      I’m grateful my parents just accepted me for who I was and did not put a label on me. I’m glad they did not use gender stereotypes to define me. Although I am now a wife and a mom, I still don’t fit in many of those feminine stereotypical roles, but isn’t that what accepting a person for who they are all about?

  6. Lee Ann Lyon 10 months ago10 months ago

    I am against teaching students about LBGTQ. It is against my religious beliefs and believe that parents should be the ones to talk to their children about sensitive subjects based on their own beliefs. If the state agrees to this then they should pay for us to put our children in a school of our choice that protects our religious rights. Stop taking our freedom away!

  7. Ann 10 months ago10 months ago

    Look at where California ranks in all 50 states and in the world. We’re failing these kids in the choices adults are making for the education system. Wake up!Focus on the basics of education in math (not Common Core!), reading and our history which tells us how and why we’re the greatest country on earth and why everyone else wants what we have. It’s not failing students or kids taught anti-gender, new age sexual … Read More

    Look at where California ranks in all 50 states and in the world. We’re failing these kids in the choices adults are making for the education system. Wake up!Focus on the basics of education in math (not Common Core!), reading and our history which tells us how and why we’re the greatest country on earth and why everyone else wants what we have. It’s not failing students or kids taught anti-gender, new age sexual perversion ideas crazed adults have conjured up! Stop already!

  8. Christy 10 months ago10 months ago

    It is not the educators choice to teach my children about this. I send my children to school to learn grammar, math, history etc. It is my responsibility as a parent to teach my child as I see fit about these sensitive subjects. I have teacher friends who do not even agree with this teaching nor curriculum. Maybe the educators will understand when we don’t send our children to school and they lose $$$.

  9. David R Powell 10 months ago10 months ago

    It's 2019 and with the changing understanding of things like gender identity, it's a good idea for everyone to become educated. Schools are places where kids are taught about other people, how to behave towards them, and, most importantly, how to respect individual differences. It harms no one to learn about gender identity. And there are age-appropriate ways to discuss such matters. Let's accept that we're well into the 21st century and that kids are … Read More

    It’s 2019 and with the changing understanding of things like gender identity, it’s a good idea for everyone to become educated. Schools are places where kids are taught about other people, how to behave towards them, and, most importantly, how to respect individual differences. It harms no one to learn about gender identity. And there are age-appropriate ways to discuss such matters. Let’s accept that we’re well into the 21st century and that kids are going to learn these things whether through proper education by teachers or in locker rooms, or on the internet, where they can be exploited and abused. A teacher’s job is to educate. So let’s do it right.

  10. Andrew Alvarez 10 months ago10 months ago

    Please leave comments on the framework. Previous comments (only about 600) were apparently completely ignored. Click the link to the California Department of Education and scroll down. You will see a link to the "Public Comment Template." Open it and follow the directions. Even if you just write a few comments on a couple of grade levels it may make a difference. I would suggest commenting using the language of inclusivity. … Read More

    Please leave comments on the framework. Previous comments (only about 600) were apparently completely ignored. Click the link to the California Department of Education and scroll down. You will see a link to the “Public Comment Template.” Open it and follow the directions. Even if you just write a few comments on a couple of grade levels it may make a difference. I would suggest commenting using the language of inclusivity. For example:

    (Grade 7, 8)

    Page 23, Lines 614 and 615—For students from religious traditions that affirm a traditional view of sexuality, “healthy attitudes” toward sexuality are limited to the restriction of sexual contact to the bounds of marriage (defined as between a man and a woman). Labeling other behaviors as “healthy” would be exclusionary to those students. Add a statement that states that care must be taken to honor and respect the closely held beliefs of students who affirm a traditional view of sexuality and marriage.

  11. Sheri 10 months ago10 months ago

    Absolutely not. This shouldn’t be taught in school. It’s my right as a parent to take my child out of school or to say no and if I have to pull him out of public schools then so be it.

  12. Lori Chang 10 months ago10 months ago

    I am very disheartened by the changes being made to the sex ed/health curriculum. We need to stick to a scientific approach not a gender neutral one which has no business exploring what feels good and giving kids ideas they would have otherwise not explored until later in life.

  13. Alicia Acosta 10 months ago10 months ago

    Please stop this “political correctness” agenda and let children be children!

  14. Rosie 10 months ago10 months ago

    Will general education still be taught in our schools? Because you see I’m a bit confused and I worry there aren’t enough hours in a day for teaching math, English, history, science etc. Between safety drills and sex ed, when will our kids have time to learn that 2+2 is still 4. It still is 4, right?

    Replies

    • Brenda 10 months ago10 months ago

      I must admit- your comment provided some nice comedy relief. Witty & perceptive. The educational landscape is changing fast. What we knew as absolutes can no longer be assumed.

  15. Denise Wright 10 months ago10 months ago

    I am appalled by the guidelines for K to 12 in regards to teaching sexual orientation. Why does this small percentage of the population have the right to dictate what our children learn regarding sexual orientation? It’s the parent’s responsibility and right to discuss this with their children. I think all the parents that disagree with this new plan should keep their child home from school the days that sexual orientation will be taught.

  16. Ginger Gray 10 months ago10 months ago

    To whom it may concern,
    I strongly believe that sexual teaching is the parents responsibility, and that educators should stick to the basics.
    These concepts of content are contrary to any godly truths, full of degradation and immortality.

  17. Brenda Lebsack 10 months ago10 months ago

    Here's another quote from the Framework, but I'm also including a page from Teen Talk (one of the highest recommended Middle School Sex Ed Curriculum choices for Calif Districts evaluated as being "most compliant with the law"). • It is important to note that Education Code section 48205 requires schools officials to excuse students from school to attend confidential medical appointments. The school cannot require that the student have parent or guardian consent in order to … Read More

    Here’s another quote from the Framework, but I’m also including a page from Teen Talk (one of the highest recommended Middle School Sex Ed Curriculum choices for Calif Districts evaluated as being “most compliant with the law”).

    • It is important to note that Education Code section 48205 requires schools officials to excuse students from school to attend confidential medical appointments. The school cannot require that the student have parent or guardian consent in order to attend the appointment and cannot notify parents or guardians
    (Chapter 5, Line 1294-1301)

    My Note: Although Ch 5 refers to grades 7-8, it states on page viii under “Minor’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Calif” in the Teen Talk Curriculum:

    Minors of ANY AGE in California may consent to birth control and abortion services. Additionally parent permission is NOT REQUIRED to excuse a minor during school hours for confidential services. (Calif Family Code 6925)

  18. Brenda Lebsack 10 months ago10 months ago

    Only a few more days to give input to the Calif Dpt of Education on the Health Framework. Here are a few more quotes from the Framework that would be new and unprecedented in Calif Classrooms if the Framework is adopted "as is". • When providing instruction on sexual and reproductive organs (in grades K-3)*, teachers can introduce the concept that gender does not always match the sexual and reproductive organs described. … Read More

    Only a few more days to give input to the Calif Dpt of Education on the Health Framework. Here are a few more quotes from the Framework that would be new and unprecedented in Calif Classrooms if the Framework is adopted “as is”.

    • When providing instruction on sexual and reproductive organs (in grades K-3)*, teachers can introduce the concept that gender does not always match the sexual and reproductive organs described. For example, teachers may share, “In the classroom, we may use the term ‘female reproductive organs’ but some people who identify as male have these organs. The actual anatomical name for organs is utilized.
    o (Chapter 3, Line 2990-2995)
    * (Ch 3 is for grades PreK-3)

    • Regarding elementary, multiple subject credential holders and the California Healthy Youth Act, it is permissible to teach knowledge and skills related to comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education in grades Kindergarten through grade 6…. Content that is required in grades 7–12 may also be included… in earlier grades.
    o (Chapter 2, Line 56-62)

    Students will explore and discover their identities, gender expression, and sexuality throughout their education…
    o (Chapter 1, Line 319-335)

    • Examples for spiritual abuse include using religion to justify abuse, insisting on rigid gender roles
    o (Ch 5, Line 1052- 1056)

    • Some students may identify with the traditional… pronouns, while some may prefer pronouns such as “they,” “them,” and “theirs” as a singular pronoun.
    o (Ch 5, Line 919- 923)

    Link to Framework so excerpts can also be read in context.
    https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/

    Replies

    • Amy 10 months ago10 months ago

      In regard to instruction for children K through 3rd, even though it’s only optional and not mandated by the California Healthy Youth Act, why would we even consider teaching sex ed and HIV prevention to our youngest school-aged children? If children this age already have some type of sexual knowledge, that’s a key indicator of neglect (i.e., being allowed to consume adult entertainment on the internet because no one is watching them) or abuse.

      • Brenda Lebsack 10 months ago10 months ago

        Amy, you asked: Why are we considering teaching HIV Prevention and Sex Ed to K-3rd graders? That's a great question. As a teacher and parent myself, I DON'T KNOW. I don't think it's age appropriate to teach these subjects in the primary grades either. If any teachers have seen these Sex Ed / HIV Prevention Lesson Plans for K-3rd graders in California (that AB 329 says is optional for … Read More

        Amy, you asked: Why are we considering teaching HIV Prevention and Sex Ed to K-3rd graders? That’s a great question. As a teacher and parent myself, I DON’T KNOW. I don’t think it’s age appropriate to teach these subjects in the primary grades either. If any teachers have seen these Sex Ed / HIV Prevention Lesson Plans for K-3rd graders in California (that AB 329 says is optional for school districts), please share.

        Honestly Amy, there are many things I have questions about.

  19. Roger Wenrich 11 months ago11 months ago

    We claim to be a Christian Nation and we are blessed because of it. Then we allow the lies of the enemy and those who are fewer to influence our family values with lies and deceit, trading the natural for the unnatural. My suggestion is that we stand firm in our faith and fight for those values. Peace, Hope and Love instead of mass confusion on identity. Many children are confused enough already with the … Read More

    We claim to be a Christian Nation and we are blessed because of it. Then we allow the lies of the enemy and those who are fewer to influence our family values with lies and deceit, trading the natural for the unnatural. My suggestion is that we stand firm in our faith and fight for those values. Peace, Hope and Love instead of mass confusion on identity. Many children are confused enough already with the broken homes they grow up in. Let’s nurture them with a positive influence and watch their true identity spring forth rather than some forced pick and choose influence.

  20. Cyndi marrott 11 months ago11 months ago

    I am an educator, parent and future grandparent and I am appalled at the idea of any small children being taught these sensitive issues is the classroom. As an English teacher, it is my my job to teach children English skills. It is the responsibility and decision of parents, not the school system, to teach their children about these social issues. It is wrong to expect a teacher to expose and … Read More

    I am an educator, parent and future grandparent and I am appalled at the idea of any small children being taught these sensitive issues is the classroom. As an English teacher, it is my my job to teach children English skills. It is the responsibility and decision of parents, not the school system, to teach their children about these social issues. It is wrong to expect a teacher to expose and teach these social issues to small children. As a parent, I would never allow the public school system to teach these these sensitive topics to my children.

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      Ms Marrott, I agree with you and I used to teach High School English also. Are you a member of the CTA (Calif Teachers' Association)? Concerning this subject, this is our Teachers' Union's stance: The CTA and ACLU are on the Steering Committee of this website. Go to this link and read the questions and answers to numbers 5 and 7. http://www.casafeschools.org/OptOutQA.pdf Here it is, but please go to … Read More

      Ms Marrott, I agree with you and I used to teach High School English also. Are you a member of the CTA (Calif Teachers’ Association)? Concerning this subject, this is our Teachers’ Union’s stance: The CTA and ACLU are on the Steering Committee of this website. Go to this link and read the questions and answers to numbers 5 and 7.
      http://www.casafeschools.org/OptOutQA.pdf
      Here it is, but please go to the website to read it for yourself.

      Do parents have a constitutional right to prevent their children from receiving education in public schools on subjects they disapprove?
      Almost never , Parents do not have veto power over the content of public school instruction…… if parents choose to place their children in public schools, parental rights are outweighed by the state’s interests in educating students………. .

      Do parents have the right to notice about and to opt their children out of diversity education programs that include discussions of sexual orientation or other controversial topics?
      No. parents are not entitled to have notice of or the opportunity to opt their children out of such programs.

  21. Arthur Rodriguez 11 months ago11 months ago

    As a father of a nine year old, I would not allow the government to teach my son about the human condition. Or what it means to be a man; that is my job as his father. Neither the school system or the government has the right to plant false identity politics into a child’s brain and at such a young age. Leave the character building between parents and children, the school system will never tell my child who he is.

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      Mr Rodriguez, As an educator and parent myself, I agree with you that Parents are the most important educator in a child's life when it comes to teaching values, however the ACLU and many other powerful organizations do not agree. When my district halted a curriculum pilot for Middle School students that included many of these teachings, the ACLU sent our district a letter that stated: Parents do not have … Read More

      Mr Rodriguez, As an educator and parent myself, I agree with you that Parents are the most important educator in a child’s life when it comes to teaching values, however the ACLU and many other powerful organizations do not agree. When my district halted a curriculum pilot for Middle School students that included many of these teachings, the ACLU sent our district a letter that stated:

      Parents do not have the right to dictate what curriculum is used or what information is provided to students in public schools. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that parents do not have any constitutional right “to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so.” Here is the full ACLU letter.

      Here is the Newspaper article with the details of the event. (Orange County Register)
      https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/10/sex-ed-must-be-inclusive-and-medically-accurate-unlike-teen-talk/

      • Amy 10 months ago10 months ago

        I noticed that in the ACLU letter to Orange Unified, the attorney writing the letter uses an old statistic from 2007 to claim that most parents in CA support CSE's being taught to their children. The only problem is that the cited study from 2007 did not include any mention of the most controversial parts of CSE, so this statistic is quite deceptive and I would bet money that most parents across the state would … Read More

        I noticed that in the ACLU letter to Orange Unified, the attorney writing the letter uses an old statistic from 2007 to claim that most parents in CA support CSE’s being taught to their children. The only problem is that the cited study from 2007 did not include any mention of the most controversial parts of CSE, so this statistic is quite deceptive and I would bet money that most parents across the state would not support the current CSE to that degree–given that it is medically inaccurate and biased.

    • Gheorghe Rosca 11 months ago11 months ago

      Arthur, I am a parent like you of a 9 and 6 year old in the Orange Unified School District, I have two more kids on the way that will go to this District. I have been fighting for the stoppage of CSE and government intrusion into the way they teach our children about gender and sexuality; which goes against all science!!! Come and stand together with the thousands of parents who have taken it … Read More

      Arthur, I am a parent like you of a 9 and 6 year old in the Orange Unified School District, I have two more kids on the way that will go to this District. I have been fighting for the stoppage of CSE and government intrusion into the way they teach our children about gender and sexuality; which goes against all science!!! Come and stand together with the thousands of parents who have taken it to their local school districts and in California we will be taking it to the State Department of Education very soon!!! I will be fighting the government on this until my last breath!!! If you want to get in touch with me, just write a response to my comment.

  22. Laura L Snyder 11 months ago11 months ago

    I’m horrified but not surprised. What can be done to prevent this from becoming part of he California curriculum?

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      Ms Snyder, One thing you can do is participate in the Community Input Process for this Health Framework Draft (Links are provided in the article). Give you opinion as a parent and please encourage other parents to do likewise. The other thing you can do is to carefully choose who you vote for to represent your views, such as, school board members, state and federal legislators. Stay informed because the educational … Read More

      Ms Snyder, One thing you can do is participate in the Community Input Process for this Health Framework Draft (Links are provided in the article). Give you opinion as a parent and please encourage other parents to do likewise. The other thing you can do is to carefully choose who you vote for to represent your views, such as, school board members, state and federal legislators. Stay informed because the educational landscape is changing fast. Ask questions to your child’s teachers, administrators, and district leaders. Know your rights. Ed Code 60002 states, Each district board.. shall promote the involvement of parents…. in the selection of instructional materials. Ask to look at curriculum and ask to be on committees where they are selecting curriculum. Speak to your district board members, they represent you because you elected them. Remember you are the taxpayer and you are paying for public education, therefore you deserve to have a voice. Thank you for commenting on the article.

  23. Chris Hamilton 11 months ago11 months ago

    For a state that is so concerned about non-discrimination and not being offensive, they excel in discriminating against the Latino Community, Middle Eastern Muslim Community and our own native blacks and innocence overall. The sexual indoctrination being rammed down the children’s throats during school time without parents awareness is shocking!

  24. AC Black 11 months ago11 months ago

    The proactive warping of children's minds to accept what science cannot, and has never been able to confirm, is not a legitimate aim of human education, but indoctrination – an overreach of the state into deeply personal matters based on nothing but one's feelings and perceptions. This has absolutely nothing to do with the primary focus of elementary schools – reading, writing, development of computational proficiency and critical thinking skills. We are living in … Read More

    The proactive warping of children’s minds to accept what science cannot, and has never been able to confirm, is not a legitimate aim of human education, but indoctrination – an overreach of the state into deeply personal matters based on nothing but one’s feelings and perceptions. This has absolutely nothing to do with the primary focus of elementary schools – reading, writing, development of computational proficiency and critical thinking skills. We are living in the midst of a dystopic real-life enactment of the Emperor’s New Clothes, where the foolishness of the prideful few prove with enough convincing (e.g. the bully forces of the teachers’ unions money, the leftist ideology promoted by Planned Parenthood, GLSEN, SIECUS and friends, and the threat of ACLU lawsuits against non-compliant school districts) the many can be conned into idiocy so as not to appear unenlightened.
    Our children deserve better than this farce of transgender ideology, and soon, public schools up and down the state will feel the sting of parents revolting against this forced indoctrination one way or another. Let’s face the sobering facts. No puberty-blocking regimen, no surgery, no change in voice, hairstyle or dress will change the cellular structure of a person’s DNA. Studies show that among children who demonstrate signs of gender dysphoria in their youth, 60-90% accept their biological identity by the time they reach adulthood (Sexology Today, Jan 2016).
    Act and feel how you must, adults, but we are wrong as a culture, to push this nightmarish farce as the truth of human nature onto childrena and to enshrine these ideas into an educational framework that will cement the farcical curricula for a decade or more to come. Teaching children to accept transgender ideology is a profoundly dangerous counterfeit to finding true human freedom or authentic identity, and pushing acceptance of it does not resolve the high mortality rates (19 times higher suicide rates) among those who have been studied long-term, post transition, even in countries like Sweden, where transgenderism is widely accepted. Why would we promote this agenda if we know these facts? Reaping the rewards of this social experiment will be cultural annihilation. This is exactly what the California electorate will get if they don’t engage in the civic process and stand up to the bullies who tout inclusiveness and diversity, except where judeo-christian values or persons holding those values are concerned. Then, it’s an all-out war to annihilate. Maybe just socially, at first, but if done effectively and systemically, the dehumanizing of the marginalized class becomes barbaric and deadly. In all of human history, we have called this a holocaust, a genocide. Wake up, parents of California, teachers and administrators of good conscience in our public schools. Band together and stop this “framework” of systematic indoctrination from being adopted. California Department of Education, please…just educate, don’t indoctrinate.

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      AC, the Framework actually goes beyond Transgender teachings. GENDER SPECTRUM teaches that Non-Binary Genders are Unlimited and Ever-Expanding. When you mentioned the Teachers' Union. I am a member of CTA and NEA. I first learned about the Gender Spectrum through a CTA Magazine Article. (California Educator: "Embracing the Gender Spectrum", March 2017, Vol 21, Issue 6, p. 21). https://www.cta.org/en/Professional-Development/Publications/2017/03/March-2017-Educator/Embracing-the-Gender-Spectrum.aspx The Article Defined genders as: 1) GENDER NONCONFORMING - gender expression is … Read More

      AC, the Framework actually goes beyond Transgender teachings. GENDER SPECTRUM teaches that Non-Binary Genders are Unlimited and Ever-Expanding. When you mentioned the Teachers’ Union. I am a member of CTA and NEA. I first learned about the Gender Spectrum through a CTA Magazine Article. (California Educator: “Embracing the Gender Spectrum”, March 2017, Vol 21, Issue 6, p. 21).

      https://www.cta.org/en/Professional-Development/Publications/2017/03/March-2017-Educator/Embracing-the-Gender-Spectrum.aspx

      The Article Defined genders as: 1) GENDER NONCONFORMING – gender expression is outside of one’s assigned sex at birth. 2) AMBIGENDER – Having BOTH GENDERS at same time.. (pronouns used: they, them, their, themselves).
      3) AGENDER – Having NO Gender (pronouns used: ze, hir, hirs, hirself)
      4) GENDER FLUID – Having no fixed gender, one’s gender can fluctuate between male and female at anytime.(pronouns used: fluctuate between Female and Male pronouns). 5) QUESTIONING – unsure of or EXPLORING one’s gender identity.

      This aligns with quotes from the Framework Draft: • Some students identify with traditional… pronouns, while some may prefer pronouns such as “they,” “them,” and “theirs” as a singular pronoun.
      o (Ch 5, Line 919- 912) https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/

      This also aligns with the new law that’s being implemented in California starting January 2019. Calif will now have an OFFICIAL THIRD GENDER (Non-Binary). You will start seeing this term on Insurance Forms, Medical Forms, DMV,
      etc…”NON-BINARY” is defined as “Gender Spectrum – of unlimited genders, which may then include unlimited pronoun choices.

      I am only aware of this law because in October 2017, CTA (Teachers’ Union) endorsed the passing of SB 179 and its author, Senator Atkins, which states:
      As of January 2019, there will be an official 3rd Gender in California (Non-Binary).

      https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB179

  25. Michelle Cretella, MD 11 months ago11 months ago

    Ms. Lebsack is correct in her criticisms. This curriculum is medically inaccurate in terms of what it says and also in what it omits.

  26. Jenica 11 months ago11 months ago

    Is there a meeting we can attend in January to give public comments? Is our best bet to email as stated in the article and then just wait? I just think it’s way to young and will confuse my two boys. Does this have anything to do with SB 48 where it’s the law they have to teach on this or can it be overturned with enough public comment etc?

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      Hi Jenica. Here is the link that gives you the time-line of events concerning the adoption of this framework. https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/heedfwrevisiontimeline.asp Concerning meetings discussing the Framework, they will be taking place in Sacramento. You can email or call for specific information about those meetings where public comments are allowed. Here is the information: Questions: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | healtheducationframework@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881 The Framework is not … Read More

      Hi Jenica. Here is the link that gives you the time-line of events concerning the adoption of this framework. https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/heedfwrevisiontimeline.asp
      Concerning meetings discussing the Framework, they will be taking place in Sacramento. You can email or call for specific information about those meetings where public comments are allowed. Here is the information: Questions: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | healtheducationframework@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881
      The Framework is not a law, but it must comply with educational laws. In my opinion, I believe this Framework goes way beyond the law, including AB 329 (The Calif Healthy Youth Act). No law says we must teach unlimited, ever-expansive gender identities. No law says we must teach unlimited, ever expansive sexual orientations either. In my opinion, this Framework embellishes the terms “gender identity and sexual orientation” to the nth degree. It goes way beyond the boundaries of SB 48 or AB 329.
      Frameworks provide a foundation for curriculum and instruction by describing the scope and sequence of knowledge and the skills that all students are expected to master. They also establish criteria to evaluate instructional materials and guide district selection of instructional resources. https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/cefcfadoptprocess.asp
      So in other words, frameworks greatly influence the content that goes into our children’s text books K-12.
      Regarding your question: “Can it be overturned with enough public comment?”
      I assume since the California Department of Education gives two 60 day phases for a “Community Input Process”, that they care about what state residents have to say concerning the education of their children and the curriculum they will receive that is payed for by our tax dollars. Your voice matters, so please participate in the Community Process and encourage others to do the same. I have been surprised by how few people, including educators and administrators, are unaware of the Community Input Process taking place right now. Most are unaware of the unprecedented content and new concepts that are in this new Health Framework Draft. Thank you for your thoughtful comments and legitimate concerns as a parent. Please help spread the word so more parents and educators can have a voice. I can provide more quotes from the Framework if you are interested as well.. just let me know and I’ll post them with Chapter and Line numbers.

  27. Bonnie Hamilton 11 months ago11 months ago

    I read EdSource all the time and this article by Brenda Lebsack hit me. This needs to be printed in all the languages and sent out immediately! The Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern communities would not agree with this nonsense.

  28. Linda Cone 11 months ago11 months ago

    I'm often told about the ample research validating CSE. Here is, in my opinion, the most authoritative study I've seen: Weed, Stan E; Ericksen, Irene H. "Re-Examining the Evidence for Comprehensive Sex Education in Schools: Part One – Research Findings in the United States." The Institute for Research & Evaluation, Salt Lake City, Utah (May 1, 2018) • An Evidence-Based Response to a Critique of Abstinence Education. The Institute for Research & Evaluation, Salt Lake … Read More

    I’m often told about the ample research validating CSE. Here is, in my opinion, the most authoritative study I’ve seen:
    Weed, Stan E; Ericksen, Irene H. “Re-Examining the Evidence for Comprehensive Sex Education in Schools: Part One – Research Findings in the United States.” The Institute for Research & Evaluation, Salt Lake City, Utah (May 1, 2018)
    • An Evidence-Based Response to a Critique of Abstinence Education. The Institute for Research & Evaluation, Salt Lake City, Utah (June 15, 2018)

  29. Ashley Bever 11 months ago11 months ago

    Thank you EdSource for publishing this article. It is good to know that teachers and parents have an opportunity to participate through public input. Our state is really diverse, and rather than welcome that diversity, I've seen my own school district intentionally exclude teachers and parents in the adoption of comprehensive sexuality curriculum. Partnering with parents should be priority. There are many examples of well-intended "experts" who have done more damage than … Read More

    Thank you EdSource for publishing this article. It is good to know that teachers and parents have an opportunity to participate through public input. Our state is really diverse, and rather than welcome that diversity, I’ve seen my own school district intentionally exclude teachers and parents in the adoption of comprehensive sexuality curriculum. Partnering with parents should be priority. There are many examples of well-intended “experts” who have done more damage than good, and because of that, we should not blindly follow without rigorous critical analysis. Our children’s health and well-being are too important!

  30. Barbara Rojo 11 months ago11 months ago

    I’m not surprised at all that the State of California is trying to indoctrinate our children into their progressive left agenda, conveniently only in English, with no “opt out “ provision, trying to take control out of the hands of parents and into the control of the government. I’m so thankful that my children and grandchildren were not subjected to this type of radical, age inappropriate agenda, although my great grandchildren (a boy … Read More

    I’m not surprised at all that the State of California is trying to indoctrinate our children into their progressive left agenda, conveniently only in English, with no “opt out “ provision, trying to take control out of the hands of parents and into the control of the government. I’m so thankful that my children and grandchildren were not subjected to this type of radical, age inappropriate agenda, although my great grandchildren (a boy and a girl) will be in the school system soon. Brenda, thank you for carrying the torch on this issue and bringing it into the light to expose the works of darkness done in secret.

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      Ms. Rojo, I've been very shocked at how few teachers and administrators are aware of the contents of the Calif Health Framework draft. Many are not even aware we are in Community Input Process right now statewide. As a teacher, though, I understand. Our jobs are demanding and most of us are juggling family responsibilities and community involvement. It is hard enough just to keep up with the daily demands of one's … Read More

      Ms. Rojo,
      I’ve been very shocked at how few teachers and administrators are aware of the contents of the Calif Health Framework draft. Many are not even aware we are in Community Input Process right now statewide. As a teacher, though, I understand. Our jobs are demanding and most of us are juggling family responsibilities and community involvement. It is hard enough just to keep up with the daily demands of one’s life, let alone to read a 1000 page document. I hope this article will help increase awareness and also increase involvement in this democratic process. Thank you for your comment.

  31. La 11 months ago11 months ago

    Just from the comments it’s obvious how controversial this topic is. I’m surprised that the state would ask for input about something so controversial without translating it.

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      I am surprised as much as you La. In fact, shocked! Even the directions on how to participate in this process are not available in Spanish. Spanish-speaking parents, as well as other non-English speaking parents, will not be able to participate in this statewide community input process, which greatly impacts their children's education. I contacted the CDE and asked if parents could give input comments in their native tongue and the CDE … Read More

      I am surprised as much as you La. In fact, shocked! Even the directions on how to participate in this process are not available in Spanish. Spanish-speaking parents, as well as other non-English speaking parents, will not be able to participate in this statewide community input process, which greatly impacts their children’s education. I contacted the CDE and asked if parents could give input comments in their native tongue and the CDE said, they could not guarantee their comments would be counted if they were not in English. I was again shocked by this answer. Then when I asked a CDE rep why they would not provide it in another language when requested by a parent, the rep said to me, “The parent can just Google Translate it.” In all my years of teaching, I have never said this to a non-English speaking parent. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that answer offensive. Especially given the CDE’s very policy on this issue: https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/eo/languageservices.asp
      It states:

      The California Department of Education (CDE) is responsible for ensuring that all persons, including Limited English Proficient (LEP) are provided equal access to its available services and information. The commitment of the CDE is that all of its programs and services are accessible to its LEP customers in compliance with the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.This includes, but is not limited to, provide resources, which include interpreters and translated materials of information and services in the language readily understood by an individual seeking guidance or assistance from the CDE.

      A person has the right to interact with the CDE in a language that best ensures meaningful access to programs and services at no cost to them.

      I guess the Statewide Community Input Process to the State Framework is the exception to this rule. Not sure why, but I guess if you make the rules, you can break the rules.

  32. Alexander Ayala 11 months ago11 months ago

    I completely disagree with the author and pretty much all of these comments. Neither the author or majority of the commenters here seem to care about the well being of children and young adults. There’s plenty of research out there that’ supports comprehensive education. To claim that the adoption of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education curricula would pose a threat to the well-being of kids is ridiculous and not based on research or science. … Read More

    I completely disagree with the author and pretty much all of these comments. Neither the author or majority of the commenters here seem to care about the well being of children and young adults. There’s plenty of research out there that’ supports comprehensive education. To claim that the adoption of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education curricula would pose a threat to the well-being of kids is ridiculous and not based on research or science.

    What I find most disconcerting is this instance that biology and genetics dictate gender. I get it, at one point we all learned XX and XY, and we were told that’s all there was to it. Either-or. But biology doesn’t work that way and biological phenomena do not fit into human-ordained binaries and social constructs. Stop trying to use science you don’t understand to explain antiquated and archaic concepts of gender and sexuality. Sincerely, a geneticist

    https://www.who.int/genomics/gender/en/index1.html

    Replies

    • Brenda 11 months ago11 months ago

      Alexander, I don't mind if you disagree, this is America where free thought and free speech still exists. We are so fortunate to have these freedoms. Do you think parents should have the freedom to raise their children according to their cultural and religious values? Do you think "unlimited gender choices" should be taught to young children without parental notice and without the parent being given the right to "opt out" of … Read More

      Alexander, I don’t mind if you disagree, this is America where free thought and free speech still exists. We are so fortunate to have these freedoms. Do you think parents should have the freedom to raise their children according to their cultural and religious values? Do you think “unlimited gender choices” should be taught to young children without parental notice and without the parent being given the right to “opt out” of this teaching? Do you believe the state’s authority over-rides parental authority? Just curious …

  33. Kathy Flynn 11 months ago11 months ago

    Children need to be taught that gender and sexuality are not binary, no matter how repressed and closed-minded their family is. Those of you are who leaving many of these comments, your children need to know that they are fine no matter who they are. It's time to leave behind the ugliness and hate that has lead, in part, to an epidemic in teen suicide. I am so grateful my grandchildren … Read More

    Children need to be taught that gender and sexuality are not binary, no matter how repressed and closed-minded their family is. Those of you are who leaving many of these comments, your children need to know that they are fine no matter who they are. It’s time to leave behind the ugliness and hate that has lead, in part, to an epidemic in teen suicide. I am so grateful my grandchildren will be taught in a way that my children weren’t.

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      Ms Flynn, Thank you for sharing your views. Actually in the Framework there is a new term that I have never seen in Public Education before. It is "spiritual abuse". Here is the location and definition in the Framework: • Examples for spiritual abuse include using religion to justify abuse, insisting on rigid gender roles o (Ch 5, p. 41, Line 1052- 1056) Although they use this term in context of a romantic relationship, I do not … Read More

      Ms Flynn, Thank you for sharing your views. Actually in the Framework there is a new term that I have never seen in Public Education before. It is “spiritual abuse”. Here is the location and definition in the Framework:
      • Examples for spiritual abuse include using religion to justify abuse, insisting on rigid gender roles
      o (Ch 5, p. 41, Line 1052- 1056)
      Although they use this term in context of a romantic relationship, I do not understand that logic. Why would someone be in a relationship with someone who does not affirm the person’s gender identity or sexual orientation? Romantic relationships are a choice and the context of this term is given in Chapter 5, which is for 7th and 8th graders, therefore a more binding marital status does not apply either.

      My concern about a term like this is: Could it be used on parents? Parent-Child Relationships are not a choice. Is it possible that parents who may not embrace these gender spectrum ideologies or the teaching of these ideologies as facts to their children, could be labeled as “abusive”?

      In Canada they passed a law in June 2017 that the state can take children away from parents who do not affirm a child’s non-binary identity (keep in mind that non-binary is unlimited gender choices, as referenced in the book “Who Are You?” )

      I know this sounds unbelievable, so I’m including the link for you to read yourself.

      http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/06/05/new-law-allows-government-to-take-children-away-if-parents-dont-accept-kids-gender-identity/

  34. Paul Muench 11 months ago11 months ago

    From the TK through Grade 3 chapter: "Gender non-conformity and physical characteristics are often at the root of many forms of bullying." Really? This seems close to blaming the victim. I would have guessed the root cause is a general emotional need in the bully to express autonomy and power through getting other children to conform to his expectations using violence. His parents are probably teaching him that expression at … Read More

    From the TK through Grade 3 chapter: “Gender non-conformity and physical characteristics are often at the root of many forms of bullying.”

    Really? This seems close to blaming the victim. I would have guessed the root cause is a general emotional need in the bully to express autonomy and power through getting other children to conform to his expectations using violence. His parents are probably teaching him that expression at home by enforcing conformity through violence.

  35. Christine Bridgens 11 months ago11 months ago

    Ms. Lebsack's last sentence regarding 'cultural impact' is very important. The LGBT agenda in our schools has , and will continue to jeopardize the well-being of our children. Medical and mental health science has shown that LGBT sexual experimentation among youth impacts the natural development of their brains and can result in an unhealthy youth culture. This kind of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is absolutely not age appropriate nor medically accurate, so … Read More

    Ms. Lebsack’s last sentence regarding ‘cultural impact’ is very important. The LGBT agenda in our schools has , and will continue to jeopardize the well-being of our children. Medical and mental health science has shown that LGBT sexual experimentation among youth impacts the natural development of their brains and can result in an unhealthy youth culture. This kind of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is absolutely not age appropriate nor medically accurate, so is in violation of Oregon Education Standards! And, of course, California Standards as well.

  36. Randall L. Rathbun 11 months ago11 months ago

    Some comments on the arguments presented - 1. People are concerned about the changes, not because they feel emotionally threatened, but because they are aware of the possible damage that can be done. We do tell people to not step off curbs in front of cars, because that is life threatening. Two parent families are best, see http://fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-consequences-of-fatherlessness/ for the statistics on this. The father and mother roles cannot be substituted, they are unique and … Read More

    Some comments on the arguments presented –
    1. People are concerned about the changes, not because they feel emotionally threatened, but because they are aware of the possible damage that can be done. We do tell people to not step off curbs in front of cars, because that is life threatening. Two parent families are best, see http://fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-consequences-of-fatherlessness/ for the statistics on this. The father and mother roles cannot be substituted, they are unique and necessary for producing the healthiest and most balanced children. Dismissing people’s concerns as an emotional response is not an open discussion, but a rather closed one.
    I appreciate the urging that reading and listening be done, but there is not enough space in the reply here to adequately address all the issues. I hope that all will take time to look at the facts, however.
    2. In regard to “our old notion” that XX = female and XY = male, actually has been an observation from biology, specifically discovered after the invention of the microscope, it’s not a notion but a scientific observation.
    We used to call the intersex conditions “Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD)” but now we are attempting to say that everything we observe is normal. This new move to label everything as okay is really not good, because it is a movement away from reality. We all see death, do we now say that death is normal? Are mutations normal? Or should we drop the term mutant, because that is pejorative? We need to think carefully before changing our definitions.

    Trying to say that gender is now fluid is an assertion, but not supported by biological fact. Not too many people know that Dr. John Money was the father of this gender/sex theory. I have listened to personal testimony of some of the 1960’s staff at John Hopkins Medicine and found myself in agreement as to the reasons for the dismissal of Dr. Money from the clinic. See Endocrinologist Dr. Quentin Van Meter’s discussion about the fraud of transgender medicine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mtQ1geeD_c and make your own decision, as he knows what went on.

    Furthermore, physiological examination of normal healthy adult males and females reveals cellular differences which cannot be wished away. If we wish to firmly establish transgender theory, then we must be willing to give up criminal forensics and tell law enforcement and district attorneys that the DNA evidence swabbed no longer has any meaning whatsoever and that looking at the DNA is misleading. Do we really wish to go this far and destroy genetic evidence in prosecuting crime? We need to think more carefully about things before deciding to join the popular trend.

    3. The 4000x increase in referral cases to gender dysphoria strongly indicates that this is not a physical issue, but rather a mental phenomena sweeping the western world. See https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/september/4-000-explosion-in-kids-identifying-as-transgender-docs-perform-double-mastectomies-on-healthy-teen-girls on this discussion. Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria or ROGD points out that our thinking plays a huge part in whether or not we believe ourselves to be gender fluid, but this explosion of cases does not indicate biological realities. This is a simple scientific observation.
    Alluding that science is changing is a popular notion, but I am more concerned when the heads of institutions are fired for corruption, such as Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, head of the prestigious CDC, as we all know that the institutions and their data is only as good as the morals of the people heading them up. See https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/31/health/cdc-director-fitzgerald-resigns-bn/ on this. We all know that data can (and has been) falsified.
    In fact I am very concerned that the new science today is politicized and corrupted, with results skewed to meet agendas. See https://www.redstate.com/brandon_morse/2018/10/23/scientists-wont-research-surge-regrets-transgender-surgeries-due-fears-backlash-lgbt-community/
    which shows that true medicine is now being blocked and doctors are afraid to make comment lest they lose their practice. When true medicine is not allowed to continue and flourish, we have truly reached at point of regression in the health of society.
    Another example of the repression of science is the example of Brown University yanking the scientific study of Lisa Littman, because her survey showed that the rapid onset of gender dysphoria was identified “in a pattern that seems statistically unlikely based on previous research.” See https://thefederalist.com/2018/08/31/explosive-ivy-league-study-repressed-for-finding-transgender-kids-may-be-a-social-contagion/ for the general article and https://web.archive.org/web/20180825204236/http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0202330 for the scientific study.
    These 2 examples show the damage to science, when politics is allowed to get in the way.

    Insisting that folks are clinging to their “neat little bins in decades past” really is labeling and it needs to stop. For example, the reason why people are insisting upon the traditional definition of genders, is not because they have quaint subjective reasons for clinging to such beliefs, but because their beliefs mirror the reality which is true. We need to give people more credit for their reasons for holding to certain beliefs.
    Please see the study titled “21 Reasons why Gender matters” which offers a very excellent well-researched defense of the traditional understanding of gender, as outlined in their paper: http://www.gendermatters.org.au/Home_files/21%20Reasons%20Why%20Gender%20Matters%28low%20res%29.pdf

    Yes, this is a lot of reading and I hope that the person who urged that we all read, would be willing to read the material in the citations above, in particular the last article and carefully think about things, before making a dismissal using the popular arguments.
    Finally I must make a statement about bullying. No one should be bullied, but I wish that all readers had talked to the mother of the boy who felt bullied in his math class by the LGBTQI posters put up on the walls. He didn’t feel safe and actually felt threatened. Bullying goes both directions, and it needs to stop. No one’s beliefs should be forced down any child’s throat, not even if they are the popular ones of the day. The classroom is not the place to advocate.

  37. Jane W Robbins 11 months ago11 months ago

    Parents who want to teach unscientific information to their children (for example, that there are more than two sexes), and who want to sexualize them at an early age by introducing them to all manner of sexual expression, may do so at home. Such parents have no right to demand that all our children undergo this. Kudos to Ms. Lebsack for highlighting this issue.

  38. Gheorghe Rosca 11 months ago11 months ago

    Thank you Brenda for bringing this issue to light! This is all being forced on to our children without approval from parents. The California Teachers Association is behind this move to indoctrinate instead of educate our children. We must stand up against this tyranny!

  39. David Foster 11 months ago11 months ago

    80-90% of kids that believe they are transgender will no longer feel that way by the time they are 18. It seems wreckless and abusive to me to push them into taking hormones that can eventually make them sterile and into a lifestyle where 40% of them will try to commit suicide. It is a very dysfunctional lifestyle that has to do with mental health, as witnessed to by uncounted former transgenders and experts like … Read More

    80-90% of kids that believe they are transgender will no longer feel that way by the time they are 18. It seems wreckless and abusive to me to push them into taking hormones that can eventually make them sterile and into a lifestyle where 40% of them will try to commit suicide. It is a very dysfunctional lifestyle that has to do with mental health, as witnessed to by uncounted former transgenders and experts like Dr. John McHugh of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Watch the film “TranZgender” to hear their stories. Don’t allow activist groups to intimidate you into something that will harm our children!

  40. Anthony Duk 11 months ago11 months ago

    I agree with the grave concern that this article expresses. As a psychiatrist, I agree with the American College of Pediatricians in that there are 2 scientific definitions of sex: male and female. Human sex is binary, biologically determined 99.98% of the time, and immutable from conception on – sex is not a spectrum. There are 6500 genes that are different in XY and XX individuals. I also want to summarize Drs. McHugh and Mayer's … Read More

    I agree with the grave concern that this article expresses. As a psychiatrist, I agree with the American College of Pediatricians in that there are 2 scientific definitions of sex: male and female. Human sex is binary, biologically determined 99.98% of the time, and immutable from conception on – sex is not a spectrum. There are 6500 genes that are different in XY and XX individuals. I also want to summarize Drs. McHugh and Mayer’s study in The New Atlantic in Sept 2016 – people do change their sexual orientation, there is no proof that sexual orientation is fixed by genetics and a majority of kids grow out of their gender identity issues and match up their sexual orientation with their biological sex.
    This California health education framework is very dangerous. Being proactive to address the very small percentage of kids that will develop problems is only going to confuse the majority of kids who do not have problems. This curriculum is ideology masquerading as science and truth.

  41. el 11 months ago11 months ago

    I appreciate the concerns and feelings of people who feel that these changing teachings on gender are threatening. I would urge them to stand down a bit and do some reading and listening. Our old notion - that XX == Female and XY == Male turns out not to be true. If you are female, you assume that you're XX, but unless you've been genetically tested, you could be the 1 /1000 that is some other … Read More

    I appreciate the concerns and feelings of people who feel that these changing teachings on gender are threatening. I would urge them to stand down a bit and do some reading and listening.

    Our old notion – that XX == Female and XY == Male turns out not to be true. If you are female, you assume that you’re XX, but unless you’ve been genetically tested, you could be the 1 /1000 that is some other combination – including XY. There’s a specific gene that is *usually* on the Y chromosome that *usually* creates the features that we identify as male, but it can be missing, or it can attach to an X chromosome. Around 1/1000 babies are born intersex – having ambiguous genitalia. And there are variations that impact the amount of the various gender hormones produced. Sometimes these differences create other obvious genetic problems, but sometimes they don’t and don’t even interfere with reproduction.

    This is a super interesting piece from Radiolab that explains some of the nuance. https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/gonads-xy

    There are some other pieces on the topic here: https://www.wnycstudios.org/shows/radiolab/projects/radiolab-presents-gonads

    The science is changing, and that’s allowing us maybe to accept some people that didn’t fit into our neat little bins in decades past, and allowing them to live happier and productive lives.

    None of this is about changing or blurring the gender of your kids. Girls will still be girls; boys will still be boys; and everyone in between can live a great life too. All it is about is not bullying people who aren’t exactly the same as you.

    Replies

    • Anthony Duk 11 months ago11 months ago

      The intersex examples you mention are very very rare — 2 / 10,000. As a psychiatrist, I believe this framework is going to confuse a lot of children.

  42. Amy Haywood 11 months ago11 months ago

    Excellent article, Mrs. Lebsack! Thank you! That’s unbelievable that CDE is only providing the Framework in English. That is definitely not inclusive. Thank you for going the extra mile to make sure parents and educators know about this. As a former preschool teacher, I am horrified at the age-inappropriate content. Thanks again for your timely article!

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      Amy, yes this is a huge violation of civil rights. I encourage any non-English parent to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. All parents should have a voice, not just English Speaking Parents and Grandparents. If this is a state-wide Community Input Process, then why are 1/3 of our state residents being left out? This does not sound “inclusive or equitable” at all.

  43. Margaret Schultz 11 months ago11 months ago

    I'm not sure what the problem is with the new guidelines being recommended. Can you imagine being a student who is gender non-conforming and sitting through a sex ed class today? Being told how relationships and gender works in a binary manner? Not being represented at all? Feeling left out or like a freak? I think it's good that the education in our schools is gong to include the recognition of the gender spectrum. I … Read More

    I’m not sure what the problem is with the new guidelines being recommended. Can you imagine being a student who is gender non-conforming and sitting through a sex ed class today? Being told how relationships and gender works in a binary manner? Not being represented at all? Feeling left out or like a freak? I think it’s good that the education in our schools is gong to include the recognition of the gender spectrum. I do not believe the intent is to teach Kindergarten kids about polyamorous relationships, I think the intent is to share and educate at the level of the students, and gender is something that can be understood at a very young age (and should not be controversial). Who Are You is very age appropriate. The sexuality discussion happens at an older age. And yes, I think its important for kids to understand there is a spectrum for that as well. Learning about sexuality or gender doesn’t change who you are, but, it definitely helps a kid to understand others and perhaps better understand their own selves and feelings as normal.

  44. Adrian Mahlstede 11 months ago11 months ago

    Just because evolution is controversial doesn't mean parents should be able to hide children from it. With everything going on in CA education, all the issues, this is what concerns you? What a weird thing to be worried about. You're extremely careful about not outright rejecting the teaching of these gender identities because you'd probably lose your job, and claim you're mostly "concerned" about layoffs and parents enrolling elsewhere or leaving the state. … Read More

    Just because evolution is controversial doesn’t mean parents should be able to hide children from it.

    With everything going on in CA education, all the issues, this is what concerns you? What a weird thing to be worried about. You’re extremely careful about not outright rejecting the teaching of these gender identities because you’d probably lose your job, and claim you’re mostly “concerned” about layoffs and parents enrolling elsewhere or leaving the state.

    Why aren’t you concerned about the insane suicide rate of children who don’t identify within the conservatively traditional sense of a man/woman? Growing up myself in the 90s, when “that’s gay” was a popular slang term to mean anything bad or unpopular, I witnessed the rapid change in empathetic efforts to understand, formations of gay-straight alliances, etc. This is awesome, we are teaching children early to respect their fellow humans, not “other-ize” them, regardless of gender or sexual preferences. Bottom line we need better teachers who understand this. Maybe you’re just playing devil’s advocate here, but if the worst case is bigots leave CA, that’s not so bad. The real issue is we need to start demanding teachers who care about kids education, as well as their physical and mental well-being. Not teachers who would hide a “controversial” truth. (We’re in CA btw, how is this controversial? Oh wait, forgot again, you’re from the OC.)

    The only thing that’s worth a darn in this article is the lamentation that the report wasn’t in Spanish.

  45. Michelle New 11 months ago11 months ago

    I'm so thankful for teachers like Brenda Lebsack who stand up for what is right and not just what is easy. It is disappointing that our California schools are teaching children about gender identity, rather than medically accurate information. More importantly why do they feel this should be taught as early as kindergarten. We should be looking into legal action against California Department of Education and Tom Torlakson for promoting an educational framework … Read More

    I’m so thankful for teachers like Brenda Lebsack who stand up for what is right and not just what is easy. It is disappointing that our California schools are teaching children about gender identity, rather than medically accurate information. More importantly why do they feel this should be taught as early as kindergarten. We should be looking into legal action against California Department of Education and Tom Torlakson for promoting an educational framework that is bias, by promoting promiscuity and sexualizing our children.

  46. Eleanor Sledge 11 months ago11 months ago

    Unlike Ms. Lebsack, I am supportive of California schools teaching my children about gender identity and non-traditional relationships, and I applaud the California Department of Education and Tom Torlakson for promoting an educational framework that is inclusive and provides context that a haphazard interaction with such subjects on the internet or television may lack. It is better to be proactive than reactive.

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      Eleanor, may I ask, as you applaud the California Department of Education and Tom Torlakson for promoting an educational framework that is inclusive, do you also applaud them for a “Community Input Process” on the Framework that is “Exclusive”?

  47. Melissa Moore 11 months ago11 months ago

    Very interesting how the author cherry picked certain excerpts and presented them out of context. The section from Chapter 3 is about partnering with families- so parents know how to discuss this topic, if they choose to. The section in Chapter 5 is discussing how families come in many different formats, so using partner in addition to husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend is more inclusive of the different types of families/couples that exist. Chapter 6 addresses that … Read More

    Very interesting how the author cherry picked certain excerpts and presented them out of context. The section from Chapter 3 is about partnering with families- so parents know how to discuss this topic, if they choose to. The section in Chapter 5 is discussing how families come in many different formats, so using partner in addition to husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend is more inclusive of the different types of families/couples that exist. Chapter 6 addresses that students have many different gender and sexual identities and it’s important to be respectful-and given the high rate of suicide in LGBTQ students, I don’t think it’s a stretch asking teachers to be respectful of students. After all, aren’t teachers here to support and teach children?

    It would have been prudent for the author to also share that she is a pastor whose passion is “children’s evangelism.” Is it her educational beliefs or religious beliefs driving this argument?

    Replies

    • Brenda Lebsack 11 months ago11 months ago

      Hi Melissa, Thank you for your comments. I understand how you would conclude that the Who Are You? book is only for parents to read with their children. The Framework leads the reader to believe this. However, you may not have access to the digital library which was embedded into the article. The link shows the lesson plans for this book to teachers that applies to non-fiction reading circles for … Read More

      Hi Melissa, Thank you for your comments. I understand how you would conclude that the Who Are You? book is only for parents to read with their children. The Framework leads the reader to believe this. However, you may not have access to the digital library which was embedded into the article. The link shows the lesson plans for this book to teachers that applies to non-fiction reading circles for primary grades. The genre recommended to teachers is Social Studies; however English Language Arts could also be applied for reading circles. Also notice that the book has already been implemented by the CDE through a free Digital Library gifted to all receiving districts in the state. The content is being implemented before it has been approved by the State Board of Education, which does not happen until May 2019. I am wondering the purpose of a Community Input Process when some of the newest book recommendations have already been placed in teachers’ hands WITH LESSON PLANS. And because this was given free to districts by CDE, it does not have to go through any type of local control approval by the elected board. As a board member, I find this offensive. The state is superseding local control and also moving forward with implementation before the adoption process has been completed.

      One other note: Why are the Non-English Speaking parents in this state being excluded from this Community Input Process? Do you find it strange that a document that champions itself on “inclusion” is actually implementing an “exclusive, discriminatory” process? Does the CDE think that Non-English speaking parents care less about their children’s education than English speaking parents? Why are their voices being muted in this process, due to inequitable access of the Framework in their primary language (such as Spanish)?
      I am smelling some rancid hypocrisy here. In the state of California that’s an exclusion of 1/3 of our population!