The California State Board of Education has introduced new sexual education guidelines, and they include some wildly inappropriate lesson plans for children as young as five years old. The new guidelines will encourage teachers to introduce concepts like gender identity to kindergartners, discuss LGBT issues with gay teenagers, and advise students on how to have a safe, robust sex life. You know, just what they need to be talking about in public schools.
While the new guidelines do not specifically require that teachers cover the material suggested, the 700-page document will no doubt be used by schools and districts to formulate the way sex ed is taught in California schools.
That does not make everyone happy.
At a public hearing on Wednesday, many parents were outraged about the new curriculum suggestions, and they weren’t buying what the education officials were selling.
“As the parent of three kids,” said board president Linda Darling-Hammond, “we’re on a careful trajectory here not to be introducing things as though they are endorsed in some way.”
Nonsense, says one mother.
“Patricia Reyes, a 45-year-old mother of six, doesn’t believe that,” reports the AP. “She traveled more than 400 miles (about 644 kilometers) from her home in Southern California to attend Wednesday’s hearing, bringing along her 4-year-old daughter, Angeline, who held a sign that read: ‘Protect my innocence and childhood.’”
“’It’s just scary what they are going to be teaching. It’s pornography,’ she said. ‘If this continues, I’m not sending them to school.’”
In a statement, the DOE said they were simply trying to share the most up-to-date information with students.
“Our priority is to make all children feel comfortable at school,” they said in a statement. “Dispelling myths, breaking down stereotypes and linking students to resources can help prevent bullying, self-harm, feelings of hopelessness, and serious considerations of suicide.”
Under considerable pressure from the community, California actually removed some sexually-explicit books from their section on recommended texts. But even the new, more disciplined recommendations have many parents questioning what their kids will be learning in schools.
For instance, the framework tells teachers that children in kindergarten can already identify as transgender. “The goal,” they write, “is not to cause confusion about the gender of the child but to develop an awareness that other expressions exist.”
Some might argue that’s six-of-one, half-a-dozen-of-the other. But given we’re talking about California here, we’re surprised that mandatory gender transition training is not already a part of the curriculum. Probably only a matter of time at this rate.