Protect our kids from inappropriate sex education curriculum
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There has been some misunderstanding about this petition. We want to make our positions clear upfront:
1. WE SUPPORT SEXUAL HEALTH EDUCATION. We believe Sexual Health Education is very much needed for the mental and physical development of our kids. As parents, we will support appropriate sexual education provided by our schools.
2. OUR MAIN CONCERN is that the teaching material is not age appropriate or culture appropriate, as mandated by California Education Code. 51933 “Instruction and materials shall be age appropriate...and shall be appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds…”
3. WE FULLY UNDERSTAND AND SUPPORT equal right for people with all sexual orientation and gender identities. We fully understand the need to teach the kids the three different transmission modes of STDs in the class room. Age appropriateness applies to people with all sexual orientation and gender identities.
4. OPT-OUT IS NOT A SOLUTION. We strongly support a Sexual Health Education curriculum that is legally compliant, age appropriate, and sensitive to diversity of family value and do not want our kids to miss out all the appropriate education. It is critical that the new curriculum does not violate the requirements of the education code, and does not include any value statements about sexual orientations, gender choices and sexual activities.
5. WE ARE REQUESTING, respectfully, the school district to follow Board Policy and California Education Code on adopting the new sexual education curriculum. The school district should restart the process; introduce other curricula available on the market; review and compare them side by side and include parents’ opinion in the process.
In Jan 2016, the State of California passed the California Healthy Youth Act, concerning comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention for 7th-12th graders in the state. It was a great law designed to protect our kids and prevent them from getting hurt by unsafe sex and catching STDs including HIV. However, in implementing the law, many school districts in California rushed to adopt an unproven curriculum developed by Health Connected without any inputs from parents. Palo Alto Unified School District is one of them.
The new curriculum clearly was designed for 14-18 years as it says in the introduction (page V), but the publisher adopted it for 12 years old without appropriate revision. That’s why the detailed, graphic contents look so inappropriate for the 7th graders to all the concerned parents. The characters in the the scenarios are also all 14-18 years old. Much of the contents increase curiosity on different sexual behaviors in immature minds. The link below contains a few excerpts from the teaching materials.
As you can see, while this might be appropriate for high school students, when it is used for 7th grader, it is no longer education, but SEX SEDUCTION! The explicit language used here leads 7th graders to follow the examples of a wrong age group and encourages 12 years old to try sex for “wonderful orgasm”. It also introduces dangerous behaviors such as drinking alcohol at age 17. Are you willing to let your 12 years old to learn how to have sex from high schoolers?
By adopting this new curriculum, the school district might have violated the state law and board policy regarding the appropriateness of the curriculum contents and how the teaching materials should be selected. We are here to request the school district to suspend the current curriculum in use, solicit inputs from parents and community, review other available curricula available and chose the right one that is more age appropriate, culture sensitive and law compliant.
Do you want your 12 years old or any underage kids in our schools to have this type of sex education? If not, stand with us and sign this petition.
Thank you for your support!
Dear Dr. Max McGee and PAUSD Board Members,
The new curriculum on Human Growth and Development needs to be suspended for its age inappropriate, culture insensitive contents. It has too much detailed, graphic description of oral, anal, and vaginal sex. These are taught in a mixed gender group and activities require explicit topics to be explored and discussed among 7th graders. The scenarios described in the curriculum are designed to increase curiosity on different sexual behaviors in immature minds. By adopting this new curriculum, the school district might have violated the state law regarding the appropriateness of the curriculum concents:
Section 51933(a) of the California Education Code requires “ Instruction and materials shall be age appropriate”.
Section 51933(d) Instruction and materials shall be appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds, pupils with disabilities, and English learners.
Additionally the process that school district used to adopt the curriculum might have violated another section of the law:
Section 51937 of the California Education Code requires that school districts "create a streamlined process to make it easier for parents and guardians to review materials and evaluation tools related to comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education...".
Section 51937 further states that "The Legislature recognizes that ... parents and guardians have the ultimate responsibility for imparting values regarding human sexuality to their children". In enacting Section 51937, the Legislature has made clear that school districts are thus to treat parents as partners in determining what material is appropriate for children in sex ed classes.
We ask the PAUSD board members to suspend this new human growth and development curriculum until more parents have had a chance to review the entire course material, including the videos. We recommend a citizen advisory committee on human growth and development to search for a scientifically sound, rigorous, evidence-based, and community accepted comprehensive sex education curriculum. We recommend to continue the previous sex education curriculum only until an age and culture appropriate curriculum is identified.
Palo Alto Parents
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