By Macy Jenkins

ELK GROVE (CBS13) – Parents are getting a sneak peek at new textbooks heading to Elk Grove Unified School District. But some say a lesson on honesty about a San Francisco drag queen caught them off guard.

“Did they research who these heroes were?” asked Greg Burt with the California Family Council.

Thursday night, parents had the opportunity to read through several textbooks aimed at meeting new state standards and decide for themselves if there is a place in their child’s curriculum for the material. California law now requires public school curriculum to include contributions from LGBT people and certain cultural groups.

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“I want to make sure that it’s age appropriate and I want to know what is going to be taught to my child,” said Carrie Harrell.

On the back of the parental feedback form, there are two columns: one for “sweet spots” or positive comments and another for “red flags” or questions. Parents can choose from three sets of curriculum still in the pilot stage at this point. But some say lessons on gay rights aren’t appropriate for children of a certain age.

Burt has an issue with a second-grade textbook called “My World Interactive” by publishers Pearson, Scott Foresman and Prentice Hall. On the page with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln, the name Jose Julio Sarria appears. He’s widely believed to be first openly gay person to run for public office.

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One page highlights Sarria saying “He decided to be honest. He told people he was gay and that sometimes he dressed as a woman. He was the first person to do this when running for office…. It inspired other gay leaders to run for office too.”

“I just don’t think Elk Grove parents are ready or interested in having their second graders learn honesty from a drag queen who has a criminal record!” Burt said.

According to a New York Times article, Sarria was arrested on morals charges in 1947 in a public bathroom at the St. Francis Hotel.

But Elk Grove Unified School District Spokesperson Xanthi Pinkerton said that’s not the focus of the lesson.

“This chapter is about how people can make a difference!” She said.

“I’m not anti-LGBT,” said Carrie Harrell, a mom of three in Elk Grove. “I love all people.”

She told CBS13 she’s simply concerned about teachers discussing sexuality with her 7-year-old.

“It needs to be dealt with appropriately,” Harrell said. “I hope they read the feedback and I’m hoping it’s not just a piece of paper.”

Pinkerton said a committee plans to review the feedback and had a reminder for parents: the district is following state standards by including leaders from all walks of life.

“When that person is standing up for the rights of their people and the things that they believe in, that’s what we’re going to be talking about,” she said.

Several schools across the state are looking at how to meet the new standards. The books will be reviewed this winter and if approved, they’ll be in the classroom next fall. The next review session is on Nov. 6.

Comments (30)
  1. Eric Koontz says:

    Do they call out Abe Lincoln or MLK for being straight?

    1. Daniel Taylor says:

      I don’t know Erik, did Lincoln and MLK get arrested for hitting up on guy’s in a public restroom?

  2. Saw this on Drudge, left for, which posted this story yesterday, complete with a memorable photo of Jose Julio Sarria in rouge and tutu.

    1. Richard Stenger says:

      I went. How does one unsee the picture?

      1. Mike Hayes says:

        Try some LSD, can’t hurt.

  3. Adam Wood says:

    Totally inappropriate in the 2nd grade. You’re going to teach a child about sexuality who doesn’t really even understand what attraction is. It isn’t a lesson on honesty…it’s a less about coming out of the closet. I’m not anti-gay but I think schools need to teach SKILLS not “lessons”.

  4. Juan Mophus Beeber says:

    California is lost. A moral abyss and a sanctuary for every deviant, illegal, and freak around. There is no nope for the USA’s Soddom.

  5. Brian Villanueva says:

    How, exactly, do you answer the obvious question “what is gay” to a 7 year old? This is a concept WAY over their heads (and rightly so.)

    Home education looking better, anyone? It’s challenging, but you don’t have to worry about answering sexual orientation questions from your 7 year old — unless you choose to.

    1. Gary Griffin says:

      “what is gay” ……..Nothing….the word is “homosexual”.

  6. Jay Barbieri says:

    You send your kids to PUBLIC SCHOOL and then act surprised.

  7. I completely support the California Separatist movement. As longs as there’s going to be a 25 foot wall along the eastern border.

  8. Abe Lincoln and MLK are two of the greatest Americans in our nation’s history. Are we really putting a drag queen on the same level, just because he was different? He is not an American Hero. He may be a Hero to the insane populous of CA, but to the rest of the world he is a drag queen, not that there is anything wrong with that – whatever floats your boat – but he not an American Hero.

  9. Dave Sandy Goodwyn says:

    It’s no longer about “education” but “indoctrination”.

  10. Mark Douglas Hawkins says:

    My Dollars / Euros spent for private education for my two daughters, and me on the school boards, are all making more and more sense.

  11. Benjamin Dover says:

    Totally inappropriate. State Standards? Garbage! Some BLTQ&G was in charge of setting standards? That doesn’t make this right.
    Who cares what their bedroom predilections are? Not a lesson for the grade schoolers to learn at that age.

  12. Georani Jay says:

    But you have to give credit to the liberals. We complain about them, but they have seized control of education, and now they teach our children whatever they want. Until we conservatives grow to run education, we only have ourselves to blame.


    my comments were blocked but click on above to read. It’s a parents job not school or lgbt

  14. Joey Beagle says:

    Less than 3% of the population and please tell me why we have to accommodate anything for them?

  15. Herb Rapoza says:

    Kids are never too young for indoctrination.

  16. iodiner says:

    Leftist indoctrination proceeds unabated.

  17. Richard A Hooks says:

    The only way gay lifestyle or liberalism can survive is to start early.

  18. John Merchlinski says:

    Proving once again indoctrination trumps education.

  19. George Husted says:

    When you home school, the parents control the curriculum, determine what is age appropriate, and establish the parameters of what is moral and immoral. The end result is a better educated child that has a moral compass.

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