SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California has overhauled its sex education guide in public schools.
The guide gives teachers a framework for talking to kids about everything from gender identity to healthy eating, encouraging them to talk about gender identity with kindergarteners and giving advice to help LGBT teenagers navigate relationships and practice safe sex. The aim is to be inclusive but some parents say it’s just “obscene.”
More than 300 parents spoke to the board of education about the proposal Wednesday.
Parent Stephanie Yates says much of the pushback isn’t on the framework itself, but with the suggested books that go along with it.
“That is not about sexual health, or that is dangerous,” Yates said. “They are showing our children child pornography, adult pornography and suggesting behavior that could put their life in jeopardy.”
Some of this literature aimed at high school students describes bondage and other sexual activity.
Protestors stood for hours wielding signs, waiting to give their one-minute speech to the board about their concerns.
One parent said, “My eight-year-old daughter Is not ready to learn about that content. For a teacher to introduce it, let alone for her to sit next to her little friend that’s a boy and talk about what it’s like to have sex, is inappropriate.”
Then there are parents like Sean O’Brien who spoke out in support of the format — to give all students resources to help them navigate relationships.
“I was raised Irish Catholic, so of course I’ve been confused about sexuality for 67 years,” he said. “There is so much ignorance in the world surrounding your sexuality.”
He says when his son Rory came out as gay, he became an advocate and fought for inclusive education.
He wants all schools to be required to follow the format.
“The time I grew up in was profoundly ignorant when it comes to sexuality it was the entire society,” he said.
The more than 700-page document doesn’t require schools to teach anything, but it is designed to expose teachers to current research and how to teach it. The document is a suggestion and each district can still adopt their own sex education policy.