Many of you are aware that every several years, the California Department of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the State Board of Education reviews K-12 curriculum standards in various subject areas.
Currently, it is in the process of adopting a new version of the “Health Education Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve.” From now until January 11, 2019, the public can weigh in on the content of this framework.
I am reaching out to you regarding an area of particular concern on components of the framework involving sex education. As a result of the passage of the California Healthy Youth Act – AB 329 (Weber, D-San Diego) in 2015 – school districts are now required to provide middle and high school students with a “comprehensive sexual health education.”
Within the guidance provided to schools and educators is a suggestion to use various curricula including one called “Rights, Respect, Responsibility: A K-12 Sexuality Education Curriculum.” Among its outlined lessons are the following topics:
- Creating Condom Confidence – Grade 9 – “The lesson has students review the steps to using condoms correctly by the teacher modeling how to use condoms correctly…The homework is to go to a store to try and buy condoms and reflect on the experience and reaction from store employees, if any.”
- What are My Reproductive Rights? – Grade 12 – Topics covered include minors’ rights to abortion.
- The Pleasure Principle – Grade 12 – Lesson on sexual response cycle not released or made public. According to the curriculum, it is “currently being piloted.”
These concepts and others are a reflection of the state’s suggested framework for teaching on the topic of adolescent health. While it may be appropriate for classes to include lessons for students about their changing bodies, topics like the ones listed above should be reserved for conversations between parents and their children, when they choose to discuss them.
To learn more about the draft “Health Education Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve” you can click here, and then navigate to Chapter 6.
As you review Chapter 6, and particularly the section on “Growth, Development, and Sexual Health,” you will see that the information presented in the framework itself is carefully couched and may not necessarily include explicit references. However, going deeper into the listed curricula, you will clearly see the agenda that is being pushed.
At this point, I would encourage you and your networks or congregations to make your voices heard on this issue and contact the Department of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the State Board of Education to express your concerns.
Residents have until January 11, 2019 to submit public comments, which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by attaching feedback entered into the document at this downloadable link: “Public Input Template (DOCX)”.
Feedback in this instance could be as straightforward as:
“Chapter 6, Page 29, Lines 780-781: The suggested curricula – San Francisco Unified School District’s Be Real. Be Ready. Smart Sexuality Education and Advocates for Youth 3Rs: Rights, Respect, Responsibility – both include sexual information that goes beyond what is necessary to teach children in a classroom setting. Many topics should be rightly reserved for parents to discuss with their children. Please remove these curricula as examples of acceptable curricula to use in teaching on this topic.”
Thank you for your consideration. This curriculum is inappropriate and wrong and we must do what we can to work against it. We have a responsibility to be vigilant and watchful for our young people. I appreciate all that you have done to be engaged in issues impacting California and look forward to continuing these efforts with you in the future.
Senator, 23rd District