The California State Board of Education voted unanimously earlier this month to approve a controversial new health curriculum framework for schools and health textbooks despite pushback from parents claiming the recommendations expose children to graphic, pornographic and harmful information.
The framework, more than 700 pages long, will overhaul sexual education in the state’s public schools by setting new standards for health textbooks and for teachers who instruct students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The material covers everything from nutrition and substance abuse to sexual orientation and gender identity.
The board voted to approve the framework on May 8, about a year after the department first released a draft for public review. The state legislature mandated in 2015 that public and charter schools provide so-called comprehensive sexual health education that affirms different sexual orientations and teaches about gender identity and expression.
Advocates of the new framework celebrated the vote, claiming the recommendations will finally provide students with LGBT-inclusive and medically accurate information about sex and gender.
But many California parents disagree.
Last year, Orange County public school parent Stephanie Yates read the new framework and decided to start a Facebook group to inform parents about the material the framework would push into California classrooms. Today her group, Informed Parents of California, has nearly 25,000 members.
“It’s not a matter of parents not caring, it’s a matter of parents not knowing,” said Yates, who said she passed out flyers about the group at gas stations, grocery stores, and school parking lots — anywhere she found someone who told her they had a student in a local public school.
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Source: Baptist Press