Despite a huge pushback from parents, the Santa Barbara Unified School District in California has adopted a radical sex education curriculum for middle schoolers that includes lessons on choosing one’s gender, finding birth control and abortion providers, and “condom demonstrations.”
A local news outlet, Noozhawk, in Santa Barbara reported on the controversy:
The district is currently out of compliance with state law and must introduce a new program for eighth-graders to meet new state standards for health education in public schools. Families can opt out of the classes, but even so, some parents believe the curriculum has no place in public schools.
Some parents raised questions about the program, which includes talk of condoms, anal sex and masturbation. The curriculum also provides information on gender roles, relationships and sexuality; provides information about where to obtain reproductive health care; encourages parent and trusted-adult communication; incorporates multiday parent/trusted-adult interview homework assignment for students; and gender inclusive language.
The district is working to comply with AB 329, the California Healthy Youth Act, which was passed in 2016. The program is intended to provide “education regarding human development and sexuality, including education on pregnancy, contraception and sexually transmitted infections,” including HIV.
Noozhawk reported that Kathy Ireland, a former supermodel, spoke out against the curriculum, saying Planned Parenthood came to her driver’s education class in high school and “told students they could have an abortion and their parents would never have to know.”
“Teen Talk violates Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith,” Ireland said. “It violates science. It oversexualizes our children, and it violates our precious children and it does not deal with the aftermath.”
She was among 80 speakers who spoke on the curriculum at the school district hearing.
SOGIE, an abbreviation combining sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, has become one of the main reference term to describe the LGBT (or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community. It is now being introduced in many legal doctrines, in UN documents, and it is becoming popular in social media.
Its usefulness lies in its inclusiveness: The term “LGBT” is specific to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, but SOGIE refers to characteristics common to all human beings because everyone has a sexual orientation and a gender identity. Everyone also expresses their gender, not just lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The curriculum is the product of Health Connected, a website that shows its support for Planned Parenthood.
Parents can opt-out of the sex-ed classes if they are aware of what exactly is included in the curriculum.
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