California parents and teachers are protesting what they call the “sexually explicit” and “dangerous” agenda of the proposed statewide health education curriculum.
According to education advocate and former public school teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, concerned parents, grandparents, and teachers spent hours poring over the thousands of pages of curricula during the 60-day public review period.
What they found led them to march on the state capitol — twice.
The proposed curriculum presents transgenderism and same-sex relationships as positive, viable options, that children can choose as early as five years old. The curriculum teaches children as young as pre-kindergarten that their parents “assigned” them a gender at birth and that a “spectrum” of genders exists.
Some of the recommended kindergarten books include My Princess Boy, which the framework calls “an age-appropriate book that can be used to demonstrate gender differences and inclusion.” This story focuses on Dyson, a pink-loving, dress-wearing young boy. Another, The Great Big Book of Families, specifically pushes teachers to expose children to families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender parents. As one teacher put it, “I didn’t plan on having a same-sex marriage debate with kindergarteners.”
Similarly, a suggested first-grade book is Who are You?: The Kids Guide to Gender Identity, which presents students with the option that they can be “trans, genderqueer, non-binary, gender fluid, transgender, gender neutral, agender, neutrois, bigender, third gender, two-spirit …”
Parents and teachers alike expressed vehement concern that the messages contained in these stories could be confusing to children.
“We will not allow our parental rights to be stripped from us. We will not allow our children’s hearts and minds to be stolen and used for political social experiments and radical activist agendas. We will stop at nothing to protect our kids,” stated Stephanie Yates, founder of Informed Parents of California, the group leading the charge against the curriculum.
As the curriculum progresses to higher grades, parents found more and more questionable inclusions, such as a recommended book for fifth grade, George, that includes references to “porn,” “hiding your search history from Mom,” and “all boys are dirty and look up girls’ skirts.”
Young adults in high school are taught about all the ways they can procure birth control, in addition to their rights to procure abortions without parental consent. They are even told that their school will give them an “excused absence” to do so.
Though the official meeting agenda is not yet posted, the State Department of Education is expected to meet on May 8-9 to adopt the final version of the health framework, according to those familiar with the process. In the March hearing, more than 200 people spoke out against the bill and only 10 spoke in favor. Parents also urge lawmakers to consider SB673, which adds provisions to the law for transparency, parental opt-in, and accountability.
Yet, with the strong alliance of the California Teachers’ Union, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and GLSEN pushing the curriculum, it is unlikely that the numerous suggestions parents offered during the 60-day review process and during the protests will be taken into consideration.